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How Children Outgrow Socialism
ScienceNOW ^ | Dan Ferber

Posted on 05/28/2010 8:56:32 PM PDT by neverdem

Enlarge Image
sn-inequality.jpg
Fair is fair. Norwegian school children in this study worked hard to earn their money before deciding on a fair way to share it.
Credit: Image courtesy of Knut Egil Wang

Children start off like Karl Marx, but they eventually become more like a member of the International Olympic Committee. That's the conclusion of a new study, which finds that children's views on fairness change from egalitarian to merit-based as they grow older. The results help explain why society rewards high achievers with high pay, and they could help educators better motivate children.

The find comes thanks to an economic experiment known as the dictator game. Researchers led by experimental economist Alexander Cappelen of the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen recruited youths aged 10 through 18 from schools near Bergen. Each child was paired with another student he or she didn't know and then given a chance to earn real money by repeatedly noting the appearance of a particular three-figure number on a computer screen filled with large tables of numbers. Some students performed better at the task and thus earned more money. At the end of the game, the money earned by the pair was pooled, and one of the two students—the dictator—was asked to divvy up the cash with his or her partner in a way that he or she deemed fair.

Age determined how evenly the children divided up the earnings. About two-thirds of the youngest children, aged 10 to 11, split the pot evenly regardless of their own or their partner's achievements. Older teenagers, however, split the pot based on achievement. Among 18-year-olds, for example, only 22% split the pot evenly with their partner, whereas 43% kept more for themselves because they felt like they'd earned it, the researchers report in tomorrow's issue of Science.

The results suggest that concepts of fairness become more merit-based as children grow up and as they participate in activities like sports and school that reward achievement, Cappelen says. "Adolescence is a very important period for shaping children's fairness views." The results could also help educators set up reward systems that the students themselves consider fair, he adds, which could lead to more harmonious classrooms and better student performance.

"I think it's an interesting and important study," says behavioral economist James Konow of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. But he is not as convinced as the authors that concepts of fairness are shaped by experience.

Listen to a podcast about this story.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; Testing
KEYWORDS: socialism; sociology; thedictator

1 posted on 05/28/2010 8:56:32 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

So, basically this is saying that liberals are mentally 10-year olds.

That makes sense.


2 posted on 05/28/2010 8:59:16 PM PDT by RockinRight (I can see November from here!)
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To: RockinRight

I think that gives them too much credit.


3 posted on 05/28/2010 9:00:34 PM PDT by aliquando (A Scout is T, L, H, F, C, K, O, C, T, B, C, and R.)
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To: neverdem

The craziness of true Marxism is that it realizes that early humans did it because they had to. As soon as they advanced, things changed. However, they think that the old tribe way of ‘nobody gets ahead’ (which never really existed, there was always a chief or leader of some sort) is the ultimate human condition to be in. Nuts.


4 posted on 05/28/2010 9:01:34 PM PDT by Tolsti2
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To: neverdem

Explains why ‘rats want to lower the voting age. (If you didn’t already know.)


5 posted on 05/28/2010 9:01:56 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: RockinRight

LOL How’d the Churchill quote go? If you’re not a liberal in your grade school years you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative by the time you overcome bedwetting you have no brain... or something to that effect.


6 posted on 05/28/2010 9:03:18 PM PDT by proud_yank (Socialism - An Answer In Search Of A Question For Over 100 Years)
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To: Tolsti2

Indeed. Marxism is regressive.


7 posted on 05/28/2010 9:06:04 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: coloradan

Your tagline: Ouch; true... but still, ouch.


8 posted on 05/28/2010 9:07:08 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: neverdem
Interesting.
When my daughter was three, we started a deal at Christmas (didn't work) that she had to give some her toys to poor kids (simple version).
She looked at my husband and said no. We were surprised. He asked her why. She said Daddy you worked really hard to give me this stuff, if the kids don't have what they need they need to get a different Daddy.
Yep, at 29 she has not changed and her kids are all the same.
Work hard and you will be rewarded.
She turned out well in spite of me.
9 posted on 05/28/2010 9:07:14 PM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: neverdem

Socialists are nuts,true enough. This experiment though,hmmm,it says that only one of the children in each pair,the “dictator” got to decide what was fair.

Seems not fair.


10 posted on 05/28/2010 9:10:13 PM PDT by FreeDeerHawk
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To: Army Air Corps

I’ve been out of work for awhile, trying real hard, think I just failed in yet another interview. It sucks out there, but marxism is never an answer. It just gets in the way mostly, and cuts off so many of your chances. I’m ok for some support for disabled and unemployed, but certainly not endless welfare.


11 posted on 05/28/2010 9:12:12 PM PDT by Tolsti2
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To: RockinRight

So Liberals are adult retards. That...is my personal conclusion.

POOP... I said the “R” word. Sowwy.


12 posted on 05/28/2010 9:12:24 PM PDT by nagdt ("speak the truth but leave immediately afterward")
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To: RockinRight

Definitely. People supposedly become capable of adult logic and reason at the age of 12. Unfortunately, liberals never seem to attain that level of rational thought. They perpetually believe in the tooth fairy.


13 posted on 05/28/2010 9:13:02 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX
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To: Tolsti2

Agreed.


14 posted on 05/28/2010 9:15:22 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: Pining_4_TX

>People supposedly become capable of adult logic and reason at the age of 12. Unfortunately, liberals never seem to attain that level of rational thought.

Which means the following would just fly over their heads:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2513906/posts


15 posted on 05/28/2010 9:15:26 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: neverdem

Good news everyone, my 10 year old daughter understands totally how Obama is stealing everyone’s money by spending alone even though most of his tax increases haven’t kicked in.

She gets it. She is now asking me, why doesn’t everyone?

So I shot the question back to her, her answer “They don’t want to know”

I said, bingo, I got a genius for a daughter!


16 posted on 05/28/2010 9:16:24 PM PDT by dila813
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To: Tolsti2

What pisses off the left is the fundamental unfairness of capitalism.

In order to thrive, in a capitalist system, you have to produce something that someone else values. Leftists are far too self-centered for that to be acceptable.


17 posted on 05/28/2010 9:16:29 PM PDT by jdege
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To: neverdem

The left never grew up. hahaha


18 posted on 05/28/2010 9:24:10 PM PDT by GeronL (Political Correctness Kills)
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To: writer33; John Semmens; Lazamataz; PJ-Comix

This is just RICH


19 posted on 05/28/2010 9:29:43 PM PDT by GeronL (Political Correctness Kills)
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To: neverdem

My 2ct’s worth-Perhaps the equal sharing in the younger subset is due to having siblings at home and parents who reprimand them when they fight over toys and goodies?


20 posted on 05/28/2010 9:35:52 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: neverdem

Academia moves a century ahead of Islam...only 1300 years of knowlege left to catch up on to reach reality.


21 posted on 05/28/2010 9:43:48 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Made in America, by proud American citizens, in 1946.)
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To: FreeDeerHawk

I wonder how many of the dictators decided to kill their partner and keep it all for themselves.


22 posted on 05/28/2010 9:54:37 PM PDT by Newtoidaho (Liberals are drooling buffoons backed by satanic goons.)
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To: neverdem

Kids are born knowing only that they want “things”, it’s only later that they mature enough to know that “things” have costs associated with them.


23 posted on 05/28/2010 9:54:38 PM PDT by eclecticEel (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: 7/4/1776 - 3/21/2010)
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To: Amberdawn

I’ll add 2 more: The nuclear family tends to be socialistic, even communistic. Which is fine for a group of people related by blood and who reciprocate unconditional love toward each other. But that relationship doesn’t translate upward into anything bigger than a family group. Not even a tribe, and certainly not a nation. Liberals either don’t understand this, or they desperately wish it were so (perhaps because they were missing something in their own family lives, so try to force the society to make up for it writ large).


24 posted on 05/28/2010 10:06:16 PM PDT by Clock King (Ellisworth Toohey was right: My head's gonna explode.)
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To: Clock King

That is a big part of it I think. They see small groups that get along and support each other, and try to move that to all groups.


25 posted on 05/28/2010 10:07:51 PM PDT by Tolsti2
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To: proud_yank

If you are a conservative at 18, you have no heart. If you are a liberal at 30, you have no brains.


26 posted on 05/28/2010 10:08:17 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: svcw
...if the kids don't have what they need they need to get a different Daddy.

Ha! That's the entire story of the failure of the Great Society in one sentence! Pretty precocious kid... :)

27 posted on 05/28/2010 10:09:31 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ( "The right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended." - Rowan Atkinson)
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To: svcw

We do that here & have since my daughter was about 3 yrs old too. We go through the unused toys & IF Sassy wants new toys she must make room. Special toys are put away for her but what is no longer interesting gets passed on. If she doesn’t want to get rid of toys she gets less. She has learned to share & to give happily. I don’t know how she will turn out but so far she is a very nice child. Thankfully she is into horses so now all she wants is horse stuff & my house is less cluttered. But she also works hard to have her 2 horses, soon to be 3 & has learned to work hard. As soon as she is 13 she will earn her own lessons by cleaning stalls & that was her own idea.


28 posted on 05/28/2010 10:13:17 PM PDT by pandoraou812 (Obama as President is a DISASTER FOR AMERICA)
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To: neverdem
That's the conclusion of a new study, which finds that children's views on fairness change from egalitarian to merit-based as they grow older...of course when you've grown up getting what you do through affirmative action, through who you are rather than what you accomplish by your own efforts, you can't develop much appreciation for merit-based achievement, and thus experience the developmental lag of delayed socialistic obsession - I'm just sayin'.......
29 posted on 05/28/2010 10:14:47 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Clock King

That actually makes sense, when dad isn’t there, the state is your dad.


30 posted on 05/28/2010 10:21:34 PM PDT by BenKenobi (I want to hear more about Sam! Samwise the stouthearted!)
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
In E. Coli Fight, Some Strains Are Largely Ignored

OCD? Your Immune System Could Be to Blame

Milk: 2 glasses a day tones muscles, keeps the fat away in women, study shows (after weight-lifting)

'Stress' protein could halt aging process, say scientists

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

31 posted on 05/28/2010 10:32:37 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: aliquando

Me too.


32 posted on 05/28/2010 10:37:50 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: neverdem

I have seen communism work among adults in only one situation.

Every year I go deer hunting and then elk hunting two weeks later, with a group of friends. The work is always shared among the group, and the meat from any animals is always shared evenly.

I think the only reason it works out is that the group is small, everyone is fair, and there is a lot of work to go around.


33 posted on 05/28/2010 10:48:34 PM PDT by CurlyDave
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To: neverdem

The notion of ‘socialist’ fairness on younger children is not necessarily natural. They were socialized to these values when they were very little. See many parents teach their toddlers to share their toys with their siblings, friends, etc. They do this out of fear that the child would otherwise grow to be an anti-social who doesn’t want to share anything with other people.


34 posted on 05/28/2010 11:28:35 PM PDT by paudio (Are you better off today than in 2006, when the Democrats took over the Congress?)
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To: CurlyDave

And everyone has a gun.


35 posted on 05/28/2010 11:31:25 PM PDT by 21twelve ( UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES MY ARSE: "..now begin the work of remaking America."-Obama, 1/20/09)
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To: pandoraou812

I have a friend who has horses and she says they are wonderful animals that requires allot of work. Good for you daughter and her passion.


36 posted on 05/29/2010 6:35:52 AM PDT by svcw (Habakkuk 2:3)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...

sequel idea: “How some socialists never outgrow childhood”. THanks neverdem.


37 posted on 05/29/2010 8:29:07 AM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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