Language Effects on Children’s Opinions of Snakes
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As a society we can express fears over many things, with this fear sometimes escalating into a phobia indicating an even higher level of fear. However, knowing what is causing these fears and phobias has received much debate over whether this is something innate and we are born with these fears, or it is something that is learned from our environment. There is still not a definitive answer in the literature. Perhaps this debate really does not have an either/or answer, but rather might be a combination of the two theories. When looking at the environmental factors, research examining the effects that language use can have on children’s opinions have shown promising results for affecting the way our young children view their world. The current research further explored that connection between language use and children’s opinions by making use of gender pronouns in non-objectifying language and the influence it may have on 3-year-old children’s aversion to snakes. It was hoped that the non-objectifying condition would have a positive effect on the children’s opinions of snakes, with more children from that condition choosing the nice option for the snake. However, this is not what the researchers found. There were no significant effects observed during this research.