Various studies have indicated that children’s preferences are biased towards those who have more resources or who are considered more fortunate than others. Little is known, however, about whether this preference translates to a moral assessment of the character of those with more or less resources. Our study included 46 children aged four to five. We asked participants to indicate their preference for the richer and the poorer in desirable resources. We also asked them to attribute the moral character of the moral agent or moral recipient. The children revealed a strong bias towards the advantaged character. Not only did they prefer him as a future friend, they also attributed morally positive social roles to him.
The text deals with the counterfactual thinking of preschool children. The theoretical justification for the research can be found in the nativist concepts of Alan Leslie and Alison Gopnik, which assumes that even very young children have a natural ability to accept the strangest creations of the imagination and to connect them together into one amazing whole. During the research, recognizing children’s metaphorical meanings required me to act as an interpretively involved observer-as-participant. In doing so, educational interventions enabled me to be situated within the observed phenomena, in close relationship with the children being studied. The observation, meanwhile, embraced the spontaneous activities of the children engaged in symbolic playing and the effect of these activities (mainly artistic concretizations). The liberation of counterfactual thinking in preschoolers being induced with literary texts. The collected material has allowed me to draw conclusions applicable to educational practice.