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

Nielsen, Mark, Gigante, Julia and Collier-Baker, Emma (2014) Direct cost does not impact on young children's spontaneous helping behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 5 DEC: 1-7. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01509

Author Nielsen, Mark
Gigante, Julia
Collier-Baker, Emma
Title Direct cost does not impact on young children's spontaneous helping behavior
Journal name Frontiers in Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1664-1078
Publication date 2014-12-23
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01509
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue DEC
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Language eng
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.
Keyword Altruism
Helping behavior
Preschool children
Prosocial behavior
Social development
Prosocial behavior
Episodic foresight
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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