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Title: Reciprocity among preschoolers in relation to resource allocation toward siblings, friends, and strangers
Authors: Lu, HJ 
Chang, L
Keywords: Kin altruism
Resource allocation
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Source: Evolutionary psychology, 2018, v. 16, no. 3 How to cite?
Journal: Evolutionary psychology 
Abstract: Children at age 6 years differentially treat kin, friends, and strangers in resource allocation games by being more altruistic toward kin. However, it is unknown how previous allocation experience as a recipient influences the potential kinship effect in subsequent resource allocations. The present study investigated how 4- to 6-year-old children allocated resources between themselves and a sibling, a friend, or a stranger in three allocation tasks after the recipient had previously shared or nonshared with the participant. Results showed that, when a share would induce cost on the self, 6-year-old children were likely to share with a sibling whether the sibling had previously shared or not, but they would share only with friends or strangers who had previously shared. When a share would induce no cost, participants across ages were likely to share with a recipient who had previously shared. When the decision option was between sharing equally and sharing altruistically, participants would allow the recipient to have more only when the recipient was a sibling or friend who had previously allocated altruistically. These findings suggest that kin altruism in resource allocation emerges at around 6 years of age and that reciprocity partly overrides and partly reinforces kin altruism.
EISSN: 1474-7049
DOI: 10.1177/1474704918797031
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
The following publication: Lu, H. J., & Chang, L. (2018). Reciprocity Among Preschoolers in Relation to Resource Allocation Toward Siblings, Friends, and Strangers. Evolutionary Psychology is available at
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