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Direct cost does not impact on young children's spontaneous helping behavior.

Nielsen M, Gigante J, Collier-Baker E - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: In a control condition children were given no information about the effect of potential helping behavior.Alternatively they were informed that helping would either cost them (i.e., they would miss out on getting the reward) or benefit them (i.e., they would get the reward).It was hypothesized that children would be less likely, and slower, to help in the cost condition, compared to the other two conditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Early Cognitive Development Centre, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland Brisbane, QLD, Australia ; School of Applied Human Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban, South Africa.

ABSTRACT
The propensity of humans to engage in prosocial behavior is unlike that of any other species. Individuals will help others even when it comes at a cost to themselves, and even when the others are complete strangers. However, to date, scant empirical evidence has been forthcoming on young children's altruistic tendencies. To investigate this 45 4-year-olds were presented with a task in which they had opportunity to help an adult confederate retrieve a reward from a novel box. In a control condition children were given no information about the effect of potential helping behavior. Alternatively they were informed that helping would either cost them (i.e., they would miss out on getting the reward) or benefit them (i.e., they would get the reward). It was hypothesized that children would be less likely, and slower, to help in the cost condition, compared to the other two conditions. This hypothesis was not supported: children across all conditions provided help at near ceiling levels.

No MeSH data available.


Test apparatus and associated tools.
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Figure 1: Test apparatus and associated tools.

Mentions: Children were presented with a rectangular wooden box (48.2 cm × 25.5 cm × 13.2 cm) made up of three different colored compartments (see Figure 1), mounted on a wooden base. The lid of the box could be fixed shut with a wooden latch, and the lid was transparent, allowing children to see the reward when placed inside. Each reward consisted of a plastic orange pod that contained two jellybeans (or two stickers if parents preferred their children did not receive jellybeans). Each compartment had a different sized opening on one side (1, 1.3, and 2.1 cm diameter, for the white, black, and orange compartments respectively), which lined up with a chute in which the pods were placed. On the other side of each chute were larger openings (4 cm diameter) from which each pod could exit the apparatus.


Direct cost does not impact on young children's spontaneous helping behavior.

Nielsen M, Gigante J, Collier-Baker E - Front Psychol (2014)

Test apparatus and associated tools.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4274792&req=5

Figure 1: Test apparatus and associated tools.
Mentions: Children were presented with a rectangular wooden box (48.2 cm × 25.5 cm × 13.2 cm) made up of three different colored compartments (see Figure 1), mounted on a wooden base. The lid of the box could be fixed shut with a wooden latch, and the lid was transparent, allowing children to see the reward when placed inside. Each reward consisted of a plastic orange pod that contained two jellybeans (or two stickers if parents preferred their children did not receive jellybeans). Each compartment had a different sized opening on one side (1, 1.3, and 2.1 cm diameter, for the white, black, and orange compartments respectively), which lined up with a chute in which the pods were placed. On the other side of each chute were larger openings (4 cm diameter) from which each pod could exit the apparatus.

Bottom Line: In a control condition children were given no information about the effect of potential helping behavior.Alternatively they were informed that helping would either cost them (i.e., they would miss out on getting the reward) or benefit them (i.e., they would get the reward).It was hypothesized that children would be less likely, and slower, to help in the cost condition, compared to the other two conditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Early Cognitive Development Centre, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland Brisbane, QLD, Australia ; School of Applied Human Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban, South Africa.

ABSTRACT
The propensity of humans to engage in prosocial behavior is unlike that of any other species. Individuals will help others even when it comes at a cost to themselves, and even when the others are complete strangers. However, to date, scant empirical evidence has been forthcoming on young children's altruistic tendencies. To investigate this 45 4-year-olds were presented with a task in which they had opportunity to help an adult confederate retrieve a reward from a novel box. In a control condition children were given no information about the effect of potential helping behavior. Alternatively they were informed that helping would either cost them (i.e., they would miss out on getting the reward) or benefit them (i.e., they would get the reward). It was hypothesized that children would be less likely, and slower, to help in the cost condition, compared to the other two conditions. This hypothesis was not supported: children across all conditions provided help at near ceiling levels.

No MeSH data available.