Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cognition. 2008 Jul;108(1):222-31. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.12.003. Epub 2008 Jan 28.

Foundations of cooperation in young children.

Author information

  • 1Psychology Department, Harvard University, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Observations and experiments show that human adults preferentially share resources with close relations, with people who have shared with them (reciprocity), and with people who have shared with others (indirect reciprocity). These tendencies are consistent with evolutionary theory but could also reflect the shaping effects of experience or instruction in complex, cooperative, and competitive societies. Here, we report evidence for these three tendencies in 3.5-year-old children, despite their limited experience with complex cooperative networks. Three pillars of mature cooperative behavior therefore appear to have roots extending deep into human development.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk