Egocentrism, empathy, and altruistic behavior in young children

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In a study with 41 children aged 3 yrs 6 mo to 8 yrs 11 mo, Ss who exhibited altruistic behavior in an experimental situation with a peer had significantly higher scores on measures of perspective taking and empathy than did Ss who did not display altruistic behavior. Results suggest that there is a significant cognitive component of altruistic behavior, specifically the ability to understand another's perspective. (4 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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