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Paulus, Markus; Schmidt, Marco F. H. (January 2018): The early development of the normative mind. In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Vol. 165: pp. 1-6
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Normativity is pervasive in everyday human social interactions and perhaps even constitutive of human forms of group and societal living. During the past decade, there has been increased interest in the ontogeny of normativity and the role that norms play in early social reasoning and behavior. Given the ubiquity of normativity, it is vital to investigate the development of children’s normative understanding and behavior in a variety of different contexts, ranging from prosocial behavior to rational action or from linguistic competencies to cultural norms and values. Hence, in this special issue on the early development of the normative mind, researchers from different theoretical traditions have employed a number of different methods (e.g., third-party norm enforcement, judgment and reasoning, social behavior) to address different, yet related, research questions about the ontogeny of normativity. Here, we introduce the reader to the current debate and point to important research questions for the field.