Accessibility statement

PhD Talks

Tuesday 21 May 2024, 4.00PM to 5.00pm

Speaker(s): Sophie Marshall, Charlotte Knapper

  1. Sophie Marshall - Title tbc
  2. Charlotte Knapper - "How does children’s conformity to social norms change over development in the UK and Uganda?
    Conformity to social norms (shared and mutually-enforced rules of behaviour) supports cooperation within cultural groups (Rakoczy & Schmidt, 2013), and has been instrumental in our success as a species (Fessler, 2004). Children need to acquire the ability to conform to their society’s norms, but there are gaps in our understanding of how norm conformity develops, and whether there are factors that could lead to variation in development across diverse societies. In this study, we presented 4-11 year-old children from two societies (the UK and Uganda), with (i) a novel card-sorting game and (ii) normative rules about how to play the game. We found that conformity to normative rules increased with age in both cultural groups, however rates of conformity increased more gradually with age in Uganda as compared to the UK. Our findings suggest that the developmental trajectory of norm conformity differs across the UK and Uganda, highlighting the importance of research with non-Western societies. Furthermore, children were more likely to conform when they performed well on a task-switching task (in both the UK and Uganda) and when they had more experience with formal education (in Uganda), highlighting the importance of executive functioning for the development of norm conformity.

Location: PS/B/020