ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (11): 1341-1348.

Equity Sensitivity of 2~3 Years Old Children in Distribution Condition

LIU Wen1,2; ZHU Lin1; ZHANG Xue1; ZHANG Yu1; LIU Ying1

1. (1 College of Psychology, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China)
(2 Research Center of Psychological Development and Education, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China)
• Received:2014-12-22 Published:2015-11-25 Online:2015-11-25
• Contact: LIU Wen, E-mail: wenliu703@126.com

Abstract:

Equity sensitivity refers to individual’s response to perceived equity or inequity, which is stable and personalized. It is observed as an individualized bias to equity. Recently studies showed that 3-year-old, 2-year-old, even 15-month-old human infants were sensitive to equity. However, there were very few literature on age difference of equity sensitivity in the young child development. The purpose of the first experiment is to explore the development of 2 to 3 years old children's equity sensitivity in allocation condition, and the second experiment aims at exploring impact factors of equity sensitivity based on the results of the first developmental study.
One hundred and thirty 2 to 3 years old children participated in the first experiment. This experiment employed VOE paradigm and the third-party task. Children’s stare duration to equitable distribution and inequitable distribution situations were recorded as the testing measure. The result showed that there was a significant interaction between age and distribution outcomes. The stare duration in the inequitable distribution condition was much longer than in the equity distribution condition, which suggested that 2 to 3 years old children had equity sensitivity. Children's stare duration on different distribution outcomes also had a significant age effect. Compared with other age groups, 3 years to 3 years and 3 months old children showed the strongest equity sensitivity.
The second experiment explored three impact factors on equity sensitivity, including distribution situation, quantity of distribution resources, and distribution outcomes. Sixty 3 years old children were examined under the distribution situation. The results were analyzed using repeated-measures analyses of variance (ANOVA), which showed that there was a significant interaction between distribution situation and distribution outcomes. In the context of the recipient, stare duration to inequitable distribution was longer than it to equitable distribution. Compared to the none-recipients situation, children showed more equity sensitivity when they were in recipients situation. There was no significant interaction between quantity distribution resources and distribution outcomes. But children's stare duration on distribution situation with 2 sweetmeats was longer than those with 4 sweetmeats.

In summary, these two experiments investigated the development of children's equity sensitivity in distribution condition and influence factors of equality sensitivity. Equity sensitivity of young children was found: 2 to 3 years old children had already possessed equity sensitivity. The stare duration showed an increasing trend with the growth of age from 2 to 3 years and a decreasing tendency after age of 3. It suggests that 3 years to 3 years and 3 months children were obviously sensitive to equity. Children's stare duration to inequitable distribution was longer than in equitable distribution remarkably in distribution situation. Children showed equity sensitivity under both distribution situations which had either 2 or 4 sweetmeats. These results provided converging evidence that young children in the second year of life have already possessed equity sensitivity. Equity sensitivity of 3 years to 3 years and 3 months old children were relatively obvious. Distribution situation, the quantity of distribution resources, and distribution outcomes all have strong impact on the children's equity sensitivity.