Psychology of Sharing. Experiment for kids… ?VIDEO

More and more of my time these days is spent negotiating unsuccessfully about conflicts between my two-year-old daughter and her friends—over dolls, snacks, turning on the swing, and so on. So I was surprised (and a bit skeptical) to see a new study suggesting that kids only a few months older than my daughter have a strong and consistent willingness to share a coveted item with their peers, even if they have the option to keep all the treats for themselves…

In both experiments, two children were left alone in the observation room. Each child had to work with their partner to receive a reward—four identical gummy bears, four identical stickers, or four other prizes—that were locked in the back of a long transparent box. When the children pulled on each end of the rope at the same time, they could bring the prizes to the front of the box and collect their reward through the hole. If only one child pulled the rope, the prizes remained out of reach.

Sometimes the box had two holes, one on each side, allowing each child to pull out two prizes—an easy one and a fair one. But even when there was only one hole in the box, the child who received the reward first shared it equally with his partner in the vast majority of cases, more than 70% of the time.