Emerging Care for Reputation by 3- to 7-year-olds Open Access

Robbins, Erin Elizabeth (2008)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/p2676v93m?locale=en
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Abstract


Abstract
Emerging Care for Reputation by 3- to 7-year-olds
By Erin E. Robbins
Studies of early prosocial behavior document that between 3- and 5-years old,
children become less self-favoring and more egalitarian in their sharing
(Benenson, Markovits, Roy, & Denko, 2003; Fehr et al., in press; Rochat et al., in
press). Utilizing a modified public dictator (sharing) game, the current study
asked whether this developmental trend toward equity is determined in part by
concern for reputation and social evaluation, as well as by the child's ability to
theorize about other minds. In public and private conditions, 3- to 7-year olds
distributed twice a small collection of valuable coins between themselves and an
experimenter, or between two identical dolls (control condition). Compared to
their younger cohorts, older children were less self-favoring in the public
compared to the private condition and behaved more strategically in their
differential distribution of the coins. In relation to theory of mind, amongst five-
year olds, children who passed a classic false belief task (Callaghan et al., 2005;
Wellman & Liu, 2004) were more equitable in public (compared to private)
sharing than children who failed the task. Results suggest that care for reputation
emerges between 5-and 7-years of age and potentially correlates with the
emergence of theories of mind. The relevance of these findings to the
development of moral reasoning are discussed, with particular emphasis placed
on the child's adoption of an `ethical stance.'

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . 1
Development of prosocial behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Game Theoretical Evidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Competing Accounts:
General Perceptual Theories and Theory of Mind . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Current Study and Hypotheses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

METHOD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Participants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Experimental Paradigm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Scoring and Measurement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

RESULTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Preliminary Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Differences in Self-Maximizing Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Emergence of Equitable Sharing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Sensitivity to Changing Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Strategic Use of Coins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Distribution of the First Coin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Analysis of the Mixed Condition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

DISCUSSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Do Children Demonstrate Concern for How
Reputation is Evaluated? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Does Strategic Distribution of Coins
Demonstrate Social Norm Conformity? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Development of an 'Ethical Stance' . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Future Consideration and Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

TABLE 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

FIGURE CAPTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
FIGURE 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
FIGURE 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
FIGURE 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
FIGURE 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

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