Judgements of the Lucky Across Development and Culture
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CitationOlson, Kristina R., Yarrow Dunham, Carol S. Dweck, Elizabeth S. Spelke, and Mahzarin R. Banaji. 2008. Judgements of the lucky across development and culture. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94(5): 757-776.
AbstractFor millennia human beings have believed that it is morally wrong to judge others by the fortuitous or unfortunate events that befall them or by the actions of another person. Rather, an individual’s own intended, deliberate actions should be the basis of his/her evaluation, reward and punishment. In a series of studies we investigate whether such rules guide the judgments of children. The first three studies demonstrate that children view lucky others as more likely than unlucky others to perform intentional good actions. Children similarly assess the siblings of lucky others as more likely to perform intentional good actions than the siblings of unlucky others. The next three studies demonstrate that children as young as 3 years believe that lucky people are nicer than unlucky people. The final two studies find that Japanese children also demonstrate a robust preference for the lucky and their associates. These findings are discussed in relation to Lerner’s just world theory and Piaget’s immanent justice research and in relation to the development of intergroup attitudes.
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