Video Clips

———————————–Harvard University————————————–

Blake, McAuliffe, Corbit, Callaghan, Barry, Bowie, Kleutsch, Kramer, Ross, Vongsachang, Wrangham, & Warneken (2015) Nature

Blake, P. R., McAuliffe, K., Callaghan, T., Corbit, J., Barry, O., Bowie, A., Greaves, R., Kleutsch, L., Kramer, K., Ross, E., Vongsachang, H., Wrangham, R., & Warneken, F. (2015). The ontogeny of fairness in seven societies. Nature.
In this study, four- to fifteen-year-old children from seven distinct societies played an inequity game in pairs. One child was the actor and had to decide whether to accept or reject allocations of small treats. The other child was a passive recipient. The allocations could be advantageous, meaning that the actor would receive more treats than the recipient, or disadvantageous, meaning that the actor would receive fewer treats than the recipient.
This video demonstrates the actor’s two possible responses to advantageous inequity. In the first clip, you see that actors could accept the allocation by pulling the green handle, and in doing so the treats would fall into each child’s bowl. In the second clip, you see that actors could reject the allocation by pulling the red handle, and in doing so the treats would fall into the middle bowl and neither child would get anything.

View the video here.
The researchers found that disadvantageous inequity aversion was demonstrated by children from all seven societies, but that advantageous inequity aversion was only present in children from three of them.

xxxxxxxJordan, McAuliffe, & Warneken (2014) PNAS

Jordan, J., McAuliffe, K., & Warneken, F. (2014). Development of in-group favoritism in children’s third-party punishment of selfishness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(35), 12710-12715.

This video begins by using text and photographs to demonstrate the experimental set-up and stimuli. Then, it shows three video clips from the study. The first clip demonstrates how children were made aware of the group membership of each actor and recipient pair. The second clip shows an example of a child accepting a selfish allocation (thus enacting it). The final clip shows an example of a child paying a cost to reject a selfish allocation (punishment). The main result from this study is that children’s willingness to pay to punish selfish allocations was influenced by the group membership of the actors and recipients, but that this in-group bias in punishment declined partially between ages six and eight.

View all clips here.

xxxxxxxKanngiesser & Warneken (2012) PLoS ONE

Kanngiesser, P.,  & Warneken, F. (2012). Young children consider merit when sharing resources with others. PLoS ONE, 7(8), 1-5.

What is a fair way to distribute goods? Should someone who worked more also receive more compensation?

In this study three- and five-year-old children played a fishing game with a puppet partner in which both partners collected coins (see clip 1). The coins could later be exchanged for stickers and children either contributed less or more coins than their partner. At the end of the game, the researchers asked children to divide the reward-stickers between themselves and their partner. Surprisingly, three-year-olds already shared the stickers according to their own and the partner’s contribution; that is, they kept more stickers to themselves when they had contributed more coins than their partner than when they had contributed less coins than their partner (see clips 2 & 3). While it was previously thought that sharing based upon merit requires complex reasoning or extensive socialization and does not emerge until school age, this new research shows that even young children do not only have their own self-interest at heart.


“PUPPET FINDS 2 COINS, CHILD FINDS 4 COINS” - Division of stickers when the child finds more coins than the puppet (child’s bag is on the right hand side)

“PUPPET FINDS 4 COINS, CHILD FINDS 2 COINS” – Division of stickers when the puppet finds more coins than the child (child’s bag is on the right hand side)

Warneken (2013) Cognition

Warneken, F. (2013). Young children proactively remedy unnoticed accidents. Cognition, 126(1), 101-108.

These videos show the experimental condition in which the experimenter is turned away from the child and drops a can on the floor without even noticing the accident. The main result of this study was that starting at two years of age, children engage in “proactive helping”: They can infer that help is needed based upon concurrent situational cues, without behavioral or communicative cues by the beneficiary. Therefore, from early on in development, children are willing and able to help without solicitation in situations in which they are just bystanders.




All video clips are copyright © Social Cognitive Development Group, Harvard University.

———————————Max Planck Institute————————————–

xxxxxxxWarneken & Tomasello (2006) Science

Warneken, F., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Altruistic helping in human infants and young chimpanzees. Science, 311, 1301 – 1303.


Clothespin TaskThe adult accidentally drops a marker on the floor and unsuccessfully reaches for it.

Cabinet Task – The adult wants to put magazines into a cabinet, but the doors are closed so that he bumps into it.

Books Task – A book slips from a stack as the adult attempts to place it on top of the stack.

Flap Task – A spoon drops through a hole and the adult unsuccessfully tries to grasp it through the small hole, ignorant of  a flap on the side of the box.


Lid Task (Alexandra) – The experimenter accidentally drops a lid on the floor and reaches for it.

Sponge Task (Alexandra) – The experimenter uses a sponge to clean the table, but accidentally drops it on the floor and unsuccessfully reaches for it.

Mould Task (Alexandra) – The experimenter is collecting objects, but some of them are out of her reach.

Lid Task (Annet) – The experimenter accidentally drops a lid on the floor and reaches for it.

Warneken, Chen, & Tomasello (2006) Child Development

Warneken, F., Chen, F., & Tomasello, M. (2006).  Cooperative activities in young children and chimpanzeesChild Development , 77 (3), 640 – 663.

These videos show examples of the cooperation tasks used with 18- and 24-month-old children and human-raised chimpanzees. The rationale of these tasks was that they could not be performed successfully by one person acting alone. As denoted below, some clips show trials with interruption periods, during which the partner stopped his participation for 15 seconds in order to assess whether the subjects would request his cooperation.


Tube with Handles Task (with interruption)

Double Tube Task (with interruption)

Trampoline Task


Trapdoor Task (Alexandra)

Trapdoor Task (Annet, with interruption)

Warneken et al. (2007) PLoS Biology

Warneken, F., Hare, B., Melis, A.P., Hanus, D., & Tomasello, M. (2007). Spontaneous altruism by chimpanzees and young childrenPLoS Biology, 5 (7), 1414 – 1420.

These videos show examples from three experiments with 18-month-old children and semi-free ranging chimpanzees.

Experiment 1

In the first experiment, we found that both chimpanzees and human children helped altruistically, regardless of any expectation of reward.

- Chimpanzee in condition Reaching/No Reward.

- Child in condition Reaching/No Reward.

Experiment 2

In the second experiment, we found that they continued to help even when helping was made more effortful in that chimpanzees had to climb up into a raceway and children had to surmount an array of obstacles in order to help.

- Chimpanzee in condition No Reaching.

- Child in condition Reaching.

Experiment 3

In the third experiment, chimpanzees helped other conspecifics: When one individual was unsuccessfully trying to open a door which was blocked by a chain, the other individual helped by releasing the chain.

- Chimpanzee helps in Experimental condition.


All video clips are copyright © MPI EVA.


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