From: Quartz

Nobody likes a freeloader—including four-year-old kids

It may come as a shock to parents of young children, but preschoolers are more cooperative than we realize.

In a novel study to find out how early our instinct for cooperation begins, Yale researchers performed an experiment with kids between the ages of four and 10. The goal was to find out how kids felt about “free riders”—people who fail to contribute to a common project, but reap the benefits from it.

The result? Starting as young as four, kids turn out to dislike free riders intensely, “punishing” those who freeloaded even if they had good reason not to contribute.

“Kids have a pretty strong set of pro-social intuitions around fairness and cooperation, and the need to contribute to larger public goods,” said Yarrow Dunham, assistant professor of psychology and co-author of the paper published in Psychological Science.

Read the whole story (subscription may be required): Quartz

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.