Childrens Abilities in Identifying Contract Violations: Looking into the Role Effect

[Speaker] Chin, Jui-chih:1
[Co-author] Lin, Miao-hui:2
1:University of Taipei (Taiwan), 2:National University of Tainan (Taiwan)

To identify the violations of a conditional promise involves deontic reasoning (i.e. p and q, not p and q, p and not q, not p and not q). This study was aimed to discern whether young children were better at identifying the not-p-and-not-q of a conditional promise as contract violation when the superordinate party was the promisee (e.g. a child made a conditional promise to the mother) than when the subordinate party was the promisee. The participants were 147 children aged 6 to 7 (m=75 months) who were asked to identify the violators of the conditional promises. The chi-square analyses showed that, when the superordinate party was the promisee in mother-child context, children were more likely to identify not-p-and-not-q condition as a violation, to claim it to be bilateral violation, and less likely to identify the subordinate party as the violator. A different pattern was observed for the child-peer promises.
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