ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (8): 1299-1309.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.01299

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 Children’s distributive justice: The role of Theory of Mind

 CHEN Tong; WU Zhen   

  1.  (Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China)
  • Received:2016-11-15 Online:2017-08-15 Published:2017-06-25
  • Contact: WU Zhen, E-mail: E-mail: E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  Theory of Mind (ToM) plays an important role in children’s development of distributive justice. The hypothesis of “multiple forces” posits that ToM can help children weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different motivations that underlie resource distribution, and find a balance between self-interest and the welfare of others. Children’s ability to understand other people’s desires, intentions and emotions are the three most important components of ToM that impact distributive justice in the Dictator Game, Ultimatum Game, and the Third-party Punishment Game. More empirical research is needed to support this hypothesis. Future research also should investigate whether and how different components of ToM influence different types of fair behavior. In addition, studies should explore the possible application of these research findings, such as for promoting children’s distributive justice by fostering their ToM ability.

Key words: distributive justice, Theory of Mind, Dictator Game, Ultimatum Game, Third-party Punishment Game

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