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Preaching and Practicing Generosity: Children's Actions and Reactions

James H. Bryan and Nancy Hodges Walbek
Child Development
Vol. 41, No. 2 (Jun., 1970), pp. 329-353
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1127035
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1127035
Page Count: 25
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Preaching and Practicing Generosity: Children's Actions and Reactions
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Abstract

4 experiments were conducted to asses the common and independent variances associated with exhortations, behavioral example, and contradictions between the 2 upon children's reactions in helping situations. Experiment I indicated that the model's (M) acts affected the child's donation behavior, but that M's exhortations did not. Experiment II partially replicated the modeling effect found in Experiment I, but demonstrated that both preachings and practices were important determinants of the judged attractiveness of the model. Preaching failed to affect donation behavior. Experiment III replicated the results of Experiment I on the effects of M's actions and of Experiment II on the influences of preachings and practices upon M's attractiveness rating, and further demonstrated that Ss' cognitions concerning charity, as indexed by messages left for other children, had but a slight correlation with their helping behavior. Experiment IV assessed inter-personal attraction ratings unconfounded with donation behavior and recall errors related to the treatment condition. As in Experiments II and III, children predictably failed to recall accurately conditions wherein the model acted inconsistently. Failure to find an interaction of words and deeds upon behavior and attraction of M is thus attributed to the difficult conceptual task confronting the child.

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