Children's sharing with collaborators versus competitors: The impact of theory of mind and executive functioning
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While children show an appreciation for fairness, their sharing does not always reflect such principles. This work examined how contextual factors (competition/cooperation; self/other perspective) and socio-cognitive skills impact children's sharing. Children (4- to 6-year-olds and 7- to 9-year-olds) set up games played either with (cooperative) or against (competitive) peers. The set up involved allocating resources necessary to completing the task (e.g., blocks used to build towers). Children also completed measures of executive functioning and mentalizing skills. Children who focused on the perspective of their social partner prior to allocating resources shared fewer items than those who reflected on their own perspective. Fewer items were shared in the competitive (versus cooperative) context and younger (versus older) children shared fewer items. Age moderated the relationship between executive functioning and sharing: younger children with more proficient executive skills tended to share more items, whereas this pattern did not emerge in the older group.
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Elizabeth S. Nilsen, Alanna Valcke (2018). Children's sharing with collaborators versus competitors: The impact of theory of mind and executive functioning. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17467
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