Saturday, August 20, 2011
Of Babies and Property Rights
Research investigated young children's understanding of property rights. 2 and 3-year-olds participated in situations where an actor (1) took an object for himself, and (2) attempted to throw it away. Sometimes the actor owned the object, sometimes the child, sometimes a 3rd party.
Results found that 2 and 3-year-olds protested frequently when their own object was involved, only 3-year-olds protested more when a third party's object was involved as compared with the object being the actor's. This suggests that by 3, children begin to understand property rights.