Expectations of fairness from authority in Singaporean infants
Goh, Hazel Qixuan
Date of Issue2016-05-16
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
The current study examined the interactions of the authority and fairness foundations from the moral foundations theory (Haidt & Joseph, 2004, 2007a), to investigate if infants would expect authority figures to distribute resources fairly towards their subordinates. 49 infants took part in this study but only 25 infants (15 males, 10 females) aged between 18- to 29-months were tested using a third-party task. Using the violation-of-expectation paradigm, looking times across the conditions were measured with a Tobii TX300 eye-tracker. The study found that infants expected the authority to be altruistically fair towards the subordinates, as opposed to being altruistically unfair and distributing the resources unequally, or taking the resources for herself. The study provides preliminary findings on the interactions of the two foundations; as infants looked longer at the unfair conditions than the fair conditions, thus positing that infants weigh the foundation of fairness over the foundation of authority. Implications of these findings serve to inform future research seeking to use these findings in exploring expectations of fairness in Singaporean infants.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University