Back in March, Anderson Cooper famously compared Donald Trump to a 5-year-old. The presidential nominee had tweeted a flattering photo of his wife Melania juxtaposed with a less-flattering photo of the wife of his then-opponent Ted Cruz, and, when Cooper pressed him, he defended the tweet with a kindergartener’s default excuse: “I didn’t start it.”
Trump turned 70 this summer. But there may, in the broadest of senses, be science to support Cooper’s analogy—at least when considering what his election would look like to preschoolers. A lot has been written about kids’ less-than-favorable perceptions of the Republican presidential nominee: Children are turned off by his bullying tactics; his threats of deportation make them anxious; and they look up to role models, like parents or teachers, who despise him. But this reporting typically relies on feedback from children who are already reaching the upper levels of elementary school. To younger children, Trump may actually be quite appealing.
According to a new study published in the journal Developmental Psychology, those who are domineering and greedy might have an advantage in 3- and 4-year-olds’ social worlds. This is a world in which the bossy, aggressive, selfish kids thrive at the expense of their less-bossy, less-aggressive, less-selfish peers, and one in which unfair social hierarchies are something to be retained rather than eradicated. These preferences reverse with age, fading away around age 5, and by age 8, according to the study, they’re pretty much the opposite: Kids want to counteract inequality, to be good samaritans and help the little guy.
[For more of this story, written by Alia Wong, go to https://www.theatlantic.com/ed...preschoolers/506312/]