Young Children Want to See Others Get the Help They Need.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Children's instrumental helping has sometimes been interpreted as a desire to complete action sequences or to restore the physical order of things. Two-year-old children (n = 51) selectively retrieved for an adult the object he needed rather than one he did not (but which equally served to restore the previous order of things), and those with greater internal arousal (i.e., pupil dilation) were faster to help. In a second experiment (n = 64), children's arousal increased when they witnessed an adult respond inappropriately to another adult's need. This was not the case in a nonsocial control condition. These findings suggest that children's helping is not aimed at restoring the order of things but rather at seeing another person's need fulfilled.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hepach, R; Vaish, A; Grossmann, T; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • November 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 87 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1703 - 1714

PubMed ID

  • 28262942

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-8624

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-3920

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/cdev.12633


  • eng