Cognitive Processes and Prosocial Behaviors Among Children: The Role of Affective Attributions and Reconciliations

Gustavo Carlo, George P. Knight, Nancy Eisenberg, Ken J. Rotenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although attributions about others' sad emotions have been shown to be positively related to helping behavior, there have been considerable inconsistencies in the findings. This study was designed to investigate the relations of affective attributions, affective reconciliations, and cognitive perspective-taking measures to prosocial behavior. Eighty-nine preschool through second grade children were administered various social cognition indices (two affective and one cognitive); the children were then given an opportunity to help a same-sex confederate child obtain toys. Helping that required a specific form of affective attribution and reconciliation was significantly related to the affective attribution and reconciliation measures when the demands required by the helping opportunity "matched" the social cognition measure demands. The findings are discussed in terms of the need to reconceptualize the relations between social cognitive skills and helping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-461
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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