One of the most important human achievements is our ability to be generous to others. We know that many sub-components of generosity (sharing, cooperation, prosocial behavior, empathy) develop rapidly during the period of early chidhood. Yet, we know less about how such generous behaviors in young children develop and what types of benefits they may confer. Through a recent grant funded by the John Templeton Foundation, we are investigating the following questions:
- How do children’s developing sense of number relate to their abilities to share fairly?
- What are the cognitive prerequisites of young children’s generous behaviors?
- How might encouraging generosity affect children’s learning outcomes?
- What are the early precursors of generous behaviors?