Paper - Friendship trumps neediness: The impact of social relations and others’ wealth on preschool children’s sharing

  • Metadata:
    • author: Markus Paulus
    • title: Friendship trumps neediness: The impact of social relations and others’ wealth on preschool children’s sharing
    • year: 20162016

    • url: Weblink
  • Background:
    • prosocial behaviorprosocial behavior
      Prosocial behavior encompasses all actions that benefit others without having a direct (material) gain for the actor. Typical prosocial behavior seen in children: sharing, helping, and cheering up....
    • Children engage in sharing at ages 3-6
    • Is this kind of sharing motivated by social relations or by morals?
  • Research Question:
    • Do children share more with a rich friend than a poor non-friend (enemy)?
  • 3-4 year-olds were compared to 5-6 year-olds, rich and non-rich were operationalized with stickers
  • Study 1:
    • Method:
      • Share with rich friend or poor non-friend
      • They could decide to share or not share in different conditions: share with cost (giving more means receiving less), share without cost, share with envy (other would get more)
    • Results:
      • Children preferred the rich friend in nearly all conditions
  • Study 2:
    • Method:
      • Distribute between rich friend and poor non-friend
      • They had to make choices in different conditions: unfair in either direction, fair vs rich more, fair vs poor more
    • Results:
      • Children preferred the rich friend in nearly all conditions, this effect even increased with age
  • Study 3:
    • Method:
      • Distribute between rich friend and poor stranger
      • They had to make choices in different conditions: unfair in either direction, fair vs rich more, fair vs poor more
    • Results:
      • If fairness is an option, children are more likely to share with the stranger compared to if they would have to chose an option that is unfair to their rich friend.
      • Older children distribute more resources to their friend
  • Interpretation:
    • Children value social relations over morals when deciding on who to share resources with.
    • This trend gets stronger with age, where social relations beat out fairness by an even larger margin