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ERIC Number: EJ905464
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-3920
Young Children Selectively Avoid Helping People with Harmful Intentions
Vaish, Amrisha; Carpenter, Malinda; Tomasello, Michael
Child Development, v81 n6 p1661-1669 Nov-Dec 2010
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.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A