The development of recipient-dependent sharing behavior and sharing expectations in preschool children

Author: Paulus, Markus; Moore, Chris

Description: This study investigated the development of sharing expectations and sharing behavior in 3 groups of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children. We examined (a) whether preschool children expect a person to share more with a friend than with a disliked peer and (b) whether their expectation about others’ sharing behavior depends on whether there is a cost or not. Additionally, (c) we assessed children’s own sharing behavior toward the different recipients in the same situation. The results show that expectations about sharing and actual sharing follow similar developmental pathways and that recipient-dependent sharing and sharing expectations emerge around 4 years of age. Moreover, individual-level analyses provide evidence that by 5 years of age, children’s own sharing and their expectations of others’ sharing are closely related to each other.

Subject headings: Age Factors; Analysis of Variance; Child Development; Child, Preschool; Cooperative Behavior; Female; Friends; Humans; Male; Motivation; Peer Group; Social Behavior; Statistics as Topic; Sharing; Children

Publication year: 2014

Journal or book title: Developmental Psychology

Volume: 50

Issue: 3

Pages: 914-921

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Serial number: 3765

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