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Publication - Professor Bruce Hood

    Thinking of me

    Self-focus reduces sharing and helping in seven- to eight-year-olds


    Weltzien, S, Marsh, LE & Hood, B, 2018, ‘Thinking of me: Self-focus reduces sharing and helping in seven- to eight-year-olds’. PLoS ONE, vol 13.


    By 7-to 8-years of age, most children readily adhere to prosocial norms aimed at benefiting others through giving up time and effort (helping) or resources (sharing). Two studies explored whether sharing and helping by 7-to 8-year olds (N = 180) could be influenced by priming children’s attention on themselves or their friends through a semi-structured interview. Results revealed that self-priming led to reductions in both sharing and helping compared to friendship-priming or a control condition. These findings are considered as indicative of the fragile state of prosocial behaviours at this age that can be easily shifted towards more selfish biases by simple priming.

    Full details in the University publications repository