Research investigating social values in interdependency situations has generally demonstrated age differences across the 5- to 10-year-old age range. However, the precise nature of these differences is unclear. Further, the differences in the social values of adults and children has not been addressed. The present study examined the social values of undergraduates and children using a measurement technique designed to allow an accurate inference of social values. Ninety-one 6- to 10-year-old children and 100 undergraduates rated the desirability of a set of outcomes which systematically varied with regard to the benefits to themselves and another person. Theoretically specified characteristics of the outcomes were then used to generate a regression equation predicting the desirability ratings separately for each individual. These regression equations were then clustered into groups of individuals who used decision rules characteristic of the major social values. The results indicate that the 8- to 10-year-old children, compared to the 6- to 7-year olds, more often expressed a social value involving equality and tended to less often express a social value involving superiority. Comparison of the social values expressed by the children and adults indicated that the adults more often expressed group-enhancement and individualism social values and less often expressed a social value involving superiority.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology