Young Children Want to See Others Get the Help They Need
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© 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.Children's instrumental helping has sometimes been interpreted as a desire to complete action sequences or to restore the physical order of things. Two-year-old children (n = 51) selectively retrieved for an adult the object he needed rather than one he did not (but which equally served to restore the previous order of things), and those with greater internal arousal (i.e., pupil dilation) were faster to help. In a second experiment (n = 64), children's arousal increased when they witnessed an adult respond inappropriately to another adult's need. This was not the case in a nonsocial control condition. These findings suggest that children's helping is not aimed at restoring the order of things but rather at seeing another person's need fulfilled.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1111/cdev.12633
Publication InfoHepach, R; Vaish, A; Grossmann, T; & Tomasello, Michael (2016). Young Children Want to See Others Get the Help They Need. Child Development, 87(6). pp. 1703-1714. 10.1111/cdev.12633. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13636.
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James F. Bonk Distinguished Professor
Major research interests in processes of social cognition, social learning, cooperation, and communication from developmental, comparative, and cultural perspectives. Current theoretical focus on processes of shared intentionality. Empirical research mainly with human children from 1 to 4 years of age and great apes.