The Influence of Reputation on Preschool Children’s Transgression Behaviors
|School||Zhejiang Normal University|
|Course||Developmental and Educational Psychology|
|Keywords||reputation preschool children transgression behaviors|
Reputation means the overall impression of a person, an enterprise or a group left on the public. As a common phenomenon in the human society, it plays an important role in real life. From an economic perspective, reputation is a factor that can motivate and constrain people’s behavior, and it also can be used as a substitute for explicit incentive contract. On the view of the development psychology, children’s reputation is formed during their interpersonal communication, which is an important index of measuring children’s social skills, and it regulates and constrains children’s social behavior. Although previous researchers have made a lot of related researches between reputation and children’s behavior, there’re still few empirical studies directly investigating the influence of reputation on children’s behavior. Therefore, this study attempts to explore the issue.A "toy-guessing" task in "temptation resistance" paradigm was used in the study. Four experiments in total were conducted:Experiment 1 discussed the effect of peer reputation on 3,4,5-year-old children’s transgression behaviors and the developmental characteristics, by setting the "good kid" peer reputation group compared with no reputation group. According to the results of experiment 1, experiment 2 mainly examined the influence of teacher reputation on 5-year-old children’s transgression behaviors and the effect differences among different groups (peer, teacher, departure teacher), by adding teacher reputation group and departure teacher reputation group. Based on the second experiment, experiment 3 further explored the role of reputation by making a more strict match in the instruction between reputation groups and no reputation group in order to exclude the potential impact of "discovered". From the perspective of reputation risk, experiment 4 investigated 5-year-old children’s behavior choice when they didn’t face the risk of damage to their reputation. The results of the experiments were as follows:(1) Peer reputation affected 5-year-old children’s transgression behaviors remarkably and exerted no significant influence on 3-year-old children’s behaviors. The influence on the 4-year-old children’s behaviors was in a transitional stage. There were significant differences of the effect between 3 years old and 5 years old children, but no difference between 4 years old and 3 years old or 5 years old children.(2) 5-year-old children’s transgression behaviors were also influenced by reputation from teacher and departure teacher, suggesting that 5 years old children have already realized the existence of reputation and began to value their reputation and they would protect their positive reputation by decreasing or constraining their transgression behaviors.(3) There was no difference of the effect on 5-year-old children’s transgression behaviors among different reputation conditions (peer, teacher, departure teacher).(4) 5-year-old children didn’t reduce their transgression behaviors when they were only given "good kid" reputation and didn’t face the reputation risk. But the latency time was significantly longer, as well as the extent to which they concealed transgression behaviors was significantly greater. Namely, the reputation without risk still affected children’s behaviors to some extent.The innovative part of the research:the current study examined the effect of reputation on children’s transgression behaviors as the first empirical research and revealed the relationship between reputation and children’s behaviors. It’s important for us to understand the process of social development of children deeply. The results supported, to some extent, the standard reputation theory and the theory about reputation risk in economics. Preschool children all wanted to get love and recognition from their peers, teachers and others. Once got "good kid" reputation, children would try to reduce their transgression behaviors to protect the good impression in the mind of peers and teachers and avoid damaging good reputation. In addition, this study filled up the domestic blank in the research of children’s reputation, and found that 5-year-old children in the kindergarten have already realized the existence of reputation and began to value their reputation in the context of Chinese culture.