Patterns of self–other overlap in children

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Delaney A. Collyer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Stuart Marcovitch

Abstract: Self–other overlap is a multi-dimensional construct; however, little is known about the characterization of these dimensions through early to middle childhood. The present work introduced several adapted measures for investigating the early development of two self–other overlap dimensions: Perceived Closeness (claimed similarity with a target other) and Overlapping Representations (cognitive confusion or merging of self and other). Children aged 5-6 (n = 45) and 7-8 (n = 45) completed measures of these dimensions of overlap between themselves and a close (best friend) and distant (acquaintance) target other. Children in both age groups had higher Perceived Closeness for a close than a distant target other, with larger distinction between the target others by the older group than the younger group. No Target Relationship differences were found for Overlapping Representations measures; however, exploratory analyses revealed patterns of self-enhancement in ratings of self and others, as well as a tendency for younger children to make more favorable misattributions to the self than to others in a trait memory game. An Age effect for one Overlapping Representations measure suggested that younger children have higher Overlapping Representations with others than do older children. These patterns are discussed in terms of the emergence of self-concept and cognitive abilities, the development of implicit personality theories, and self–other overlap’s relations with person perception and biases, as well as considerations for future measurement.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Children, Person perception, Self–other overlap
Child psychology
Self-perception in children
Social perception in children
Social interaction in children
Attribution (Social psychology) in children

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