Altruism: development of the prosocial eye in children

Even before receiving moral education, Children already behave similar to prosocial.

Altruism: the development of the prosocial ego

Origins of altruism

At 12-18 months, they sometimes give toys to their peers. At around 2 years old, they show more rationality by offering their goods when they are scarce. At 3 years old, they show reciprocity by returning the favor.

As for origins, there are individual differences, some children behave altruistically and others do not. This may be due to:

  • Children who recognize themselves.
  • Parents who, instead of reacting coercively, act more affectionately (eg you made Dorg cry, biting is not okay).

Developmental trends of altruism

Acts of self-sacrifice are rare in children who begin to walk or in preschoolers. It is from elementary school that prosocial attitudes begin to manifest.

There are no gender differences in prosocial behavior.

Social and affective cognitive contributions of altruism

There is a causal link between an emotional and social perspective. There are two prerequisites: empathy and social moral reasoning (reflection manifested by people who decide to help other people, to share with them or to console anything that these actions could prove to be costly on their own. ).

Prosocial moral reasoning

Much research has focused on a child’s reasoning about prosocial issues and their relationship to altruistic behavior.

At first, the concern is about their own needs, but as these mature they tend to be more sensitive to others.

through Eisenberg, The growing capacity for empathy influences prosocial reasoning.

Eisenberg’s Levels of Prosocial Moral Reasoning

levelapproximate ageBrief description and typical answerPreschool hedonist, beginning of elementary school, the concern lies in their own needs. He is more likely to give help if it benefits him. Elementary school approval and some high school students Concern for approval and stereotypical images of right and wrong greatly influence empathic orientation. vague references are often made to duties and values. Orientation towards internalized values ​​A small minority of secondary school students; no primary school student. The justifications for helping are based on internalized values, norms, beliefs and responsibilities; violation of these principles can undermine self-respect.

Empathy: a loving and important contribution to altruism

seconds HoffmanEmpathy is a universal human response that has a neurological basis that can be stimulated or suppressed by the influence of the environment. Some children may show compassionate empathic activation (feelings of compassion when the other is in distress) or self-directed anxiety (feelings of distress when the other is in distress).

Socialization of empathy

Parents Can Stimulate Compassionate Empathic Activation:

  • Modeling of empathic concern
  • Use forms of discipline with an emotional orientation

Age trends in the relationship between empathy and altruism

The link between empathy and altruism is strongest in pre-adolescence, adolescence and adulthood, and less in preschool and elementary school. Young children lack the skills to consider the perspective of others.

Assumption of perceived responsibility

Theory that empathy can stimulate altruism as it leads to thinking about altruistic norms, which generates the obligation to help others who are in distress.

Cultural and social influences of altruism

cultural influences

The most altruistic societies are those that are less industrialized and less individualistic. Although societies differ in the importance they attach to altruism, they all apply the standard of social responsibility (everyone should help those in need). Adults persuade children to care about the well-being of others differently.

altruistic reinforcement

Children reinforced by altruistic behaviors are less likely to engage in prosocial behaviors once the rewards stop. Verbal reinforcement from a loving person whom the children respect, if it stimulates altruism in this case.

Practice and preaching of altruism

Social learning theorists assume that adults who stimulate altruism and practice what they predict influence children in two ways:

  • When practicing, they serve as role models for children.
  • The regular practice of altruistic exhortations (verbal stimuli to help, comfort, share or cooperate with others) causes the child to internalize them, but only if there is an emotional connection with the model which brings about lasting change.

Who is raising altruistic children?

Selfless people are those who have had a warm and loving relationship with their parents. Total activists had parents who practiced what they preached, while partial activists had parents who only preached.

Discipline based on affection and rationalization has a positive effect and brings better results.

Bibliographical references:

  • Gordillo, MV. (1996). “Development of altruism in childhood and adolescence: an alternative to the Kohlberg model.” Front cover.
  • Shaffer, D. (2000). “Developmental psychology, childhood and adolescence”, 5th ed., Ed. Thomson, Mexico, pp

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