The Emergence of Helping Behavior

The tendency to help others is a key component of mature morality. How does this tendency develop? As early as the second year of life, children begin to help parents, siblings, and even experimenters in various tasks, for instance by picking up out-of-reach objects. We are investigating how social experiences early in life affect the early development of helping, as well as how children’s evaluations of others’ behavior affect decisions about whom to help.