May 1, 2012

Teaching children to think about people as members of continua

Thinking in Categories or Along a Continuum: Consequences for Children’s Social Judgments 

By Allison Master, Ellen M. Markman, Carol S. Dweck

Can young children, forming expectations about the social world, capture differences among people without falling into the pitfalls of categorization? Categorization often leads to exaggerating differences between groups and minimizing differences within groups, resulting in stereotyping. Six studies with 4-year-old children (N = 214) characterized schematic faces or photographs as falling along a continuum (really mean to really nice) or divided into categories (mean vs. nice). Using materials that children naturally group into categories (Study 3), the continuum framing prevented the signature pattern of categorization for similarity judgments (Study 1), inferences about behavior and deservingness (Studies 2 and 5), personal liking and play preferences (Study 4), and stable and internal attributions for behavior (Study 6). When children recognize people as members of continua, they may avoid stereotypes.


  1. Thats true , categorization leads to the exaggerating differences between groups and minimizing differences within groups. so categorization is most important.

  2. The categorization is diffenerent thing it just categorizes a group beteen various categories , so this helps in searching prticular thing easily.


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner