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Thinking of me: Self-focus reduces sharing and helping in seven- to eight-year-olds

Weltzien, Sandra; Marsh, Lauren E.; Hood, Bruce


Sandra Weltzien

Bruce Hood


Jordy Kaufman


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.


Weltzien, S., Marsh, L. E., & Hood, B. (2018). Thinking of me: Self-focus reduces sharing and helping in seven- to eight-year-olds. PLoS ONE, 13(1), Article e0189752.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 3, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 10, 2018
Publication Date Jan 10, 2018
Deposit Date Dec 11, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 11, 2018
Journal PLOS ONE
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 1
Article Number e0189752
Public URL
Publisher URL


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