Young children are intrinsically motivated to see others helped.

Published

Journal Article

Young children help other people, but it is not clear why. In the current study, we found that 2-year-old children's sympathetic arousal, as measured by relative changes in pupil dilation, is similar when they themselves help a person and when they see that person being helped by a third party (and sympathetic arousal in both cases is different from that when the person is not being helped at all). These results demonstrate that the intrinsic motivation for young children's helping behavior does not require that they perform the behavior themselves and thus "get credit" for it, but rather requires only that the other person be helped. Thus, from an early age, humans seem to have genuine concern for the welfare of others.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hepach, R; Vaish, A; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • September 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 967 - 972

PubMed ID

  • 22851443

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22851443

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0956-7976

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0956797612440571

Language

  • eng