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Do-gooder derogation in children: the social costs of generosity.

Tasimi A, Dominguez A, Wynn K - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: In Experiment 1, children showed a strong preference for a generous to a stingy child; however, this preference was significantly reduced in a situation that afforded children a comparison of their own (lesser) generosity to that of another child.In Experiment 2, children's liking for a generous individual was not reduced when that individual was an adult, suggesting that similarity in age influences whether a child engages in social comparison.These findings indicate that, by middle childhood, coming up short in comparison with a peer can decrease one's liking for a generous individual.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Yale University , New Haven, CT, USA.

ABSTRACT
Generosity is greatly valued and admired, but can it sometimes be unappealing? The current study investigated 8- to 10-year-old children's (N = 128) preference for generous individuals, and the effects of social comparison on their preferences. In Experiment 1, children showed a strong preference for a generous to a stingy child; however, this preference was significantly reduced in a situation that afforded children a comparison of their own (lesser) generosity to that of another child. In Experiment 2, children's liking for a generous individual was not reduced when that individual was an adult, suggesting that similarity in age influences whether a child engages in social comparison. These findings indicate that, by middle childhood, coming up short in comparison with a peer can decrease one's liking for a generous individual.

No MeSH data available.


Percentage of children choosing each character in the Comparison and No Comparison conditions in Experiment 1 (A) and Experiment 2 (B).
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Figure 1: Percentage of children choosing each character in the Comparison and No Comparison conditions in Experiment 1 (A) and Experiment 2 (B).

Mentions: In the No Comparison condition, children almost unanimously selected the generous character (30 of 32 children, binomial probability test, p < 0.001), showing a strong preference for a generous character over an ungenerous one. For the Comparison condition, because we were interested specifically in children’s liking for a generous individual who showed them up, we focused on those children who gave fewer stickers than the generous character (30 of 32 children). These subjects also, by and large, preferred the generous character (22 of 30 children, binomial probability test, p = 0.016), but this preference was significantly reduced relative to that shown in the No Comparison condition (Fisher’s exact test, p = 0.04)1; see Figure 1A. There was over a fourfold increase in children’s choice of the ungenerous character from 6% in the No Comparison condition to 26.6% in the Comparison condition. Thus, a situation that afforded a comparison of children’s own generosity to that of a generous child significantly reduced their preference for that child, relative to their preference for someone who did not show them up.


Do-gooder derogation in children: the social costs of generosity.

Tasimi A, Dominguez A, Wynn K - Front Psychol (2015)

Percentage of children choosing each character in the Comparison and No Comparison conditions in Experiment 1 (A) and Experiment 2 (B).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4508481&req=5

Figure 1: Percentage of children choosing each character in the Comparison and No Comparison conditions in Experiment 1 (A) and Experiment 2 (B).
Mentions: In the No Comparison condition, children almost unanimously selected the generous character (30 of 32 children, binomial probability test, p < 0.001), showing a strong preference for a generous character over an ungenerous one. For the Comparison condition, because we were interested specifically in children’s liking for a generous individual who showed them up, we focused on those children who gave fewer stickers than the generous character (30 of 32 children). These subjects also, by and large, preferred the generous character (22 of 30 children, binomial probability test, p = 0.016), but this preference was significantly reduced relative to that shown in the No Comparison condition (Fisher’s exact test, p = 0.04)1; see Figure 1A. There was over a fourfold increase in children’s choice of the ungenerous character from 6% in the No Comparison condition to 26.6% in the Comparison condition. Thus, a situation that afforded a comparison of children’s own generosity to that of a generous child significantly reduced their preference for that child, relative to their preference for someone who did not show them up.

Bottom Line: In Experiment 1, children showed a strong preference for a generous to a stingy child; however, this preference was significantly reduced in a situation that afforded children a comparison of their own (lesser) generosity to that of another child.In Experiment 2, children's liking for a generous individual was not reduced when that individual was an adult, suggesting that similarity in age influences whether a child engages in social comparison.These findings indicate that, by middle childhood, coming up short in comparison with a peer can decrease one's liking for a generous individual.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Yale University , New Haven, CT, USA.

ABSTRACT
Generosity is greatly valued and admired, but can it sometimes be unappealing? The current study investigated 8- to 10-year-old children's (N = 128) preference for generous individuals, and the effects of social comparison on their preferences. In Experiment 1, children showed a strong preference for a generous to a stingy child; however, this preference was significantly reduced in a situation that afforded children a comparison of their own (lesser) generosity to that of another child. In Experiment 2, children's liking for a generous individual was not reduced when that individual was an adult, suggesting that similarity in age influences whether a child engages in social comparison. These findings indicate that, by middle childhood, coming up short in comparison with a peer can decrease one's liking for a generous individual.

No MeSH data available.