Concern for Group Reputation Increases Prosociality in Young Children.

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2018-02

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Abstract

The motivation to build and maintain a positive personal reputation promotes prosocial behavior. But individuals also identify with their groups, and so it is possible that the desire to maintain or enhance group reputation may have similar effects. Here, we show that 5-year-old children actively invest in the reputation of their group by acting more generously when their group's reputation is at stake. Children shared significantly more resources with fictitious other children not only when their individual donations were public rather than private but also when their group's donations (effacing individual donations) were public rather than private. These results provide the first experimental evidence that concern for group reputation can lead to higher levels of prosociality.

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10.1177/0956797617733830

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Engelmann, Jan M, Esther Herrmann and Michael Tomasello (2018). Concern for Group Reputation Increases Prosociality in Young Children. Psychol Sci, 29(2). pp. 181–190. 10.1177/0956797617733830 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16106.

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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.


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