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Child Effects on Adult's Method of Eliciting Altruistic Behavior

Barbara Bledsoe Keller and Richard Q. Bell
Child Development
Vol. 50, No. 4 (Dec., 1979), pp. 1004-1009
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129326
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129326
Page Count: 6
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Child Effects on Adult's Method of Eliciting Altruistic Behavior
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Abstract

3 9-year-old girls who were trained to act high and low in person orientation served as confederates. 24 female college students, unaware that the children were trained, participated in 4 5-min periods with 1 of the children. Although the 4 periods differed in the actual materials used, in all of them the adult was instructed to encourage the child to do something for another child (such as sew a pillow for a handicapped child). In the high person-orientation condition, the child attended to the adult's face and answered promptly. In the low condition, the child looked primarily at the toys and craft materials and delayed answering the adult. As predicted, the experimentally produced variations in children's behavior affected the adults' socialization techniques. The verbal interaction of adults with children high in person orientation was characterized by reasoning about the consequences of acts, while that with children lower in person orientation largely involved bargaining with material rewards.

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