Markus Paulus

Markus Paulus
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich | LMU · Department of Psychology

About

173
Publications
27,153
Reads
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2,954
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2013 - present
Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
Position
  • Professor
April 2013 - August 2013
Universität Erfurt
Position
  • Professor
September 2011 - March 2013

Publications

Publications (173)
Article
Full-text available
Developmental theories have proposed caregiver reactions, in particular caregivers’ moral reasoning with their children, as crucial factors in children’s developing morality. Yet, empirical evidence is scarce and mainly restricted to laboratory contexts. Here, we used the ambulatory assessment method to investigate how caregiver responses to moral...
Article
Full-text available
Children increasingly appreciate normative obligations and share resources across preschool years. But the internal structure and behavioral relevance of normative expressions in the context of sharing, that is, the relation with children’s own sharing behavior, remains disputed. Here, 4- to 6-year-old children (N = 90, 37 female) observed protagon...
Article
Cooperative interactions are an essential aspect of human life, which children start to engage in the course of toddlerhood. Cooperation can often be challenging and requires repair and realignment. So far, little effort has been made to investigate how young children deal with emotionally challenging cooperative interactions. Therefore, we examine...
Article
Full-text available
The moral self-concept has been proposed as a central predictor of prosocial behaviour. In two experiments (one preregistered), we explored the nature of the relation between the moral self-concept (explicit and implicit) and prosocial behaviour. Specifically, we investigated the role of emotions associated with prosocial behaviour (consequential o...
Article
Previous research debated whether and to which extent normative views and own resource distribution behavior in childhood are dissociated or aligned. The present study aimed to advance this debate by examining the relation from two different methodological viewpoints within the same study. Here, 4-6-year-old children’s (N=91) normative views and di...
Article
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Introduction To date, there are only few studies that compare the consequences of peripartum maternal depressive disorders (PD) versus depressive with comorbid anxiety disorders (PDCA) for infant and child development. As comorbidity is associated with greater impairment and symptom severity related to the primary diagnosis, comorbidity in mothers...
Article
Full-text available
Middle childhood seems to be crucial for the emergence of a moral identity, that is, an evaluative stance of how important it is for someone's sense of self to be moral. This study investigates the effects of moral identity on the neural processing of moral content in 10-year-old children. Participants were presented with scenes portraying prosocia...
Article
Prior studies explored the early development of memory monitoring and control. However, little work has examined cross-cultural similarities and differences in metacognitive development in early childhood. In the present research, we investigated a total of 100 Japanese and German preschool-aged children’s memory monitoring and control in a visual...
Article
Full-text available
As COVID-19 sweeps across the globe, scientists have identified children and families as possibly particularily vulnerable populations. The present study employed a developmental framework with two measurement points (the first at the peak of the lockdown restrictions (N = 2,921), the second after restrictions had been majorly loosened (N = 890)) t...
Article
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Following theoretical proposals emphasizing the role of caregiver behavior for child emotion processing, this study investigated whether maternal sensitivity and non‐intrusiveness predicted child attention to emotional facial expressions, assessed via eye tracking, as the earliest stage of emotion regulation. Maternal behavior and child attention w...
Article
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The effect of time pressure on metacognitive control is of theoretical and empirical relevance and is likely to allow us to tap into developmental differences in performances which do not become apparent otherwise, as previous studies suggest. In the present study, we investigated the effect of time pressure on metacognitive control in three age gr...
Article
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Caregivers’ moral reactions to young children’s moral transgressions are informative environmental responses for children’s developing understanding of morality. One central question concerns by which age parents hold their children responsible for moral transgressions. This study indirectly investigated this question by having parents and non-pare...
Article
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As COVID-19 dramatically changes human social life, restrictive lockdown periods to slow the spread of the virus have been suggested to particularly affect the psychological well-being of children and their families. To capture lockdown-related effects on a large scale, the present study used an online questionnaire completed by parents of 3-10-yea...
Article
The current study investigated whether children share especially much with their friends when sharing can be reciprocated (strategic sharing) or whether friendship and strategic reciprocity are independent factors in predicting children’s sharing. If the former is the case, children should prefer their friend relatively more in a situation where th...
Article
Sharing helps children form and maintain relationships with other children. Yet, children born today interact not only with other children, but increasingly with robots as well. Little is known on whether and how children treat robots as recipients of prosocial acts. We thus investigated children’s sharing behavior towards robots. Specifically, we...
Article
Full-text available
The relative efficiency of an action is a central criterion in action control and can be used to predict others’ behavior. Yet, it is unclear when the ability to predict on and reason about the efficiency of others’ actions develops. In three main and two follow-up studies, 3-to-6-year-old children (n = 242) were confronted with vignettes in which...
Article
Recent theories have highlighted the relevance of the moral self-concept (MSC) for prosocial behavior. Its early development and internal structure is still unknown, though. With two studies, we aimed to investigate the structure of the MSC in early childhood. Furthermore, we explored prosocial behavioral correlates (helping, sharing, comforting)....
Article
Despite the increase in interactions between children and robots, our understanding of children’s neural processing of robotic movements is limited. The current study theorized that motor resonance hinges on the agency of an actor: its ability to perform actions volitionally. As one of the first studies with a cross-sectional sample of preschoolers...
Preprint
Recent theories have highlighted the relevance of the moral self-concept (MSC) for prosocial behavior. Its early development and internal structure is still unknown, though. With two studies, we aimed to investigate the structure of the MSC in early childhood. Furthermore, we explored prosocial behavioral correlates (helping, sharing, comforting)....
Article
Full-text available
In the past year, an unprecedented climate movement has risen among European youth, so-called "Fridays4Future" (F4F). Thousands of pupils skip school every Friday to protest for better climate politics. The public debate on the protests contains highly mixed reactions, including praise as well as condemnation. Recent theoretical accounts propose th...
Article
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Recent theories stress the role of situational information in understanding others’ behaviour. For example, the predictive coding framework assumes that people take contextual information into account when anticipating other’s actions. Likewise, the teleological stance theory assumes an early developing ability to consider situational constraints i...
Article
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From early in development, humans show a strong preference for members of their own groups, even in so-called minimal (i.e., arbitrary and unfamiliar) groups, leading to tremendous negative consequences such as outgroup discrimination and derogation. A better understanding of the underlying processes driving humans' group mindedness is an important...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic variability is being discussed as a source of inter‐individual differences in Theory of Mind development. Previous studies documented an association between variations in DRD4 VNTR 48 bp, OXTR rs53576, COMT rs4680, and Theory of Mind task performance. As empirical evidence on these associations is sparse, we conducted a preregistered replic...
Preprint
As COVID-19 dramatically changes human social life, restrictive lockdown periods to slow the spread of the virus have been suggest to particularly affect the psychological well-being of children and their families. To capture lockdown-related effects on a large scale, the present study used an online questionnaire completed by parents of 3-10-year-...
Preprint
Introduction:To date, there are only few studies which compare the consequences of peripartum maternal depressive disorders (PD) versus depressive with comorbid anxiety disorders (PDCA) for infant and child development. As comorbidity is associated with greater impairment and symptom severity related to the primary diagnosis, comorbidity in mothers...
Article
Full-text available
How should one respond to ubiquitous economic inequalities? The legend Robin Hood suggests to take away from the wealthy to benefit the poor, while another strategy holds the opposite (Matthew effect). Here, 3- to 8-year-old children (N = 140) witnessed protagonists performing redistributions (e.g., Robin Hood, Matthew) of necessary and luxury reso...
Article
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Recent research has shown that preschool children tend to preferentially allocate resources to rich than to poor others. The findings that young children tend to perpetuate inequalities are puzzling given classical developmental theories that largely focused on the emergence of equality and equity in childhood. In this review, we first sketch the e...
Article
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Identifying the underlying psychological and social factors of social distancing is crucial to foster preventive behavior during a pandemic effectively. We investigated the relative contribution of self-focused (fear of infection, fear of punishment) and other-focused factors (moral judgment, moral identity, empathy for unspecific others, empathy f...
Article
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Theories suggest that the perception of others’ actions and social cues leads to selective processing of object features. Most recently, natural pedagogy theory postulated that ostensive cues lead to a selective processing of an object's features at the expense of processing of it's location. This study examined this hypothesis in ten-year-old chil...
Article
During the preschool years, children start to share selectively with close affiliates such as friends. It is, however, unclear whether preschool children also selectively rely on their own friends more than on their non-friends to share with them. Moreover, the developmental course of this relationship-dependent reliance is unknown. In the current...
Article
Full-text available
Recent metacognitive research using a partial knowledge task indicates that a firm understanding of “knowing about knowing” develops surprisingly late, at around 6 years of age. To reveal the mechanisms subserving this development, the partial knowledge task was used in a longitudinal study with 67 children (33 girls) as an outcome measure at 5;9 (...
Article
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Recent research suggests that children’s sharing behavior is affected by experiencing or observing others’ sharing. These effects have been studied within research on the development of reciprocity and the effects of social modeling. In this study, direct and indirect types of reciprocity and social modeling were assessed in 3-6-year-old children i...
Article
Full-text available
Prior studies document cross cultural variation in the developmental onset of mindreading. In particular, Japanese children are reported to pass a standard false belief task later than children from Western countries. By contrast, we know little about cross-cultural variation in young children’s metacognitive abilities. Moreover, one prominent theo...
Article
These days, political mobilization, particularly among young people, is on the rise. However, some of these people not only engage in legal and non-violent (activism) but also in illegal and violent actions (radicalism). In this work, we aimed to empirically explore these phenomena in greater detail, hypothesizing that younger (compared to older) a...
Article
This study aimed at investigating the neurocognitive correlates of the perception and evaluation of equitable and inequitable distributions in 5-year-old children. Children observed one character distributing toys or candies between two recipients. One of the recipients already possessed many resources, and the other possessed just a few. We used e...
Chapter
The early development of morality has become a topic of intense research in the past decade. One key question concerns how young children become moral beings, that is, how and when moral concerns emerge in human ontogeny. Here, I review four currently prominent theoretical approaches that propose different psychological bases of the ontogeny of mor...
Article
Full-text available
Infants and toddlers engage in instrumental helping, that is, help others in achieving an action-based goal. The underlying psychological mechanisms are unclear and hotly debated. The present study examined whether young children’s helping is affected by others’ need. To this end, 1.5- and 3.5-year-old children (n=101) were simultaneously confronte...
Article
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Prosoziales Verhalten spielt eine zentrale Rolle in der kindlichen Entwicklung. Die vorliegende Studie untersuchte die Ausprägung von drei prosozialen Verhaltensweisen (Helfen, Trösten, Teilen) bei 3–6-jährigen Kindern mit Sprachentwicklungsstörungen (SES) und einer Kontrollgruppe. Beide Gruppen unterschieden sich nicht im Ausmaß instrumenteller Hi...
Article
Prosocial behavior plays a central role for children’s development. The current study examined three prosocial behaviors (helping, comforting, sharing) in 3-6-year-old children with developmental language disorder (DLD) and a control group. There was no difference in children’s instrumental helping. Children with DLD were less likely to engage in c...
Article
Much of our everyday actions consist of several action steps, which are hierarchically structured. Yet, little is known about the development of the prediction of such complex actions in early childhood. The current work investigated the development of predicting means-end actions in 3- to 6-year-olds (N = 86) and an adult control group (N = 25). P...
Article
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An action’s end state can be anticipated by considering the agent’s goal, or simply by projecting the movement trajectory. Theories suggest that individuals with autism spectrum condition (ASC) have difficulties in anticipating other’s goal-directed actions, caused by an impairment of using prior information. We examined whether children, adolescen...
Article
The moral self-concept reflects the view of oneself in terms of moral behavior and has been proposed to predict actual behavior. Theories also suggest emotions and emotion knowledge to predict prosocial behavior, but the interplay between the moral self-concept and emotions is largely unknown. This interplay is especially important to study in midd...
Article
Much of our everyday actions consist of several action steps, which are hierarchically structured. Yet, little is known about the development of the prediction of such complex actions in early childhood. The current work investigated the development of predicting means-end actions in 3- to 6-year-olds (N=86) and an adult control group (N=25). Parti...
Article
The early development of morality has become a topic of intense research in the past decade. One key question concerns how young children become moral beings, that is, how and when moral concerns emerge in human ontogeny. Here, I review four currently prominent theoretical approaches that propose different psychological bases of the ontogeny of mor...
Article
Full-text available
Psychological scientists have become increasingly concerned with issues related to methodology and replicability, and infancy researchers in particular face specific challenges related to replicability: For example, high-powered studies are difficult to conduct, testing conditions vary across labs, and different labs have access to different infant...
Chapter
In this chapter, I will present the sketch of a developmental account on how young children become moral agents. That is, I aim to provide an answer to the question of how normativity comes into human life and, in particular, how children start to conceive of actions as being good or bad, or as being obligated or prohibited. The account builds on c...
Article
Contemporary moral philosophy stresses the idea of reasonable partiality. This concept proposes that close relationships carry a normative obligation to be partial towards another person. This study explored in two experiments whether 4- to 6-year-old children (n=185) enforce partiality from third parties (Experiment 1) and how they prioritize a no...
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigated preschoolers' multiple sociomoral considerations (equality, equity, perpetuating inequality) in a third-party context of social inequality. Using a resource allocation task involving one wealthy and one poor character, we examined how 3- to 5-year-old children (N = 100) allocated either necessary (must-have) or luxury...
Article
An ability to flexibly learn from others while at other times relying upon one’s own judgments is an important adaptive human capacity. The present research investigated how others’ epistemic states and prior experience of their own independent ability in a given task modulate young children’s selective learning. In particular, we asked whether 4-y...
Article
The study examined whether preschool children conceive of empathy-based comforting as being an obligatory reaction towards others in emotional need. We presented 3- and 5-year-old children with three scenarios in which protagonists showed different reactions towards an agent who has hurt herself. One protagonist reacted antisocially by laughing at...
Article
Full-text available
Metacognition plays a pivotal role in human development. The ability to realize that we do not know something, or meta-ignorance, emerges after approximately five years of age. We sought for the brain systems that underlie the developmental emergence of this ability in a preschool sample. Twenty-four children aged between five and six years answere...
Article
Full-text available
Metacognition plays a pivotal role in human development. The ability to realize that we do not know something, or meta-ignorance, emerges after approximately five years of age. We sought for the brain systems that underlie the developmental emergence of this ability in a preschool sample. Twenty-four children aged between five and six years answere...
Article
Full-text available
According to attachment theory, internal working models of attachment affect the way in which social and emotional information is processed. The current study examined this theoretical claim by investigating the association between attachment security and attention to facial emotional expressions in five-year-old children. Attachment security was a...
Article
Reciprocity has been suggested to represent a crucial normative principle for humans. The current study aimed to investigate the normative foundations of reciprocity and the development of a reciprocity norm in young children. To this end, we presented 3- to 6-year-olds with three conditions. In one condition, a protagonist reciprocated sharing a l...
Article
Full-text available
Influential developmental theories claim that infants rely on goals when visually anticipating actions. A widely noticed study suggested that 11-month-olds anticipate that a hand continues to grasp the same object even when it swapped position with another object (Cannon, E., & Woodward, A. L. (2012). Infants generate goal-based action predictions....
Article
Full-text available
Moral identity, or moral self, is the degree to which being moral is important to a person’s self-concept. It is hypothesized to be the “missing link” between moral judgment and moral action. However, its cognitive and psychophysiological mechanisms are still subject to debate. In this study, we used Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) to examine wheth...
Chapter
Das erste Unterkapitel behandelt wichtige Themen der psychosexuellen Entwicklung im Jugendalter. Zuerst werden ausgewählte Aspekte der körperlichen Entwicklung zwischen Grundschule und Sekundarstufe dargestellt. Darauf aufbauend werden einige Konsequenzen der psychosexuellen Entwicklung im Jugendalter beschrieben. Der nächste Abschnitt beschreibt d...
Article
The regulation of interpersonal distance and social space plays a central role in social behavior, and intrusions into personal space often lead to irritations in social interactions. Although there is plenty of research on people's actual proxemics in social interactions, less is known about how individuals represent and reason about social space,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research Highlights [1] Children develop the ability to report that they do not know something at around five years of age. [2] Children who could correctly report their own ignorance in a partial-knowledge task showed thicker cortices within medial orbitofrontal cortex. [3] This region was functionally connected to parts of the default-mode networ...
Article
Altruism is a central feature of human morality. Recent research sheds light on the development of altruism in early childhood. We propose a novel theoretical framework that systematizes past and future research on how altruism develops from infancy to childhood. The framework includes four phases in the development of human altruism: (1) interest...
Article
Full-text available
The achievement motive is one of the core motives of human behavior and can be divided into two motives: an approach motive (i.e., hope for success [HS]), and an avoidance motive (i.e., fear of failure [FF]). Research has demonstrated that frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetry in the alpha frequency band is an important marker for difference...
Article
The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been suggested to facilitate social cognition and behavior. As predicting others' behavior is at the core of human social-cognitive abilities and is indispensable for successful social interaction, we hypothesized that OT would increase action prediction. To test this hypothesis, 61 male and female healthy partici...
Article
The current study examined whether young children conceive of language use as a normative practice. To this end, 3- and 5-year-old children first learned a novel word. Thereafter, they were presented with a protagonist who used the novel word to refer to either the correct or the incorrect object. Children of both age groups selectively protested w...
Article
Robots are becoming an integral part of society, yet our moral stance towards these non-living objects is unclear. In two experiments, we investigated whether anthropomorphic appearance and anthropomorphic attributions modulated people’s utilitarian decision-making about robotic agents. In Study I, participants were presented with moral dilemmas in...
Article
The achievement motive is one of the core motives of human behaviour and can be divided into two motives: an approach motive (i.e., hope for success), and an avoidance motive (i.e., fear of failure). Research has demonstrated that frontal EEG asymmetry in the alpha frequency band is an important marker for differences in motivational processes. The...
Article
Rubio-Fernández (2019, Cognitive Development) comments on our non-replication of her Duplo task (Kammermeier & Paulus, 2018, Cognitive Development). Here, we respond to several of the issues raised in her letter.
Article
The current longitudinal study examined relations between different dimensions of mother-child interaction quality and children’s multifaceted self-concept in n=150 participants. Mothers’ emotional availability was assessed when children were 7 months and 4 years old. Children’s social and academic self-concept as well as their general self-worth w...