Toddlers show racial bias when picking playmates, a study reveals.
They also take account of how fairly others behave.
Researchers tested the reaction of white 15-month-olds as toys were distributed.
Two white adults divided the toys, one equally and the other unequally.
Seventy per cent of the toddlers chose to play with the researcher who distributed the toys fairly.
But in a second test, when one researcher favoured a white recipient over an Asian one, they picked the ‘fair’ researcher less often, the journal Frontiers in Psychology reports.
And the babies are more likely to help those who share the same ethnicity, which is known as in-group bias when people favour those with the same characteristics as oneself.
The University of Washington team first noticed the phenomenon when the infants began playing favourites with the researchers during a previous experiment.