Playing by the rules: Self-interest information influences children's trust and trustworthiness in the absence of feedback

Bolivar Reyes-Jaquez, Catharine H. Echols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study documented how children's decisions to trust and help partners in a game depend on the game's incentives. Adults, 5-, 7-, and 9-year-olds (. N=. 128) guessed the location of hidden prizes, assisted by a partner who observed the hiding. After each hiding event the partner shared information with participants about the prize's location. Participants earned prizes every time they guessed correctly. The partner earned prizes either from participants' correct (cooperation incentive) or incorrect (competition incentive) guesses. Children and adults trusted their partner more often when the game incentivized cooperation versus competition. A complementary pattern was observed when participants assisted their partner find prizes they observed being hidden: Participants strategically shared truthful information more often when the game rewarded cooperation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-154
Number of pages15
JournalCognition
Volume134
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Cooperation
  • Deception
  • Decision-making
  • Inferential reasoning
  • Motivation

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