The Communication of Naïve Theories of the Social World in Parent–Child Conversation

Lisa Chalik, Marjorie Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Three studies examined the communication of naïve theories of social groups in conversations between parents and their 4-year-old children (N = 48). Parent–child dyads read and discussed a storybook in which they either explained why past social interactions had occurred (Study 1) or evaluated whether future social interactions should occur (Studies 2 and 3). In all 3 studies, the content of parents’ and children's explanations reflected an intuitive theory of social groups as markers of intrinsic obligations, whereby individuals are obligated to avoid harm to and direct positive actions toward their in-group members. Furthermore, Studies 2 and 3 suggested that when discussing the normative obligations that guide behavior, parents covertly reinforce their children's developing beliefs about social categories. Implications for the development of social cognition are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-741
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Cognition and Development
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2015

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Parents
Communication
Interpersonal Relations
Cognition
Social Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

The Communication of Naïve Theories of the Social World in Parent–Child Conversation. / Chalik, Lisa; Rhodes, Marjorie.

In: Journal of Cognition and Development, Vol. 16, No. 5, 20.10.2015, p. 719-741.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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