Cultural influences on sharer and recipient behavior: Sharing in Chinese and Indian preschool children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


Seventy-two 4-year-old Chinese and Indian children were paired with a friend and with an acquaintance in their class. One child (sharer) was given 10 pieces each of his or her preferred and nonpreferred foods, whereas the partner (recipient) was given one piece of each of the same foods. Sharing incidents were classified to indicate whether they were initiated by the sharer (spontaneous sharing) or due to the recipients' behavior (elicited and passive sharing). Friendship did not influence either the quantity or quality of sharing. Results indicated that young Asian children were more likely to share spontaneously and less likely to elicit sharing. Chinese children showed more spontaneous sharing than did Indian children; the majority of sharing incidents in the Indian sample were classified as passive sharing. Findings highlight the importance of cultural beliefs on young children's behavior and of considering the interactive effects of the sharers' and recipients' behaviors on each other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-241
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

Cite this