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Children spontaneously police adults' transgressions.
J Exp Child Psychol. 2016 10; 150:155-164.JE

Abstract

Maintaining social order requires the policing of transgressions. Prior research suggests that policing emerges early in life, but little is known about children's engagement in such behavior in live interactions where there is uncertainty about the consequences. In this study, 4- to 11-year-old children (N=158) witnessed an unfamiliar adult confederate intentionally destroy another adult's property. Of interest was whether children would engage in policing behavior by protesting to the transgressor or by spontaneously reporting the transgression to a third party. Some children engaged in these behaviors spontaneously; nearly half (42%) protested the transgression, and 27% reported it without being prompted. Even when children did not spontaneously report the transgression, they almost always reported it when asked directly. The findings show that children commonly engage in policing even in the face of potentially negative consequences.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA. Electronic address: gheyman@ucsd.edu.Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6, Canada.Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6, Canada. Electronic address: kang.lee@utoronto.ca.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27295206

Citation

Heyman, Gail D., et al. "Children Spontaneously Police Adults' Transgressions." Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, vol. 150, 2016, pp. 155-164.
Heyman GD, Chiu Loke I, Lee K. Children spontaneously police adults' transgressions. J Exp Child Psychol. 2016;150:155-164.
Heyman, G. D., Chiu Loke, I., & Lee, K. (2016). Children spontaneously police adults' transgressions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 150, 155-164. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2016.05.012
Heyman GD, Chiu Loke I, Lee K. Children Spontaneously Police Adults' Transgressions. J Exp Child Psychol. 2016;150:155-164. PubMed PMID: 27295206.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Children spontaneously police adults' transgressions. AU - Heyman,Gail D, AU - Chiu Loke,Ivy, AU - Lee,Kang, Y1 - 2016/06/10/ PY - 2015/09/23/received PY - 2016/05/20/revised PY - 2016/05/23/accepted PY - 2016/6/14/entrez PY - 2016/6/14/pubmed PY - 2017/11/29/medline KW - Moral evaluation KW - Norm violation KW - Protesting KW - Social behavior KW - Tattling KW - Third party policing KW - Transgressions SP - 155 EP - 164 JF - Journal of experimental child psychology JO - J Exp Child Psychol VL - 150 N2 - Maintaining social order requires the policing of transgressions. Prior research suggests that policing emerges early in life, but little is known about children's engagement in such behavior in live interactions where there is uncertainty about the consequences. In this study, 4- to 11-year-old children (N=158) witnessed an unfamiliar adult confederate intentionally destroy another adult's property. Of interest was whether children would engage in policing behavior by protesting to the transgressor or by spontaneously reporting the transgression to a third party. Some children engaged in these behaviors spontaneously; nearly half (42%) protested the transgression, and 27% reported it without being prompted. Even when children did not spontaneously report the transgression, they almost always reported it when asked directly. The findings show that children commonly engage in policing even in the face of potentially negative consequences. SN - 1096-0457 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27295206/Children_spontaneously_police_adults'_transgressions_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0022-0965(16)30043-1 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -