The role of empathy in 5~6 years old preschool children’s inequity aversion

[Speaker] Liu, Wen:1
[Co-author] Wen, Guoqi:2, Tu, Xintian:3
1:Liaoning Normal University (China (People's Republic of China)), 2:Qiqihar University, (China (People's Republic of China)), 3:Miami University, (United States of America)

Disadvantageous inequity aversion and advantageous inequity aversion are two forms of inequity aversion, both of which are passive reactions young children have against unfair results and unjust intentions. In this study, Ultimatum Game variant was applied to present allocation proposals by third-party. Mixed experimental design was 2 (empathy arousal level)×2 (proposal type: advantageous proposal, disadvantageous proposal) ×2 (age). Empathy artificial arousal was accomplished in the experimental group by presenting the virtual playmates’ emotion feedback to participants, and all tasks were presented with computer. The results showed that, (1) Empathy arousal level influenced 5-to-6-year-olds’ disadvantageous inequity aversion and advantageous inequity aversion. With empathy aroused, children showed more disadvantageous and advantageous inequity aversion; (2) Five-to-6-year-old Children’s disadvantageous inequity aversion was affected more by the level of empathy arousal; Compared with 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds expressed more inequity aversion when they cared about playmates’ emotion.
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