Preschoolers consider (absent) others when choosing a distribution procedure.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study investigated how the presence of others and anticipated distributions for self influence children's fairness-related decisions in two different socio-moral contexts. In the first part, three- and five-year-old children (N = 120) decided between a fair and an unfair wheel of fortune to allocate resources (procedural justice). In the second part, they directly chose between two distributions of resources (distributive justice). While making a decision, each child was either observed by the affected group members (public), alone (private), or no others were introduced (non-social control). Children choose the fair option more often when others were affected (independently of their presence) only in the procedural justice task. These results suggest that using a fair procedure to distribute resources allows young preschoolers to overcome selfish tendencies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Grocke, P; Rossano, F; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • January 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 8

Start / End Page

  • e0221186 -

PubMed ID

  • 31465446

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6715218

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0221186


  • eng