Altruism without reciprocation in children
The focus of this paper is on altruism and coordination among children. A special form of altruism (ethical altruism) is investigated by means of experiments. The definition of altruism used here follows from A. Sen’s concept of obligation, i.e. behaviour that produces advantage for someone whose welfare is not important for the agent’s well-being. In this sense, the paper investigates altruism without reciprocity. The experiment discussed was originally developed to test adult behaviour, whereas the experimental subjects in this case are two samples of children aged respectively 9 and 12 years old. The aim of the analysis was to verify whether the findings of the previous experiments with adults were confirmed when the subjects were much younger.
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