Five-year-old preschoolers opt to share sacrifices, study finds
S. Grüneisen, M. Tomasello
BERLIN — From supermarket checkout lines to merge lanes on highways, adults often resolve social dilemmas by taking turns. Pairs of 5-year-old preschoolers can do it too, a new study finds. Children frequently work out deals to take turns when their interests collide, suggesting that this sophisticated strategy emerges surprisingly early in life.
By agreeing that each person will alternate in passing up a reward to avoid worse outcomes, duos of preschoolers earned a couple more colorful stickers than they would have otherwise, said psychology graduate student Sebastian Grüneisen of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.