Journal article
Giving Is Nicer than Taking: Preschoolers Reciprocate Based on the Social Intentions of the Distributor



Publication Details
Authors:
Vogelsang, M.; Tomasello, M.
Publication year:
2016
Journal:
PLOS ONE
Pages range:
1-12
Volume number:
11
ISSN:
1932-6203

Abstract
Recent research has found that even preschoolers give more resources to others who havepreviously given resources to them, but the psychological bases of this reciprocity areunknown. In our study, a puppet distributed resources between herself and a child by takingsome from a pile in front of the child or else by giving some from a pile in front of herself.Although the resulting distributions were identical, three- and five-year-olds reciprocatedless generously when the puppet had taken rather than given resources. This suggests thatchildren’s judgments about resource distribution are more about the social intentions of thedistributor and the social framing of the distributional act than about the amount of resourcesobtained. In order to rule out that the differences in the children’s reciprocal behavior weremerely due to experiencing gains and losses, we conducted a follow-up study. Here, threeand-five year olds won or lost resources in a lottery draw and could then freely give or takeresources to/from a puppet, respectively. In this study, they did not respond differently afterwinning vs. losing resources.


Authors/Editors

Last updated on 2019-01-11 at 16:03