Selective learning from members of one’s own cultural group


In this research project we investigate whether children are more willing to learn from someone whom they perceive as a member of their cultural group.

This selection between potential teachers is important because socialization means acquiring a great deal of knowledge that is specific to a given group, thus loses its relevance when we leave that group (e.g. which side of the road to drive on). Thus, we can only ensure that the information we receive is useful in our own social environment, if it comes from someone who is familiar with the ways of that culture. In our study, we presented 3-year-olds with videos that portrayed two girls: one of them performed actions that were appropriate in the Hungarian culture, while the other consistently violated our cultural norms. Then, both of them presented a new action (how to build a tower), where the goal was the same but the methods of the two girls differed. Results showed that most children copied the behavior of the girl who had shown that she is familiar with Hungarian culture.


ELTE Babalabor
1064 Budapest, Izabella street 46.
(+36) 1 461 4100/5654