Saturday, August 19, 2017

The influence of reputational concerns on children's prosociality

The influence of reputational concerns on children's prosociality. Jan Engelmann, and Diotima Rapp. Current Opinion in Psychology,

•    At around age 5, young children show first signs of concern with reputation.
•    At around age 8, young children begin to reason about reputation explicitly and interpret others’ behavior in terms of self-presentational concerns.
•    Partner choice by peers and new theory of mind skills likely contribute to the development of reputation management.

Abtract: While it is well known that reputational concerns promote prosociality in adults, their ontogenetic origins remain poorly understood. Here we review evidence suggesting that the first prosocial acts of young children are not aimed at gaining reputational credit. However, at approximately 5 years of age, children come to be concerned about their reputations, and their prosocial behaviors show the signature of self-promotional strategies: increased prosociality in public compared to private settings. In middle childhood, at around 8 years of age, children acquire further abilities to control the image they project and start to reason explicitly about their reputation. We discuss potential social and cognitive factors – Partner Choice and Theory of Mind – that contribute to the developmental emergence of self-presentational behavior.