Socio-cognitive mechanisms of fairness
UC Irvine Department of Cognitive Sciences
One of the most critical societal issues is our perpetuation of inequality. One important quandary, however, is that humans agree that equality is important, but continue to endorse and perpetuate existing inequalities. This talk presents some developmental evidence for why this may be the case. In particular, this talk presents data suggesting that our understanding equality and inequality follow distinct developmental trajectories and are underpinned by separate underlying cognitive mechanisms. The first part of the talk discusses how developing counting skills help enable children’s abilities to engage in equal resource distribution. The second part of the talk shows that at the same time, counting skills do not help children appreciate and resolve outstanding inequalities. Overall, the talk points to how cognitive and social influences may jointly impact our abilities to reason about inequality.