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Young children selectively avoid helping people with harmful intentions.
Child Dev. 2010 Nov-Dec; 81(6):1661-9.CD

Abstract

Two studies investigated whether young children are selectively prosocial toward others, based on the others' moral behaviors. In Study 1 (N = 54), 3-year-olds watched 1 adult (the actor) harming or helping another adult. Children subsequently helped the harmful actor less often than a third (previously neutral) adult, but helped the helpful and neutral adults equally often. In Study 2 (N = 36), 3-year-olds helped an actor who intended but failed to harm another adult less often than a neutral adult, but helped an accidentally harmful and a neutral adult equally often. Children's prosocial behavior was thus mediated by the intentions behind the actor's moral behavior, irrespective of outcome. Children thus selectively avoid helping those who cause--or even intend to cause--others harm.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany. vaish@eva.mpg.deNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21077854

Citation

Vaish, Amrisha, et al. "Young Children Selectively Avoid Helping People With Harmful Intentions." Child Development, vol. 81, no. 6, 2010, pp. 1661-9.
Vaish A, Carpenter M, Tomasello M. Young children selectively avoid helping people with harmful intentions. Child Dev. 2010;81(6):1661-9.
Vaish, A., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2010). Young children selectively avoid helping people with harmful intentions. Child Development, 81(6), 1661-9. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01500.x
Vaish A, Carpenter M, Tomasello M. Young Children Selectively Avoid Helping People With Harmful Intentions. Child Dev. 2010 Nov-Dec;81(6):1661-9. PubMed PMID: 21077854.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Young children selectively avoid helping people with harmful intentions. AU - Vaish,Amrisha, AU - Carpenter,Malinda, AU - Tomasello,Michael, PY - 2010/11/17/entrez PY - 2010/11/17/pubmed PY - 2011/4/13/medline SP - 1661 EP - 9 JF - Child development JO - Child Dev VL - 81 IS - 6 N2 - Two studies investigated whether young children are selectively prosocial toward others, based on the others' moral behaviors. In Study 1 (N = 54), 3-year-olds watched 1 adult (the actor) harming or helping another adult. Children subsequently helped the harmful actor less often than a third (previously neutral) adult, but helped the helpful and neutral adults equally often. In Study 2 (N = 36), 3-year-olds helped an actor who intended but failed to harm another adult less often than a neutral adult, but helped an accidentally harmful and a neutral adult equally often. Children's prosocial behavior was thus mediated by the intentions behind the actor's moral behavior, irrespective of outcome. Children thus selectively avoid helping those who cause--or even intend to cause--others harm. SN - 1467-8624 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21077854/Young_children_selectively_avoid_helping_people_with_harmful_intentions_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01500.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -