The study looked at groups of 3- and 5-year-olds who were either pressured to share objects — in this case, stickers — or were given the opportunity to share voluntarily.
The researchers found, judging by facial expressions, that the kids were happier when they shared voluntarily, compared with when they kept the stickers for themselves. In contrast, the kids did not experience the same happiness boost when they were pressured to share.
The study suggested that children can experience a positive mood when they share voluntarily, which may lead to further sharing, the researchers said.
The study was published in the May issue of the journal Frontiers in Psychology.