Luigi Castelli Luciana Carraro

No evidence of racial discrimination among toddlers

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Race-based biases appear very early in life and they can be consistently observed from about 3 years of age. It is currently still debated whether at younger ages children display a preference for their racial ingroup. In the present study, White children belonging to two age groups (i.e., 1-2 years old and 3-4 years old) were assessed in a paradigm that gave them the opportunity to grasp the food that was (allegedly) previously brought to the mouth by either a Black or White person. Whereas, the older group of participants significantly preferred the food associated to the ingroup member, no such preference was detected in the case of the younger group of participants. Overall, findings provide further support to the notion that social discrimination based on the color of the skin takes time to develop and it is not a default response among toddlers.


  • preschool-aged children
  • racial attitudes
  • development of intergroup attitudes


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