Children's Intrinsic Motivation to Provide Help Themselves After Accidentally Harming Others.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Little is known about the flexibility of children's prosocial motivation. Here, 2- and 3-year-old children's (n = 128) internal arousal, as measured via changes in pupil dilation, was increased after they accidentally harmed a victim but were unable to repair the harm. If they were able to repair (or if they themselves did not cause the harm and the help was provided by someone else) their arousal subsided. This suggests that children are especially motivated to help those whom they have harmed, perhaps out of a sense of guilt and a desire to reconcile with them. Young children care not only about the well-being of others but also about the relationship they have with those who depend on their help.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hepach, R; Vaish, A; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • July 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 88 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1251 - 1264

PubMed ID

  • 27800601

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-8624

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-3920

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/cdev.12646


  • eng