Authors: Vaporova, Elena
Zmyj, Norbert
Title: Social evaluation and imitation of prosocial and antisocial agents in infants, children, and adults
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: The question of whether infants prefer prosocial agents over antisocial agents is contentious. Therefore, the first goal of the present study was to replicate previous findings regarding infants’ preference. The second goal was to assess whether infants are more likely to imitate a prosocial agent than an antisocial agent. We tested 9-month-old, 14-month-old, and 4-year-old children. The study used the “opening a box to get a toy” paradigm in which an animal puppet is trying unsuccessfully to open a box and is either helped by a prosocial puppet or hindered by an antisocial puppet. We presented these social events via video, and subsequently administered an imitation task. As an additional control, adults were asked to describe the videos showing the prosocial and antisocial agent. Although most adults were able to identify both agents, the three age groups of children did not prefer the prosocial agent over the antisocial agent, and were not more likely to imitate the prosocial agent. The lack of differences might be explained by methodological issues or by a lack of robustness of the effect.
Subject Headings: Infants
Prosocial behavior
Age groups
Replication studies
Psychological attitudes
Subject Headings (RSWK): Kleinkind
Prosoziales Verhalten
Replikation <Empirische Sozialforschung>
Issue Date: 2020-09-16
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Appears in Collections:Institut für Psychologie

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