The relation between young children's physiological arousal and their motivation to help others.

Loading...
Thumbnail Image

Date

2017-10-10

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats

181
views
1060
downloads

Citation Stats

Abstract

Children are motivated to help others from an early age. However, little is known about the internal biological mechanisms underlying their motivation to help. Here, we compiled data from five separate studies in which children, ranging in age from 18 months to 5.5 years, witnessed an adult needing help. In all studies, we assessed both (1) children's internal physiological arousal via changes in their pupil dilation, and (2) the latency and likelihood of them providing help. The results showed that the greater the baseline-corrected change in children's internal arousal in response to witnessing the need situation, the faster and more likely children were to help the adult. This was not the case for the baseline measure of children's tonic arousal state. Together, these results suggest that children's propensity to help is systematically related to their physiological arousal after they witness others needing help. This sheds new light on the biological mechanisms underlying not only young children's social perception but also their prosocial motivation more generally.

Department

Description

Provenance

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.10.010

Publication Info

Hepach, Robert, Amrisha Vaish, Katharina Müller and Michael Tomasello (2017). The relation between young children's physiological arousal and their motivation to help others. Neuropsychologia. 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.10.010 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16119.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Scholars@Duke

Tomasello

Michael Tomasello

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.


Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.