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If you would like to complete an alternative assignment rather than complete SONA for extra credit, here are the directions. You will NOT receive credit for both SONA and completing this assignment.Psychology 101, Winter 2019Alternative Assignment for SONA ParticipationDue: March 15th by 11:59 PM PSTUse the QALMRI method (described below) to provide a 300 word summary of one of the following psychology articles. Both are available attached to this assignment. Karasewich, T., Kuhlmeier, V., Beier, J., & Dunfield, K. (2019). Getting help for others: An examination of indirect helping in young children. Developmental Psychology, 55(3), 606-611.OR Lauer, J. E., Ilksoy, S. D., & Lourenco, S. F. (2018). Developmental stability in gender-typed preferences between infancy and preschool age. Developmental Psychology, 54(4), 613–620. QALMRI for Reading/Summarizing/Writing Research ArticlesQALMRI is an acronym that stands for “Question, Alternatives, Logic, Method, Results, Inferences.” It provides a framework for directing your attention when reading, summarizing or writing psychology research articles. Please use this handout to assist you in writing your 300— 500-word article summary. It defines each item in the QALMRI acronym. Note that not all of the information in the article you choose will appear in your summary. A short summary cannot include all information, and you will have to choose the most relevant information for your summary.Q stands for Question: What is the broad question being addressed? All research begins with a question, and the point of the research is to answer it. For example, we can ask whether a placebo is better than no action in alleviating depression. For most journal articles, the General Introduction should tell the reader what question the article is addressing, and why it is important enough that anyone should care about the answer.A stands for Alternatives: What are the plausible alternatives (answers) to this question? Good experiments consider at least 2 possible alternative answers to a specific question, and explain why both answers are plausible.L stands for Logic: What would we expect to be true if each alternative was true? (i.e., “If X, then…”). The logic of the study identifies how the experiment’s design will allow the experimenter to distinguish among the alternatives. The logic is typically explained towards the end of the study’s introduction, and has the following structure: If alternative 1 (and not alternative 2) is correct, then when a particular variable is manipulated, the participants’ behavior should change in a certain way.M stands for Method: What was the exact method used to test for each alternative? This section identifies the procedures that were used to implement the logical design. It should state the independent variable (the factor that was experimentally manipulated) and the dependent variable (the behavior that was measured) of the experiment.R stands for Results: What was the outcome of the experiment? Describe the results of the primary measures of interest.I stands for Inferences: What does this tell us about the alternative answers to the original question? If the study was well designed, the results should allow the experimenter to eliminate at least one of the possible alternatives. [Adapted from assignment prepared by Mark Sheskin, following Kosslyn, S.M. & Rosenberg, R.S. (2001)]


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Developmental Psychology
© 2018 American Psychological Association
2019, Vol. 55, No. 3, 606 – 611
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Getting Help for Others: An Examination of Indirect Helping in
Young Children
Tara A. Karasewich and Valerie A. Kuhlmeier
Jonathan S. Beier
Queen’s University
University of Maryland, College Park
Kristen A. Dunfield
Concordia University
When young children recruit others to help a person in need, media reports often treat it as a remarkable
event. Yet it is unclear how commonly children perform this type of pro-social behavior and what forms
of social understanding, cognitive abilities, and motivational factors promote or discourage it. In this
study, 48 three- to four-year-old children could choose between two actors to retrieve an out-of-reach
object for a third person; during this event, one actor was physically unable to provide help. Nearly all
of children’s responses appropriately incorporated the actors’ action capacities, indicating that rational
prosocial reasoning—the cognitive basis for effective indirect helping—is common at this young age.
However, only half of children actually directed an actor to help, suggesting that additional motivational
factors constrained their prosocial actions. A behavioral measure of social inhibition and within-task
scaffolding that increased children’s personal involvement were both strongly associated with children’s
initiation of indirect helping behavior. These results highlight social inhibition and recognizing one’s own
potential agency as key motivational challenges that children must overcome to recruit help for others.
Keywords: helping, cooperation, social cognition, social inhibition, pro-social behavior
Supplemental materials:
only are we excited that a life was saved, but we are surprised that
a child was able to help. However, it is unclear what forms of
social understanding, cognitive abilities, and motivational factors
contribute to children’s recruitment of others to help a person in
need. It is possible that children rely on fairly simple rules, such as
deference to “all-powerful” authorities like parents, or wellpracticed routines that do not generalize to novel situations. Yet,
young children may also have the capacity to perform a more
rational analysis of the scene, assessing the ability of different
individuals to provide the most appropriate form of assistance. The
present study thus examines early indirect helping or getting help
for someone in need. We focus in particular on the factors that
underlie this behavior—and that make it challenging—for young
Children’s interest in seeing others helped is well established.
From early in the second year of life, infants directly help others
to accomplish simple, goal-directed actions, and as they age,
children’s prosocial behavior expands to include more complex
acts of helping as well as sharing and comforting (e.g., Brownell,
Svetlova, & Nichols, 2009; Dunfield, Kuhlmeier, O’Connell, &
Kelley, 2011; Dunfield & Kuhlmeier, 2013; Eisenberg, Fabes, &
Spinrad, 2006; Warneken & Tomasello, 2006, 2007). These prosocial concerns are reflected in young children’s positive evaluations
of others who have been helpful in the past (Hamlin & Wynn,
Ashley Edgson was the dispatcher who took Dane’s 911 call. She said
she was amazed at the 5-year-old’s composure. “He was brave, he was
so calm, he knew exactly what his address was. A lot of people get
frantic, and he was able to say everything and answer all the questions
clearly and accurately.” Dane never lost sight of why he called 911
and how serious the situation was. “I was thinking, ‘I hope my mom
is going to be OK’”. (Campbell, 2016)
When a very young child calls an emergency phone number for
an ailing parent, the viral spread of media reports suggests that not
This article was published Online First December 6, 2018.
Tara A. Karasewich and Valerie A. Kuhlmeier, Department of Psychology, Queen’s University; Jonathan S. Beier, Department of Psychology,
University of Maryland, College Park; Kristen A. Dunfield, Department of
Psychology, Concordia University.
This work was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research
Council of Canada. We thank all participating families for their cooperation, as well as E. Kelley and M. Sabbagh for their comments on the study
design and report and D. Torok and the members of the Infant Cognition
Group at Queen’s University for their assistance in recruitment, data
collection, and video coding.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Tara A.
Karasewich, Department of Psychology, Queen’s University, Kingston,
ON K7L 3N6, Canada. E-mail: [email protected]
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
2011; Hamlin, Wynn, & Bloom, 2007; Kenward & Dahl, 2011;
Kuhlmeier, Dunfield, & O’Neill, 2014, for review), as well as
physiological changes indicating arousal when they view others in
need and relief when help is received (Hepach, Vaish, & Tomasello, 2012; Hepach, Vaish, Grossman, & Tomasello, 2016).
Consistent with these findings, infants and young children also
appear to hold expectations that others will provide help. Eightmonth-old infants, for example, reach for unattainable objects
more often when an adult is present than when they are alone
(Ramenzoni & Liszkowski, 2016). By at least 9 months, infants
expect others to help individuals who are unable to reach a goal
rather than individuals who can attain a goal on their own (Köster,
Ohmer, Nguyen, & Kärtner, 2016). Though these studies do not
examine children’s assessment of the capability of potential helpers to actually be helpful, there is reason to predict that children
will consider the relative differences in individuals’ ability when
forming expectations of prosociality. In Paulus and Moore (2011),
for example, 3- and 5-year-old children recognized that a protagonist doll would be more likely to ask for assistance from a friend
who was physically capable of providing help than one who could
not (e.g., a doll who was tall enough to reach a toy vs. a short doll).
When requiring help themselves, 3-year-old children will ask an
individual who has demonstrated willingness to provide help over
one who was unwilling (Dunfield, Kuhlmeier, & Murphy, 2013),
and 2- to 4-year-olds will request assistance from a previously
successful individual over one who has been unsuccessful (U.S.
sample: Broesch, Itakura, & Rochat, 2017).
However, the expectation that others will provide help and the
ability to recognize who can effectively help does not guarantee
that children will use this social understanding and ask appropriate
individuals to help other people in need, that is, to engage in
effective indirect helping. Research thus far suggests that by 2.5
years of age, children will recruit their caregiver to provide help to
another person if they cannot provide help themselves (Paulus,
Jung, O’Driscoll, & Moore, 2017). Yet, it is possible that this
behavior relies on an assumption that parents can do anything or
on experience-based representations of parental behavior (e.g.,
internal working models of secure attachment; Sherman, Rice, &
Cassidy, 2015, for review). Thus, a critical question in the examination of children’s indirect helping is whether children’s determination of who can help informs their decisions about whom to
approach to request help on behalf of another person. The present
study asks whether children’s recruitment of third-party help is
rationally constrained by the ability of a potential helper.
Prosocial behaviors like indirect helping, however, may be
influenced by motivational factors in addition to the cognitive
requirements noted above. The present study explored two ways in
which personal and contextual factors may support indirect helping. First, children must recognize that even if they cannot help
directly, they have the power to be agents of help. Indeed, for some
situations, such as calling an emergency number or getting help for
a victim of cyberbullying, parents and educators explicitly teach
children about actively intervening (e.g., Media Smarts, 2017;
Rosenbaum, Creedon, & Drabman, 1981). Here, to examine the
social contexts in which rational indirect helping is likely to
emerge, the helping event presented children with a sequence in
which their potential role was made increasingly clear through
verbal scaffolding. Second, indirect helping typically involves
approaching and interacting with another person, often to a greater
extent than providing direct, instrumental help (e.g., retrieving an
out-of-reach object or opening a door). This type of pro-social
behavior may be particularly challenging for children when they
are feeling shy around others (e.g., Beier, Terrizzi, Woodward, &
Larson, 2017; see also Hammond & Carpendale, 2015), and thus,
the present study explored associations between children’s level of
social inhibition (measured behaviorally) and their responses during the task.
Participants were 48 preschool children (23 male), with an
average age of 41.5 months (range ⫽ 38.5– 48 months). Seventeen
additional participants were tested but not included in the final
analyses due to experimenter error (8), equipment failure (1), and
participant factors (8); details are provided in Supplemental Table
S1 and Supplemental Figure S1 in the online supplemental material. A power analysis conducted in GⴱPower (Faul, Erdfelder, Lang, & Buchner, 2007) for a binomial test assessing
children’s ability to select an appropriate helper from two options,
which set alpha at 0.05, power at 0.8, and the expected proportion
of correct helper selections at 0.75 based on prior research (e.g.,
Dunfield et al., 2013; Paulus & Moore, 2011) calculated a sufficient sample size for our task to be 30. Because not all participants
were actually expected to help, and to properly counterbalance the
actors’ identities and left-right positioning across participant gender, a sample size of 48 was chosen. Families were recruited at
community events in a small city in Canada and were tested in a
laboratory setting. The study was conducted with approval from
the Queen’s University General Research Ethics Board (Protocol
#6016814, project titled “The Role of Prediction in Young Children’s Selective Helping”). The data and statistical analysis for the
study have been made available on the Open Science Framework
at, Kuhlmeier, Beier, & Dunfield, 2018).
The general procedure and test room set-up are depicted in
Figure 1. The study began with a warm-up period in which
the experimenter and participant played together with toys in the
testing room for approximately 6 min (range: 5 to 11 min). At the
end of this period, the experimenter and child put away their toys
as two actors came in and sat behind yellow desks.
Familiarization. The actors waved to the child while the
experimenter introduced them as her friends. The experimenter
then led the child to the desk of the actor on the right, saying, “Can
you ask her to get the toys off the shelf for us?” If the child did not
make this request verbally or with gestures after a few seconds, the
experimenter made the request herself. The actor drew the child’s
attention and then stood, took one of the toys from the top shelf,
and offered it to him or her. The child was given a few seconds to
play with the toy before the actor got another. After four toys had
been offered from that side of the shelf, the experimenter guided
the child to the desk of the actor on the left and the same procedure
was repeated. Whether or not participants spoke to the actors at
this stage was used as a measure of their social inhibition in the
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Figure 1. Materials and general procedure. A small stool and a toy box
were positioned at the front of the room. Two yellow (light gray) desks
stood in the middle of the room, spaced equally from the child’s stool. At
the back of the room, two shelves were hung at a height that could be
reached by the actors, but not the participants. A video camera was hidden
in a box with a rubber duck (the experimenter’s out-of-reach object) on top.
During the Familiarization, each actor retrieved toys for the child: (A) and
(B). After the experimenter (labeled “E”) decorated the room by placing
the green (dark gray) panels, each actor approached the shelves, with order
counterbalanced: (C) and (D). During the test, the experimenter left the
room and expressed a need and then made a request for the toy on the top
shelf: (E). Children who did not engage in indirect helping were asked the
interview question: (F). See the online article for the color version of this
testing situation: “very shy” participants spoke to neither actor,
“moderately shy” participants spoke to one, and “not shy” participants spoke to both.
The experimenter then announced that she was going to decorate the room; this served as a way to establish a constraint on one
actor’s ability to reach the shelves. She took a tall panel and placed
it between one actor and the shelves, after first trying it on the
other side. The identity and left-right positioning of the blocked
actor was counterbalanced. Next, the experimenter placed a short
panel horizontally between the actors’ desks to deter the child from
moving out of the camera’s view. While she occupied herself
putting toys on the lower shelf, the actors each, in turn, announced
that they were going to get another toy from the top shelf. The
blocked actor attempted to reach one on her side and failed, while
the unblocked actor picked hers up easily (“I can’t/can reach the
toy on the shelf. Oh, I think I’ll play with that later”).
The experimenter then declared that she wanted the rubber duck
from the top shelf. She reached for it, but it remained out of her grasp.
After a few seconds of reaching, she gave up; this display served as
an initial presentation of the problem the child would be able to help
solve in the test period. To gauge understanding of the physical
constraints of the room, the experimenter then returned to the child
and asked a comprehension question: “Who can reach the shelf right
now?” The experimenter corrected participants who identified the
blocked actor, named another person, or made no response after being
asked three times, and she agreed with those who identified the
unblocked actor. Responses other than an actor (e.g., a parent) were
recorded (detailed in the online supplemental material) but treated as
Test. At the start of the test period, the actors took on neutral
expressions and presented a mildly distracted appearance, subtly
directing their gaze away from the child and experimenter. The
experimenter asked the child to wait while she went into the
adjoining room. Once there, she expressed her need by calling out,
“Oh, I need the duck now!” If 10 seconds passed without a
response, she continued with, “[Child’s name], can you ask her to
get the duck?” She repeated this request if no response was made
after 15 s. The child could respond either by asking for help from
the unblocked actor (who would bring the duck to the experimenter) or the blocked actor (who would attempt to reach it, but
clarify that “[she couldn’t] reach the shelf”). The experimenter
returned to the room after the child requested help or after 30 s had
passed. The test period ended with a short interview for children
who had not engaged in indirect helping. The experimenter asked
these children, “Who should we ask to get the duck?”
The child’s eye gaze behavior was coded while the experimenter
was calling for help from the adjoining room with the aim of
examining whether children directed gaze to the actor who was
capable of helping. However, a side bias was observed such that
children looked more often to the left side of the room, in the
direction of the experimenter in the next room. These data are
detailed in the online supplemental materials.
Interrater Reliability
Video recordings of the sessions were coded by two independent raters who had been trained in an iterative process on pilot
data until they had reached strong consistency. Each rater then
coded videos from 30 participants, overlapping on 25% of the
sample with which interrater reliability was calculated. Good
agreement was found for all measures: Cohen’s Kappa was strong
for two-category (␬ ⫽ .89) and three-category (␬ ⫽ 1.00) variables
and interitem correlation for ordinal variables was perfect (ICC ⫽
1).1 Disagreements were resolved by a third trained coder.
Two-category measures included whether the child engaged in indirect
helping, and whether the child or the experimenter asked an actor to
retrieve a toy during the Familiarization period. Three-category measures
included responses to the comprehension question and the choices made in
the Test period during the indirect helping task or the interview (i.e., actor
on left, actor on right, or neither). Ordinal variables included codes for
when the child engaged in indirect helping (e.g., after the experimenter’s
need was expressed or after the request was made).
This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.
This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
Comprehension Question
When asked by the experimenter, most children (36 of 48
children) correctly identified the unblocked actor as able to reach
the shelf. Of the 12 children who did not, three chose the blocked
actor and nine did not choose either actor. A binomial test, excluding those who did not make a choice, found that the participants chose the unblocked actor above what would be expected by
a chance level of 50% (p ⬍ .001; RR ⫽ 1.5).2 Whether or not they
answered correctly, all participants in the sample were included in
later analyses. Separate analyses in relation to indirect helping and
the interview question for the 36 participants who answered correctly and the 12 who answered incorrectly revealed the same
pattern of results as for the entire sample (details of the analyses
can be found in the online supplemental material).
Indirect Helping
No children intervened on behalf of the experimenter after she
first indicated that help was needed (i.e., “I need the duck now!”).
However, 25 children directly asked one of the actors to help the
experimenter after her request (i.e., “[Child’s name], can you ask
her to get the duck?”). These children were more likely to ask the
adult who could provide help than the one who could not; a
binomial test found that the number of children who chose the
unblocked actor (23 of 25 children) was greater than would be
expected by chance (p ⬍ .001; RR ⫽ 1.84). Common interventions
from children were to ask, “Can you get the duck?” or “Can you
get it?”, and two children requested help nonverbally: one approached an actor and …
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