Researches revealed that helping behaviors emerge as early as after children’s first birthday of their life. However, in young children, it is not clear whether these behaviors are performed in order to benefit other(s) or for another reasons. To study this problematic, an instrumental helping task was used and four different conditions were designed depending on whether the adult needs for the falling object or not and whether the object falls spontaneously or the object is dropped by adult. In the within-subject design study, different conditions were combined in a scenario and counter-balanced. Forty-three children aging between 18-38 months participated in the study. The results of the study indicated that children helped significantly more in the need conditions than in the no-need conditions. However, there was no significant difference in children’s helping behavior either the agent of the falling object is an adult or not. Results also showed that, regardless of need or no-need conditions, boys were more likely to help the adult than girls in the conditions in which adult is an agent of the falling object. These results are in line with researches that point out children’s instrumental helping behaviors may occur for the benefit of others by considering other’s needs.
Keywords: instrumental helping, prosocial behavior, altruism