Flashcards in Developmental trends in children's prosocial behaviour and the factors that contribute to prosocial behaviour and altruism Deck (41):
How would you structure an essay on developmental trends in children's prosocial behaviour and contributing factors? 5 points
2. Define altruism and prosocial behaviour
3. Developmental trends in prosocial behaviour
- Gender differences
4. Contributors to the development of altruism and prosocial behaviour
- social-cognitive and affective contributors (moral reasoning and empathy)
- Cultural and social influences (cultural influences; social influences)
How would you define altruism?
Altruism can be defined as a genuine concern for the welfare of other people and a willingness to act on that concern.
Altruism is frequently displayed in...
What is prosocial behaviour?
psychologists define prosocial behaviour as any action that is intended to benefit other people, such as sharing with someone less fortunate, comforting or rescuing someone, cooperation, or simply making others feel good by complimenting them (Eisenberg, Fabes, & Spinrad, 2006).
Developmental experts once believed that infants and toddlers were incapable of considering the needs of others; however, ...
we now know that this is wrong.
Although many X-Y year olds show sympathy and compassion toward distressed companions, they are not particularly eager to make [blank]], such as sharing a treasured toy with a peer.
truly self-sacrificial responses
Sharing and other benevolent acts are more likely to occur if adults ... or if a peer...
instruct a toddler to consider others’ needs (Levitt et al., 1985),
actively elicits sharing through a request or a threat of some kind, such as “I won’t be your friend if you won’t gimme some” (Birch and Billman, 1986).
on the whole, acts of spontaneous self-sacrifice in the interest of others are relatively infrequent among toddlers and young preschool children; although it is notable that...
this does not mean that they are oblivious to the needs of others’.
on the whole, acts of spontaneous self-sacrifice in the interest of others are relatively infrequent among toddlers and young preschool children; although it is notable that this does not mean that they are oblivious to the needs of others’.
What did one study find in relation to this? Describe study. Who conducted it?
, in one observational study in nursey-school, 2.5-3.5 year olds were found to take pleasure in performing acts of kindness for others in pretend play.
Things change with age, and 4-6 year olds were observed performing more real helping acts, and rarely ‘play-acted the role of an altruist (Bar-Tal, Raviv, & Goldberg, 1982)
Prosocial behaviour becomes more common from primary school onwards; however, such changes cannot be attributed entirely to ...
age (Underwood and Moore, 1982);
People commonly assume that girls are more helpful, generous and compassionate than boys - perhaps this stereotype qualifies as a...
Girls are often reported to [blank] and [blank] more than boys, as well as... , although the magnitude of the difference is not larger (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998).
emiting stronger facial and vocal expressions of sympathy
(Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998).
Why are the findings that girls emit stronger facial and vocal expressions of sympathy difficult to interpret?
because boys experience as much physiological arousal upon encountering someone who is distressed as girls do (Eisenberg and Fabes, 1998).
In a recent study relating to gender and prosocial behavior what did Roy and Benenson (2002) find? What did the authors conclude from their findings?
Roy and Benenson (2002) found that by middle childhood boys were more likely than girls to act to hinder another child’s chances of winning a prize while playing a game, even when they themselves could easily earn the same prize without regard to how the other player perform.
The authors concluded that looking good or attaining status was more important to boys than girls.
The contributors to prosocial behaviour and altruism can broadly be broken into two categories - what are they?
1. social-cognitive and affective factors
2. cultural and social influences
What two sub-headings fit under social-cognitive and affective contributors to altruism?
1. Prosocial moral reasoning
Children with well-developed role taking skills are often found to be more helpful or compassionate than poor role-takers, largely because...
they are better able to infer a companion’s need for assistance or comforting (Einsberg, Zhou, & Koller, 2001; Shaffer, 2005).
In fact, evidence for a causal link between [blank] and altruism is quite clear
affective and social perspective taking
In fact, evidence for a causal link between affective and social perspective taking and altruism is quite clear with studies showing ....
that children and adolescents who receive training to further these role-taking skills subsequently become more charitable, more cooperative, and more concerned about the needs of others when compared with age mates who receive no training (Iannotti, 1978).
Reference for studies on training to further role-taking skills?
However, role taking is only one of several personal attributes that play a part in the development of altruistic behaviour. Two especially important contributors are ...
children’s level of prosocial moral reasoning
and their empathic reactions to the distress of others.
Prosocial moral reasoning refers to
the thinking that people display when deciding whether to help, share with, or comfort others when these actions could prove costly to themselves.
Over the past 25 years, researchers have charted the development of children’s [blank] and its relationship to [blank]
reasoning about prosocial issues
Over the past 25 years, researchers have charted the development of children’s reasoning about prosocial issues and its relationship to altruistic behaviour. For example, Nancy Eisenberg and colleagues (1983)
have presented children with stories in which the central character has to decide whether or not to help or comfort someone when the prosocial act would be personally costly.
They have found that reasoning about these prosocial dilemas may progress through as many as five levels between early childhood and adolescence.
Pre-schoolers responses are generally self-serving, but as the children mature they tend to become increasingly responsive to the needs and wishes of others - so much so that some high school students feel that they could no longer respect themselves if they were to ignore the appeal of a person in need to pursue their own interests (Eisenberg, 1983).
Prosocial moral reasoning has also been shown to predict altruistic behaviour... reference
pre-schoolers who have progressed beyond the hedonistic level of prosocial moral reasoning are more likely to help and spontaneously share valuable commodities with their peers that those who still reason in a self-serving way (Miller et al, 1996).
What did Eisenberg et al (1999) find?
in a 17 year longitudinal study, Eisenberg and colleagues (1999) found that prosocial disposition age 4-5 predicts prosocial behaviour into young adulthood, meaning that it is relatively stable over time.
What is Eisenberg's view in relation to empathy?
Eisenberg’s view is that a child’s growing ability to empathise with others contributes heavily to mature prosocial reasoning and to the development of a selfless concern for promoting the welfare of whoever might require one’s assistance (Eisenberg et al., 1999).
Although infants and toddlers seem to recognise and often react to the distress of their companions, their responses ...
are not always helpful ones.
Although infants and toddlers seem to recognise and often react to the distress of their companions, their responses are not always helpful ones. In fact, ... reference?
some children experience personal distress upon witnessing the distress or misfortune of others and may ignore or turn away from a person in need in order to relieve their own discomfort (Young, Fox and Zahn-Waxler, 1999).
Other children are more inclined to interpret their empathic arousal as concern for distressed others, and ...
and it is this sympathetic empathic arousal, rather than self oriented distress, that should eventually come to promote altruism (Batson, 1991; Hoffman, 2000).
How do cultures differ in relation to altruism?
in their endorsement or encouragement
In one interesting cross-cultural study...
Whiting and Whiting (1975) observed the altruistic behaviour of 3-10 year olds in 6 countries: Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, Okinawa, India and the United States; they found that the children of less industrialised societies were more altruistic. The authors proposed that this was because in these cultures people live in large families and children routinely contribute to the family welfare by processing food, preparing meals, caring for younger siblings etc..
In their studing, Whiting and Whiting proposed that children of less industrialised societies were more altruistic because in these cultures people live in large families and children routinely contribute to family welfare by caring for younger siblings etc.
Such a hypothesis is supported by research by who? what did they find?
Such a hypothesis is supported by research by Grusec and colleagues (1996) where the authors found that children in Western industrialised societies who are assigned housework or other tasks that benefit family members are more prosocially inclined than age-mates whose responsibilities consist mainly of self-care routines, such as cleaning their own room.
Another factor contributing to the low altruism scores of children from Western individualistic nations is the tremendous emphasis that these societies place on ...
on competition and on individual rather than group goals (Hofstede).
Another factor contributing to the low altruism scores of children from Western individualistic nations is the tremendous emphasis that these societies place on competition and on individual rather than group goals (Hofstede). Contrastingly, children from collectivist cultures are taught ,...
to suppress individualism and cooperate with others for the greater good of the group (Triandis, 1995).
children from collectivist cultures are taught to suppress individualism and cooperate with others for the greater good of the group (Triandis, 1995). Consequently, for children in collectivist societies, ....
, prosocial behaviour doesn’t have the same discretionary quality that it does in individualistic societies, instead, giving of oneself for the greater good of the group is as much an obligation as resolving not to break moral rules (Triandis, 1995).
Many experiments (reviewed in Shaffer, 2005) reveal that likable and respected adults can promote children’s prosocial behaviour by ...
verbally reinforcing acts of kindness.
What did Kochanska et al. (2001) find?
Children are generally motivated to live up to the standards of people that admire
However, children who are bribed with tangible rewards have been found to be less altruistic; this is because...
they attribute their desire to help others to a desire to earn the incentive, rather than concern for others’ welfare.
Additionally experiments consistently indicate that young children who observe charitable or helpful models ...
become more charitable or helpful themselves