You are here: Home Publications Majority influence in children and other animals

Majority influence in children and other animals

Haun, D. B. M., Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., & Edelson, M. G. (2013). Majority influence in children and other animals. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 3, 61-71. doi:10.1016/j.dcn.2012.09.003.
We here review existing evidence for majority influences in children under the age of ten years and comparable studies with animals ranging from fish to apes. Throughout the review, we structure the discussion surrounding majority influences by differentiating the behaviour of individuals in the presence of a majority and the underlying mechanisms and motivations. Most of the relevant research to date in both developmental psychology and comparative psychology has focused on the behavioural outcomes, where a multitude of mechanisms could be at play. We further propose that interpreting cross-species differences in behavioural patterns is difficult without considering the psychology of the individual. Some attempts at this have been made both in developmental psychology and comparative psychology. We propose that physiological measures should be used to subsidize behavioural studies in an attempt to understand the composition of mechanisms and motivations underlying majority influence. We synthesize the relevant evidence on human brain function in order to provide a framework for future investigation in this area. In addition to streamlining future research efforts, we aim to create a conceptual platform for productive exchanges across the related disciplines of developmental and comparative psychology.
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.


Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213

Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn