Sister, Neighbor, Friend: Thinking About Multiple Roles Boosts Kids' Performance

Posted on July 4, 2019

Researchers have conducted a study to understand how increasing a child’s awareness to the various roles they play can have an impact on their abilities. The research involved 196 children who are about 6 to 7 years old, divided into two groups. The first group of participants were informed about their multiple identities, while the second group was simply made aware of their physical features.

Another set of experiments was carried out as well, similarly involving a group of children who were reminded about the various roles they play, but this time the other group of children were made aware about other children’s multiple identities instead of their own. The research required participants to engage in several tasks that tested their problem-solving skills and their creativity.

Results indicated that increasing a child’s awareness about the various roles that they themselves play can improves their abilities in different aspects like problem-solving and flexible thinking. Furthermore, these children exhibited a more flexible mindset about social groups, while other children mainly categorised faces based on racial identity and gender.

These findings are useful as they have proven a way that will enhance flexible thinking in youths, which is important in our current society where many different cultures coexist in the same space. This will then enable parents and teachers to help guide children into being more inclusive and less likely to stereotype or develop prejudices.

As people have various identities such as being a mother, friend, neighbour or son, getting children to think about their different roles would encourage them to take more things into consideration and develop an open and creative mind.

Category(s):Child Development, Parenting

Source material from Science Daily