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Distinguishing Family from Friends

O'Gorman, Rick and Roberts, Ruth (2017) 'Distinguishing Family from Friends.' Human Nature, 28 (3). 323 - 343. ISSN 1045-6767

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Kinship and friendship are key human relationships. Increasingly, data suggest that people are not less altruistic toward friends than close kin. Some accounts suggest that psychologically we do not distinguish between them; countering this is evidence that kinship provides a unique explanatory factor. Using the Implicit Association Test, we examined how people implicitly think about close friends versus close kin in three contexts. In Experiment 1, we examined generic attitudinal dispositions toward friends and family. In Experiment 2, attitude similarity as a marker of family and friends was examined, and in Experiments 3 and 4, strength of in-group membership for family and friends was examined. Findings show that differences exist in implicit cognitive associations toward family and friends. There is some evidence that people hold more positive general dispositions toward friends, associate attitude similarity more with friends, consider family as more representative of the in-group than friends, but see friends as more in-group than distant kin.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Rick O'Gorman
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2016 08:41
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2018 14:15

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