This study investigated children's reactions to people speaking a foreign language on television in either prosocial or antisocial representations. It was predicted that prejudice would be greatest in the condition in which the targets were shown speaking a foreign language and behaving in an antisocial manner, and that this would be most marked in younger children. Participants aged 6, 8 or 10 years viewed short programmes in which the same family appeared as English-speaking or foreign-speaking, prosocial or antisocial. The language was created for this study, circumventing the possibility of pre-existing biases affecting responses. Children completed three prejudice measures. The results indicated bias against foreign speakers in the 6- and 8-year-old groups, but not in the 10-year-olds. The findings are discussed in relation to developmental changes in prejudice and implications for media portrayals.
- child psychology
- developmental psychology