Examining the Diversity of Prosocial Behavior: Helping, Sharing, and Comforting in Infancy

We examined the ability of 18- and 24-month-old infants to engage in three types of other-oriented behaviors, helping, sharing, and comforting

Kristen Dunfield; Valerie A. Kuhlmeier; Laura O’Connell; Elizabeth Kelley

2010

Scholarcy highlights

  • Prosocial behaviors are a diverse group of actions that are integral to human social life
  • We examined the ability of 18- and 24-month-old infants to engage in three types of other-oriented behaviors, helping, sharing, and comforting. Infants in both age groups engaged in more prosocial behavior on trials in which an unfamiliar adult experimenter required aid than on those in which she did not across two of the three prosocial tasks
  • The infants engaged in these behaviors with similar frequency; there was no correlation between the tasks
  • The implications for the construct of prosocial behavior and the presence of a prosocial disposition are discussed

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