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

Sandra Weltzien*, Lauren E. Marsh, Bruce Hood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
322 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0189752
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2018

Structured keywords

  • Developmental (Psychological Science)


Dive into the research topics of 'Thinking of me: Self-focus reduces sharing and helping in seven- to eight-year-olds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this