Extrinsic rewards undermine altruistic tendencies in 20-month-olds.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The current study investigated the influence of rewards on very young children's helping behavior. After 20-month-old infants received a material reward during a treatment phase, they subsequently were less likely to engage in further helping during a test phase as compared with infants who had previously received social praise or no reward at all. This so-called overjustification effect suggests that even the earliest helping behaviors of young children are intrinsically motivated and that socialization practices involving extrinsic rewards can undermine this tendency.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Warneken, F; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • November 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1785 - 1788

PubMed ID

  • 18999339

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-0599

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/a0013860


  • eng