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ERIC Number: EJ1165301
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Selectivity in Toddlers' Behavioral and Emotional Reactions to Prosocial and Antisocial Others
Van de Vondervoort, Julia W.; Aknin, Lara B.; Kushnir, Tamar; Slevinsky, Janine; Hamlin, J. Kiley
Developmental Psychology, v54 n1 p1-14 Jan 2018
Whereas some evidence suggests that toddlers consider targets' deservingness when deciding whom to help, other research demonstrates that toddlers help indiscriminately. The present findings shed light on this discrepancy by demonstrating that although toddlers do exhibit selectivity in giving behaviors, their emotional responses are comparatively indiscriminate. Specifically, in Experiment 1, 20-month-olds (N = 64) were more likely to give preferred toys to prosocial versus antisocial puppets, and more likely to withhold toys from antisocial versus prosocial puppets. Experiment 2 (N = 64) ruled out low-level explanations for the effects observed in Experiment 1, demonstrating that toddlers do not show the same effects when puppets' toy preferences are unclear. Despite providing evidence for selectivity in giving behaviors, across both experiments, toddlers were happier after giving than before giving, regardless of what they gave or whom they gave to. These results reveal the possibility of a divergence in early prosociality: Toddlers' giving behaviors are responsive to recipient deservingness, but their after-the-fact emotional reactions are responsive to giving acts themselves. Results are discussed in terms of their relevance to the debate regarding whether toddlers' early prosocial behaviors are discriminate versus indiscriminate.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A