ERIC Number: ED063039
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Cooperation and Competition in Children from Ages Five to Ten Years Old: Effects of Sex, Situational Determinants, and Prior Experiences.
Six experiments were designed in order to compare the cooperative and competitive interaction of five-year-olds with that of older children up to age 10. For all experiments, children of the same age and same sex were matched in dyads. The children played various two-person games where they could obtain prizes in a variety of reward contingency conditions. The responsiveness of children to certain situational characteristics was investigated. The need for mutual assistance and the possibility for an equitable outcome were considered as, and were expected to be, situational cues for cooperative behavior. Conflict of interest and the possibility for an inequitable outcome were expected to be cues for competitive behavior. The results supported a general hypothesis that the potential responsiveness of children to both cues for cooperation and cues for competition increases with age. For older children, conflict of interest was a particularly important determinant relative to other determinants of cooperation and competition. For older children, but not for five-year-olds, prior game experiences led to greater cooperation. Sex differences did not generally approach significance. The results suggested that the predisposition of older children to be competitive in conflict of interest situations caused them to interact in maladaptive ways. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment), Age Differences, Behavioral Objectives, Behavioral Science Research, Child Development, Conflict Resolution, Experimental Psychology, Games, Group Experience, Interaction Process Analysis, Interpersonal Competence, Kindergarten Children, Maturity (Individuals), Sex Differences, Social Reinforcement
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Economic Opportunity, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for Head Start Evaluation and Research.