Prosocial Resource Allocation and Generosity in Preschool Children

Thumbnail Image
Solhi, Ali
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Mount Saint Vincent University
This thesis provides a comprehensive review of the literature surrounding preschool children’s prosocial resource allocation and generosity. It was hypothesized that affective experience, perspective-taking, affiliation, competition, social comparison and relative wealth are some of the influences that impact children’s decision-making in regard to sharing and generosity. The purpose was to find the most appropriate parenting and teaching styles that can influence preschool children’s prosocial development in a positive way, and shed light on some of the influences that can be altered to promote prosocial behavior in preschool children. Based on the literature reviewed, it was indicated that children who can sympathize or empathize with others and capable of taking other’s emotions into consideration with high perspective-taking and theory of mind abilities are more prone to share and act generously. Children are more inclined to share with friends, familiar others, and members of their in-group rather than their out-group or strangers. Children also share more in collaborative settings with collaborators and with those who have similar or shared interests with them, even if recipients are out-group members or strangers. Children are less likely to share and act generously in competitive settings that provoke social comparison or a sense of envy, and with those who they perceive to have more material wealth than they do. It is recommended that parents and day care professionals encourage children to empathize and sympathize with others and take others emotion and perspectives into account through role-play and pretend play activities. It is also helpful to ask children to talk about or to identify any similarities or shared interests that they might have in relation to an out-group member or an unfamiliar other. Finally, it is important to provide collaborative settings rather than competitive settings in preschool children’s day-to-day activities.
Prosocial resource allocation, generosity, children