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The squeaky wheel gets the grease: Recipients' responses influence children's costly third-party punishment of unfairness.

Authors
  • Li, Yuanyuan1
  • Li, Pengchao1
  • Cai, Jiajing1
  • Qian, Xiaoxuan1
  • He, Jie2
  • 1 Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, China. , (China)
  • 2 Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, China. Electronic address: [email protected] , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2022
Volume
220
Pages
105426–105426
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2022.105426
PMID: 35378325
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Third-party punishment promotes cooperation by deterring opportunistic behaviors. Even children are willing to pay a cost to implement third-party punishment of unfair behavior. Whether in judicial practice or in daily third-party punishment, people take recipients' feelings into account out of restorative motives. Restorative motives pay attention to both the offenders and the victims and are committed to best repairing harm. This work examined whether children adopt restorative motives by considering recipients' responses when punishing unfair dividers. Participants (N = 128) were 6-, 8-, and 10-year-old Chinese children. Children were shown allocations proposed among a divider and a recipient with response (positive vs. negative) or without response and were asked to accept or pay a cost to reject the allocation. Two experiments indicated that costly third-party punishment increased with age. Furthermore, children took recipients' responses into consideration, with negative responses prompting children to punish more. These findings show that children adopted a restorative view when implementing costly third-party punishment. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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