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In press


Vaish, A., & Grossmann, T. (in press). Caring for others: The early emergence of sympathy and guilt. To appear in S. Hart and D. F. Bjorklund (Eds.), Evolutionary Perspectives on Infancy. Springer..

Vaish, A. (in press). The prosocial functions of guilt in early childhood. To appear in D. Dukes, A. Samson, and E. Walle (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Emotion Development. Oxford University Press. Pre-print available here


*Beeler-Duden, S., *Pelletz, K., & Vaish, A. (2022). Recipient identifiability increases prosocial behavior in young children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 223, 105500. *Signifies equal contribution

Vaish, A., & Savell, S. (2022). Young children value recipients who display gratitude. Developmental Psychology, 58(4), 680-692.

Yucel, M., Drell, M., Jaswal, V., & Vaish, A. (2022). Young children do not perceive distributional fairness as a moral norm. Developmental Psychology

Chajes, J., Grossmann, T., & Vaish, A. (2022). Fairness takes time: Development of cooperative decision making in fairness context. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 216, 105344.

Vaish, A., & Oostenbroek, J. (2022). Preferential forgiveness: The impact of group membership and remorse on preschoolers’ forgiveness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 151(5), 1132-1140.


Yucel, M., & Vaish, A. (2021). Eliciting forgiveness. WIREs Cognitive Science, 12(6), e1572.

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., Kano, F., Albiach-Serrano, A., Benziad, L., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2021). Chimpanzees’ (Pan troglodytes) internal arousal remains elevated if they cannot themselves help a conspecific. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 135(2), 196-207.


Vaish, A., & Hepach, R. (2020). The development of prosocial emotions.Emotion Review, 12, 259-273.[Invited target article]

Hepach, R., & Vaish, A. (2020). The study of prosocial emotions in early childhood: Unique opportunities and insights. Emotion Review, 12, 278-279. doi: 10.1177/1754073920939630. [Response to commentaries]

Grossmann, T., Missana, M., & Vaish, A. (2020). Helping fast and slow: Exploring intuitive cooperation in early ontogeny. Cognition, 196, 104144. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.104144

Beeler-Duden, S., & Vaish, A. (2020). Paying it forward: The development and underlying mechanisms of upstream reciprocity. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 192, 104785. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2019.104785

*Beeler-Duden, S., *Yucel, M., & Vaish, A. (2020). The role of affect in feelings of obligation. Brain and Behavioral Sciences. [Commentary] doi: 10.1017/S0140525X19002449 *signifies equal contribution 

Yucel, M., Hepach, R., & Vaish, A. (2020). Young children and adults show differential arousal to moral and conventional transgressions. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00548 (Winner of the 2020 APS Albert Bandura Graduate Research Award)

Vaish, A. (2020). Empathy and prosocial behavior. In J. B. Benson (Ed.), C. Brownell (Section ed.), Encyclopedia of Infant and Early Childhood Development, 2nd ed. vol. 1 (pp. 560-567). Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-809324-5.21816-6


Hepach, R., Vaish, A., Müller, K., & Tomasello, M. (2019). Toddlers’ intrinsic motivation to return help to their benefactor. Developmental Psychology, 188, 104658. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2019.06.011

Vaish, A. (2019). Something old, something new: Leveraging what we know to optimize new directions in emotion development research. Developmental Psychology, 55, 1998-2001. [Commentary] doi: 10.1037/dev0000774

Oostenbroek, J., & Vaish, A. (2019). The benefits of forgiving: Young children respond positively to those who forgive. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 148, 1914-1924. doi: 10.1037/xge0000576

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., Müller, K., Tomasello, M. (2019). The relation between young children’s physiological arousal and their motivation to help others. Neuropsycholgia. 126, 113- 119doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.10.010

Oostenbroek, J., & Vaish, A. (2019). The emergence of forgiveness in young children. Child Development, 90, 1969-1986. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13069


Kelsey, C., Vaish, A., & Grossmann, T. (2018). Eyes, more than other facial features, enhance real-world donation behavior. Human Nature, 29, 390-401. doi: 10.1007/s12110-018-9327-1

Vaish, A., Hepach, R., & Tomasello, M. (2018). The specificity of reciprocity: Young children reciprocate more generously to those who intentionally benefit themJournal of Experimental Child Psychology. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.11.005 

Yucel, M. & Vaish, A. (2018). Young children tattle to enforce moral norms. Social Development, 27, 924-936. doi:10.1111/sode.12290

Vaish, A., Hepach, R., Grossmann, T. (2018). Desire understanding in 2-year-old children: An eye-tracking study. Infant Behavior and Development, 52, 22-31. doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2018.05.002

Kelsey, C., Grossmann, T., & Vaish, A. (2018). Early reputation management: Three-year-old children are more generous following exposure to eyes. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:698. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00698

Vaish, A. (2018). Sophisticated concern in early development. In N. Roughley and T. Schramme (Eds.), Forms of fellow feeling (pp. 216-242). Cambridge University Press.

Vaish, A. (2018). The prosocial functions of early social emotions: The case of guilt. Current Opinion in Psychology, 20, 25-29. doi:10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.08.008


Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2017). Children’s intrinsic motivation to provide help themselves after accidentally harming others. Child Development, 88, 1251-1264. [pdf]

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2017). The fulfillment of others’ needs elevates children’s body posture. Developmental Psychology, 53, 100-113.

Vaish, A., Kelsey, C., Tripathi, A., & Grossmann, T. (2017). Attentiveness to eyes predicts generosity in a reputation-relevant context. Evolution and Human Behavior, 38, 729-733. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.07.004


Davidov, M., Vaish, A., Knafo-Noam, A., & Hastings, P. D. (2016). The motivational foundations of prosocial behavior from a developmental perspective – Evolutionary roots and key psychological mechanisms: Introduction to the special section. Child Development, 87, 1655-1667. [pdf]

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., Grossmann, T., & Tomasello, M. (2016). Young children want to see others get the help they need. Child Development, 87, 1703-1714. [pdf]

Vaish, A., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2016). The early emergence of guilt-motivated prosocial behavior. Child Development, 87, 1772-1782. [pdf]

Over, H., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2016). Do young children accept responsibility for the negative actions of ingroup members? Cognitive Development, 40, 24-32. [pdf]

Vaish, A. (2016). Flexible concern: The development of multidetermined and context-dependent empathic responding. Child Development Perspectives, 10(3). [pdf]

Vaish, A., Herrmann, E., Markmann, C., & Tomasello, M. (2016). Preschoolers value those who sanction non-cooperators. Cognition, 153, 43-51. [pdf]

*Rajhans, P., Altvater-Mackensen, N., Vaish, A., & Grossmann, T. (2016). Children’s altruistic behavior in context: The role of emotional responsiveness and culture. Scientific Reports, 6: 24089. doi:10.1038/srep24089 [pdf]


Vaish, A., Grossmann, T., & Woodward, A. (2015). Person-centred positive emotions, object-centred negative emotions: 2-year-olds generalize negative but not positive emotions across individuals. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 33, 391-397. [pdf]

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2015). Novel paradigms to measure variability of behavior in early childhood: Posture, gaze, and pupil dilation. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 858. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00858


Jensen, K., Vaish, A., & Schmidt, M. F. H. (2014). The emergence of human prosociality: Aligning with others through feelings, concerns, and norms. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 822. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00822

Kinzler, K., & Vaish, A. (2014). Political infants? Developmental origins of the negativity bias. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37, 318. [Commentary]

Liebal, K., Vaish, A., Haun, D., & Tomasello, M. (2014). Does sympathy motivate prosocial behavior in great apes? PLoS One, 9(1):e84299doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084299

Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2014). The early ontogeny of human cooperation and morality. In M. Killen and J. G. Smetana (Eds.), Handbook of Moral Development (pp. 279-298). Taylor and Francis. [link]


Grossmann, T., Vaish, A., Franz, J., Schroeder, R., Stoneking, M., & Friederici, A. D. (2013). Emotional voice processing: Investigating the role of genetic variation in the serotonin transporter across development. PLoS One, 8(7): e68377. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068377

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2013). Young children sympathize less in response to unjustified emotional distress. Developmental Psychology, 49(6), 1132-1138. [pdf]

Tomasello, M., & Vaish, A. (2013). Origins of human cooperation and morality. Annual Reviews of Psychology, 64, 231-255. [pdf]

            ♦ Translated into German: Tomasello, M., & Vaish, A. (2016). Die Entstehung menschlicher Kooperation und Moral. J. Nida-Rümelin und J. Heilinger (Eds.), Moral, Wissenschaft, Wahrheit (pp. 181- 221). Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter.

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2013). A new look at children’s prosocial motivation. Infancy, 18(1), 67-90. [pdf]

Herrmann, E., Keupp, S., Hare, B., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2013). Direct and indirect reputation formation in non-human great apes and human children. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 127(1), 63-75. [pdf]


Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2012). Young children are intrinsically motivated to see others helped.Psychological Science, 23(9), 967-972. [pdf]

Vaish, A., & Warneken, F. (2012). Social-cognitive contributors to young children’s empathic and prosocial behavior. In J. Decety (Ed.), Empathy: From Bench to Bedside (pp. 131-146). Cambridge: MIT Press. [pdf]


Vaish, A., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2011). Young children’s responses to guilt displays. Developmental Psychology, 47(5), 1248-1262. [pdf]

Vaish, A., Demir, Ö. E., & Baldwin, D. (2011). Thirteen- and 18-month-old infants recognize when they need referential information. Social Development, 20(3), 431-449. [pdf]

Vaish, A., Missana, M., & Tomasello, M. (2011). Three-year-old children intervene in third-party moral transgressions. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 29(1), 124-130. [pdf]

Grossmann, T., Johnson, M. H., Vaish, A., Hughes, D., Quinque, D., Stoneking, M., & Friederici, A. (2011). Genetic and neural dissociation of individual responses to emotional expressions in human infants. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 1(1), 57-66. [pdf]


Vaish, A., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2010). Young children selectively avoid helping people with harmful intentions. Child Development, 81(6), 1661-1669. [pdf]

Vaish, A., & Woodward, A. (2010). Infants use attention but not emotions to predict others’ actions. Infant Behavior and Development, 33(1), 79-87. [pdf]


Vaish, A., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2009). Sympathy through affective perspective-taking and its relation to prosocial behavior in toddlers. Developmental Psychology, 45(2), 534-543. [pdf]

♦ Reprinted in M. Killen and R. Coplan (Eds.) (2011), Social development in childhood and adolescence: A contemporary reader (pp. 48-61). Wiley-Blackwell.


Vaish, A., Grossmann, T., & Woodward, A. (2008). Not all emotions are created equal: The negativity bias in social-emotional development. Psychological Bulletin134(3), 383-403. [pdf]

Grossmann, T., & Vaish, A. (2008). Reading faces: Developing a multi-level analysis of a social stimulus. In T. Striano & V. Reid (Eds.), Social cognition: Development, neuroscience and autism (pp. 167-180). Blackwell. [pdf]


Lillard, A., Nishida, T., Massaro, D., Vaish, A., Ma, L., & McRoberts, G. (2007). Signs of pretense across age and scenario. Infancy, 11, 1-30. [pdf]


Striano, T., & Vaish, A. (2006). Seven- to 9-month-old infants use facial expressions to interpret others’ actions. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24, 753-760. [pdf]

Striano, T., Vaish, A., & Benigno, J. (2006). The meaning of infants’ looks: Information-seeking and comfort-seeking?British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24, 615-630. [pdf]

Striano, T., Henning, A., & Vaish, A. (2006). Selective looking by 12-month-olds to a temporally contingent partner.Interaction Studies, 7, 233-250. [pdf]


Vaish, A., & Woodward, A. (2005). Baby steps on the path to understanding intentions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 717-718. (Commentary) [pdf]


Vaish, A., & Striano, T. (2004). Is visual reference necessary? Contributions of facial versus vocal cues in 12-month-olds’ social referencing behavior. Developmental Science, 7, 261-269. [pdf]