Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 14, Iss. 3, July, 2010, pp. 257-264
@2010 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


The Selfish to Egalitarian Transition in Young Children: Developmental Processes versus Cooperative Interactions

H. Nicolis, Unite RIMBAUD, Service de Psychiatrie, CHU Brugmann, Brussels, Belgium
S. C. Nicolis, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: There is evidence that a tendency to share resources equitably among members of a social group emerges in middle childhood. It is regarded by many investigators as a central and unique feature of human social life. In this work the relative roles of developmental processes and collective effects generated by interindividual interactions on the selfish to egalitarian transition observed in middle childhood are analyzed. Using mathematical modeling, conditions are identified under which the transition becomes sharp and gives rise to hysteretic behavior.

Keywords: selfish to egalitarian transition, mathematical modeling, cooperative behavior