The development of fairness

A dozen scientists from nine universities tested 866 pairs of children in seven nations to learn how our views of fairness develop and change. One child in each pair had to allocate Skittles or other candies either to themselves or their partner. The study, published Nov. 18 in the journal Nature, found that young children quickly develop one sense of fairness: an aversion to getting less than others. That was true in all seven societies: the US, Canada, Peru, India, Mexico, Uganda and Senegal. But another sense of fairness—an aversion to having more than others—developed only later in childhood and only in three of the societies: the US, Canada and Uganda. That suggests culture plays a big role on that form of fairness. Karen Kramer, an associate professor of anthropology at the U, was among co-authors of the study, conducting research on Maya-speaking children of Mexico.
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