News & AnalysisChina

Making a Selfish Generation by Fiat

Science  11 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6116, pp. 131
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6116.131

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Summary

Selfish, spoiled, and maladjusted: Stereotypes about only children live large in China, where a generation of singletons has lately reached adulthood. Children born after the introduction of the one-child policy in 1979 were called "little emperors." Now that they are grown up, China Daily has dubbed the demographic the "spoiled generation." But until recently, there was little empirical evidence to back up such claims. In a paper published online this week in Science, researchers attempt to measure the degree to which the one-child policy has shaped the personalities of Chinese 20- and 30-somethings.

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