Proud to help when i should: Children's positive emotions following sharing decisions with a needy versus not-needy other

Hagit Sabato, Tal Eyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined children's distinct positive emotions (pride vs. joy) following sharing decisions while manipulating the recipient's neediness. Whereas both emotions are positive and desirable, pride is experienced when adhering to social goals and expectations. Therefore, we hypothesized that, with age, as children become more aware of their society's norms and internalize them, pride would be more positively related to sharing situations that highlight social norms and expectations (i.e., sharing with a poor child). We examined this hypothesis between two age groups (7–9 and 10–12 years) while assessing children's predictions of others’ emotions following a decision to share in hypothetical scenarios (Study 1) and their self-reports following actual sharing decisions (Study 2). We found that older children (10–12 years), but not younger children (7–9 years), predicted more intense pride for protagonists who had decided to share their endowment with a needy other (recipient in poverty) than with a not-needy other. This effect was mediated by older children's perception of the motivation to share with a needy other (what one should do). A similar pattern was found for overall positive feelings (pride and joy) in children's self-reports following an actual sharing decision.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105400
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume219
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Motivation to share
  • Neediness
  • Positive emotions
  • Pride
  • Prosocial development
  • Sharing behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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