A new study looks at how the notion of equality and sense of justice develops in children. As they grow up, do children become young Robin Hoods? Depending on their age, they do not allocate resources in the same way between dominant and subordinate individuals. Thus a tendency towards egalitarianism develops and becomes even stronger between the ages of 5 and 8 years. These findings by a team of scientists from the CNRS and the Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (France), Lausanne and Neuchâtel (Switzerland) universities provide a clearer understanding of how the notion of equality develops in human beings, and of their sense of justice. Hierarchical relationships are one of the characteristics of our social existence. At a very early age, children can detect the difference between dominant and subordinate individuals. But how do they behave towards this asymmetric ranking? Will they favor the dominant and thus preserve the status quo? Or will they focus more on the subordinate and thus institute a form of equality? How do these positions evolve during childhood?
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