Document Detail

The roots of human altruism.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19063815     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Human infants as young as 14 to 18 months of age help others attain their goals, for example, by helping them to fetch out-of-reach objects or opening cabinets for them. They do this irrespective of any reward from adults (indeed external rewards undermine the tendency), and very likely with no concern for such things as reciprocation and reputation, which serve to maintain altruism in older children and adults. Humans' nearest primate relatives, chimpanzees, also help others instrumentally without concrete rewards. These results suggest that human infants are naturally altruistic, and as ontogeny proceeds and they must deal more independently with a wider range of social contexts, socialization and feedback from social interactions with others become important mediators of these initial altruistic tendencies.
Felix Warneken; Michael Tomasello
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Review     Date:  2008-12-05
Journal Detail:
Title:  British journal of psychology (London, England : 1953)     Volume:  100     ISSN:  0007-1269     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Psychol     Publication Date:  2009 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-17     Completed Date:  2009-08-21     Revised Date:  2014-03-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0373124     Medline TA:  Br J Psychol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  455-71     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Biological Evolution
Conditioning, Operant / physiology
Cooperative Behavior
Feedback / physiology
Helping Behavior
Infant Behavior / physiology
Interpersonal Relations
Models, Psychological
Pan troglodytes / physiology*
Selection, Genetic
Comment In:
Br J Psychol. 2009 Aug;100(Pt 3):473-9; discussion 487-90   [PMID:  19467174 ]
Br J Psychol. 2009 Aug;100(Pt 3):481-5; discussion 487-90   [PMID:  19450383 ]

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