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Moral stories emphasizing actors' negative emotions toward their nonhelping behavior promote preschoolers' helping behavior.
J Exp Child Psychol. 2018 04; 168:19-31.JE

Abstract

Specific emotions, especially guilt, are considered to facilitate children's prosocial behavior. The current study differentiated moral stories with a helping theme in terms of the valence and source of emotions and aimed to clarify the effect of these stories on preschoolers' helping intentions and behavior. A total of 322 preschoolers between 4 and 6 years old were randomly assigned to four experimental groups and one control group. A specific type of moral story was presented to each of the experimental groups, whereas a nonmoral story was presented to the control group. The preschoolers were also asked to answer relevant questions to examine their story comprehension. The preschoolers' donating intentions and behavior were then measured. The results showed that all the experimental groups expressed more donating intentions than the control group. However, only the group that read the moral story emphasizing the actor's negative emotions toward his nonhelping behavior displayed more donating behavior than the control group. Therefore, the current study reveals that various moral stories dealing with a helping theme can facilitate helping intentions among preschoolers and that only certain stories can promote their helping behavior. Thus, it indicates the specificity of moral stories that facilitate prosocial behavior in terms of the valence and source of emotions in those stories.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Beijing Key Laboratory of Learning and Cognition, School of Psychology, Capital Normal University, No. A23 Baiduizi Fuwai, Haidian District, Beijing 100037, China.Beijing Key Laboratory of Learning and Cognition, School of Psychology, Capital Normal University, No. A23 Baiduizi Fuwai, Haidian District, Beijing 100037, China. Electronic address: janeh@pku.edu.cn.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29289798

Citation

Du, Xu, and Jian Hao. "Moral Stories Emphasizing Actors' Negative Emotions Toward Their Nonhelping Behavior Promote Preschoolers' Helping Behavior." Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, vol. 168, 2018, pp. 19-31.
Du X, Hao J. Moral stories emphasizing actors' negative emotions toward their nonhelping behavior promote preschoolers' helping behavior. J Exp Child Psychol. 2018;168:19-31.
Du, X., & Hao, J. (2018). Moral stories emphasizing actors' negative emotions toward their nonhelping behavior promote preschoolers' helping behavior. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 168, 19-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2017.11.011
Du X, Hao J. Moral Stories Emphasizing Actors' Negative Emotions Toward Their Nonhelping Behavior Promote Preschoolers' Helping Behavior. J Exp Child Psychol. 2018;168:19-31. PubMed PMID: 29289798.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Moral stories emphasizing actors' negative emotions toward their nonhelping behavior promote preschoolers' helping behavior. AU - Du,Xu, AU - Hao,Jian, Y1 - 2017/12/28/ PY - 2016/10/27/received PY - 2017/11/23/revised PY - 2017/11/27/accepted PY - 2018/1/1/pubmed PY - 2019/1/23/medline PY - 2018/1/1/entrez KW - Actor KW - Emotion KW - Helping behavior KW - Helping intention KW - Moral story KW - Observer KW - Preschooler SP - 19 EP - 31 JF - Journal of experimental child psychology JO - J Exp Child Psychol VL - 168 N2 - Specific emotions, especially guilt, are considered to facilitate children's prosocial behavior. The current study differentiated moral stories with a helping theme in terms of the valence and source of emotions and aimed to clarify the effect of these stories on preschoolers' helping intentions and behavior. A total of 322 preschoolers between 4 and 6 years old were randomly assigned to four experimental groups and one control group. A specific type of moral story was presented to each of the experimental groups, whereas a nonmoral story was presented to the control group. The preschoolers were also asked to answer relevant questions to examine their story comprehension. The preschoolers' donating intentions and behavior were then measured. The results showed that all the experimental groups expressed more donating intentions than the control group. However, only the group that read the moral story emphasizing the actor's negative emotions toward his nonhelping behavior displayed more donating behavior than the control group. Therefore, the current study reveals that various moral stories dealing with a helping theme can facilitate helping intentions among preschoolers and that only certain stories can promote their helping behavior. Thus, it indicates the specificity of moral stories that facilitate prosocial behavior in terms of the valence and source of emotions in those stories. SN - 1096-0457 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29289798/Moral_stories_emphasizing_actors'_negative_emotions_toward_their_nonhelping_behavior_promote_preschoolers'_helping_behavior_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0022-0965(16)30189-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -