The Echoes of the Mind (122) Fairness


The guest will judge better of a feast than the cook. ~ Aristotle

Sense of fairness influences how social interactions are perceived. How fairness is expressed as a norm colors cultures and societies more strongly than any other value.

From an early age, children can detect the difference between dominant and subordinate individuals. 3-year-olds, who feel strongly dependent upon their parents, identify with the dominant, even when witnessing unfairness.

This tendency to favor the dominant diminishes by the age of 5 and is completely reversed by the age of 8. By this age, children have a strong sense of egalitarianism. Further socialization may erode that fine quality.

The fairer you are, the wiser you become. ~ Chinese American technologist Pearl Zhu