5 years ago

Evaluative Conditioning and the Development of Attitudes in Early Childhood

Georg Halbeisen, Michael Schneider, Eva Walther
Many attitudes are acquired in early childhood. However, due to a lack of experimental research, little is known about the processes of how they are acquired. Two experiments were therefore conducted with 153 German kindergarten children aged 3–6 years that provide first evidence for childhood attitude formation in terms of evaluative conditioning. Specifically, it was found that children preferred novel stimuli previously paired with liked stimuli over novel stimuli previously paired with disliked stimuli. This effect occurred independently of age, generalized toward similar novel stimuli, and did not depend on children's recollection of how stimuli were paired. The findings are discussed in terms of the processes underlying childhood attitude formation, and implications for related research areas are highlighted.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12657

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