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04-12-2018 | Uitgave 6/2019 Open Access

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 6/2019

Can Self-Persuasion Reduce Hostile Attribution Bias in Young Children?

Tijdschrift:
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 6/2019
Auteurs:
Anouk van Dijk, Sander Thomaes, Astrid M. G. Poorthuis, Bram Orobio de Castro
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Publisher’s Note
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The data that support the research findings presented here are available on the Open Science Framework at https://​osf.​io/​fxryu/​?​view_​only=​acd916c802184e5f​89039bf06841fda0​.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Two experiments tested an intervention approach to reduce young children’s hostile attribution bias and aggression: self-persuasion. Children with high levels of hostile attribution bias recorded a video-message advocating to peers why story characters who caused a negative outcome may have had nonhostile intentions (self-persuasion condition), or they simply described the stories (control condition). Before and after the manipulation, hostile attribution bias was assessed using vignettes of ambiguous provocations. Study 1 (n = 83, age 4–8) showed that self-persuasion reduced children’s hostile attribution bias. Study 2 (n = 121, age 6–9) replicated this finding, and further showed that self-persuasion was equally effective at reducing hostile attribution bias as was persuasion by others (i.e., listening to an experimenter advocating for nonhostile intentions). Effects on aggressive behavior, however, were small and only significant for one out of four effects tested. This research provides the first evidence that self-persuasion may be an effective approach to reduce hostile attribution bias in young children.

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