When faced with a decision, preschoolers prefer to go by majority opinion, says a new study.
Psychologists Kathleen H. Corriveau, Maria Fusaro, and Paul L. Harris of Harvard University have shown when it comes to taking decision preschoolers prefer to follow the crowd.
During the study, three- and four-year-old children watched as a small group of people (either three or four members) named a novel object.
The majority of group members would use the same name for the object, while the lone dissenter would pick a different name.
The children were then asked what they thought the object was called. The researchers found that majority influenced preschoolers' the opinion.
They would consistently select the name that was used by the majority of the group members.
Moreover, in a follow-up experiment in which only two members (someone from the majority group and the dissenter) remained in the room and named a different object, the children would still go with name that was provided by the majority group member.
The authors said the "findings provide initial evidence that young children navigate that social variation with the help of a simple but powerful strategy."
The results indicate that children as young as age three and four are able to recognize and trust a consensus.
In addition, young children are good at remembering who was and was not a part of the majority group.