Psychologists at the University of British Columbia found that toddlers under the age of two are happier when giving treats to others than receiving treats themselves.
More interestingly they are found to be more happier when they give their own treats away than an identical treat that does not belong to them.
These findings published in PLoS One, an on-line journal from the Public Library of Science, support recent research showing that adults feel good when they help others and it may explain why people act pro-socially, even when doing so involves personal cost.
This is the first study to show that giving to others makes young children happy, the researchers said.
Dr Lara Akin, who led the study, said: "People tend to assume that toddlers are naturally selfish. These findings show that children are actually happier giving than receiving."
During the study, each toddler received some treats, such as Goldfish crackers. A few minutes later, the toddler was asked to give one of these treats away to a puppet. In addition, they were provided an extra treat and asked to give this to the puppet. The children