Dr. Michal Perlman


Professor, University of Toronto and Director, Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Research Centre, University of Toronto



416-978-0596


Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)


University of Toronto


252 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5S 1V6


Because 'everybody believes in different things': Examining tolerance of divergent preferences, beliefs, and morals in kindergarten students


Journal article


Erica Danniels, Michal Perlman
Social Development, vol. 30, Wiley, 2021 Jul, pp. 973--993


Cite

Cite

APA
Danniels, E., & Perlman, M. (2021). Because 'everybody believes in different things': Examining tolerance of divergent preferences, beliefs, and morals in kindergarten students. Social Development, 30, 973–993.

Chicago/Turabian
Danniels, Erica, and Michal Perlman. “Because 'Everybody Believes in Different Things': Examining Tolerance of Divergent Preferences, Beliefs, and Morals in Kindergarten Students.” Social Development 30 (July 2021): 973–993.

MLA
Danniels, Erica, and Michal Perlman. “Because 'Everybody Believes in Different Things': Examining Tolerance of Divergent Preferences, Beliefs, and Morals in Kindergarten Students.” Social Development, vol. 30, Wiley, July 2021, pp. 973–93.


Abstract

Societies are becoming increasingly pluralistic, yet acceptance of differing points of view remains an issue. Thus, it is important to understand how young children think about issues related to acceptance of differing views and factors that may be related to sharing greater levels of tolerance. A total of 167 kindergarten students (ages 4–5) were presented with pictures of hypothetical peers and told that each peer held an opposing view from them with respect to a preference (blue, blocks), belief (believing in fairies, believing in superheroes), or moral (lying, tattling). Children were asked if it was okay for this peer to hold a different view, whether they would be willing to play with the peer, and to justify their responses. Measures of children's theory of mind understanding, language ability, and prosocial behaviour were also collected. Children shared tolerant responses more frequently towards peers who held different preferences and beliefs as compared to different morals. Children who shared intolerant responses frequently rejected the peer's different view. Willingness to play with a peer was largely based on factors unrelated to tolerance such as the peer's appearance. Children with higher theory of mind understanding and older children were significantly more likely to report that it was okay for a peer to endorse a different preference or belief, but not a different moral. Implications for children's reasoning about personal versus moral norms and the promotion of tolerance in the kindergarten years are discussed.



Share