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isten in English

Tribalism among Children

Published: 3.16.2018
Level 4   |   Time: 1:41
Accent: American
Source: The Ezra Klein Show (2.26.2018)

TOEFL: A clip describing a study that shows how even young children show tribal instincts.


You can download the file [ HERE ].


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio above.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • tribal [adj] - showing loyalty to people that are part of your own group
  • fundamentally [adv] - at the most basic or essential level
  • exclude [v] - prevent access
  • rooted [adj] - based on
  • instincts [n] - a natural or intuitive way of acting or thinking
  • astonishing [adj] - surprising
  • computer docks [n] - computer stations
  • moral [adj] - good or ethical
  • systematically [adv] - done or acting in a fixed plan or system
  • hard-wired [adj] - genetically determined or compelled
  • sort ourselves [exp] - divide ourselves into teams
  • flimsy [adj] - unimportant or weak
  • intensify [v] - make stronger

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Comprehension Questions

  1. What two fundamental instincts does the man say that people have?
    People want to avoid groups.
    People want to belong to a group.
    People want to exclude people from their group.
    People want to attack other groups.

  2. How old were the children in the study?
    Under the age of 8
    From about 5 to 10
    10 years old

  3. How many groups did they divide the group into?

  4. How did they show pictures to the children?
    On computers
    In magazines
    Face to face

  5. How were the children assigned their shirt color?
    The older children wore the blue shirts.
    The boys wore blue shirts; the girls wore red shirts.

  6. What was the relationship between the children in the study and people in the pictures?
    They were from the same cities.
    They had similar interests.
    There was no connection.

  7. How did the children wearing red shirts judge people in the pictures wearing blue shirts?

  8. How did the children wearing red shirts judge people in the pictures wearing red shirts?

  9. How does the woman describe this example of tribalism?

triangle TOEFL Questions

  1. What is the discussion mainly about?
    (A) A study demonstrating the power of tribalism
    (B) A study showing why children like and dislike certain people
    (C) A study on the effects of color
    (D) A study about how children choose their friends

  2. Why does the man want the woman to talk about the study?
    (A) Because the study is very recent.
    (B) Because the woman wrote about it in her book.
    (C) Because it is light-hearted example that is easy to understand.
    (D) Because it demonstrates how powerful tribalism is in people.

  3. Why were the children given different colored shirts?
    (A) To create tribal groups
    (B) To help the scientists differentiate between the children
    (C) To indicate the ages of the children
    (D) To keep the children focused and entertained

  4. How did children rate people wearing the same colored shirts as themselves.
    (A) Positively
    (B) Negatively
    (C) Neutrally
    (D) Sometimes positively, sometimes negatively

  5. What does the woman mean when she says this?

    (A) People often use computers to put themselves into tribal groups.
    (B) People naturally want to put themselves into tribal groups.
    (C) People have to be taught to put themselves into tribal groups.
    (D) People often reject tribal groups if the connection is not strong.

  6. What will the next part of this discussion probably be about?
    (A) Some of the positive effects of tribalism
    (B) How to stop children from becoming so tribal.
    (C) A more serious example of tribal behavior
    (D) How to overcome tribal behavior

triangle Script

We are fundamentally very tribal. The instinct to both belong to a group and to exclude to other groups is one of our deepest most fundamentally rooted instincts. And I'd like you to describe a study that you talk about in the book, which is what happened when researchers just gave children red shirts and blue shirts. Because I think it's such a great example of how deep this runs in us.

Well this is astonishing. They took a group of random kids, I don't know between the ages of 5 and 10 I think, and they just randomly assigned half of them red t-shirts and the other half blue. And then they put them at these computer docks and showed them pictures of very similar kinds of kids, but some wearing blue t-shirts and some wearing red t-shirts. And they investigators, the researchers, asked a bunch of questions.

And it was absolutely astounding. These children, without knowing a thing about the people you know whose pictures that we're seeing, would consistently say that the people wearing the shirt color that was on their quote unquote team, even though they never met these people, they would rate them as smarter better more moral. When told stories about both groups, they would systematically remember all the good things about the people wearing their shirt color and all the bad things about people wearing the other shirt color.

So what this shows is just how hard-wired we are to want to sort ourselves into these groups even along the flimsiest of lines. I mean these people don't even know each other. And when you intensify these studies, it gets it gets a lot worse. I mean this is just kind of a light-hearted example.

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