Sara R. Nichols

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The study explored how the meaning of prosocial behavior changes over toddlerhood. Sixty-five 18- and 30-month-olds could help an adult in 3 contexts: instrumental (action based), empathic (emotion based), and altruistic (costly). Children at both ages helped readily in instrumental tasks. For 18-month-olds, empathic helping was significantly more difficult(More)
The developmental origins of sharing remain little understood. Using procedures adapted from research on prosocial behavior in chimpanzees, we presented 18- and 25-month-old children with a sharing task in which they could choose to deliver food to themselves only, or to both themselves and another person, thereby making it possible for them to share(More)
To examine early developments in other-oriented resource sharing, fifty-one 18- and 24-month-old children were administered 6 tasks with toys or food that could be shared with an adult playmate who had none. On each task the playmate communicated her desire for the items in a series of progressively more explicit cues. Twenty-four-month-olds shared(More)
What role does socialization play in the origins of prosocial behavior? We examined one potential socialization mechanism, parents' discourse about others' emotions with very young children in whom prosocial behavior is still nascent. Two studies are reported, one of sharing in 18- and 24-month-olds (n = 29), and one of instrumental and empathy-based(More)
The second year of life marks the beginning of empathic responsiveness to others' distress, a hallmark of human interaction. We examined the role of social understanding (self-other understanding and emotion understanding) and empathic disposition in individual differences in 12- to 24-month olds' responses to mothers' and an unfamiliar infant peer's(More)
What role does socialization play in the origins of prosocial behavior? We examined one potential socialization mechanism – parents’ discourse about others’ emotions with very young children in whom prosocial behavior is still nascent. Two studies are reported, one of sharing in 18and 24-month-olds (n = 29) and one of instrumental and empathy-based helping(More)
The second year of life sees dramatic developments in infants' ability to understand emotions in adults alongside their growing interest in peers. In this study, the authors used a social-referencing paradigm to examine whether 12-, 18-, and 24-month-old children could use a peer's positive or negative emotion messages about toys to regulate their own(More)
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