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Paulus, Markus (2016): Friendship trumps neediness: The impact of social relations and others' wealth on preschool children's sharing. In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Vol. 146: pp. 106-120
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Abstract

Recent work has suggested the presence of a variety of motives and mechanisms that affect young children's sharing decisions. Yet, little is known about the relative impact of these motives. In three experiments with 3- to 6-year-old children (total N=140), the current study contrasts two important recipient characteristics that have been suggested to play a major role in early sharing;the positive social relationship between children and recipients and the differences in recipients' wealth. To this end, children could allocate resources to a friend who already possessed a lot of them and to a nonfriend (Experiments 1 and 2) or a stranger (Experiment 3) who owned only very few resources. Across age, children showed a preference to share more with their rich friend, although this tendency was stronger in the older preschool children. The findings are discussed with respect to theoretical accounts on the psychological basis of early sharing. (C) 2016 ELSEVIER. All rights reserved.