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ERIC Number: ED110201
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Altruism and Rivalry: An Analysis of Age and Sex Differences.
Skarin, Kurt
This study examined the effects of age and sex on the degree to which altruistic behavior could be manipulated in a laboratory setting. The 192 children who participated were divided equally by sex into three age groups: 5-6 years, 7-9 years, and 10-12 years. Sex was varied both as a recipient and a benefactor characteristic. The experimental manipulation consisted of having each child pretend that he was helping to make a movie. The instructions for the experimental group stressed cooperation and kindness in helping an imaginary boy or girl pick up some pencils while children in the control group were simply told to pick up and sort the pencils according to length. In the test session which followed, each child's behavior (altruistic versus rivalrous) was measured by recording how he allocated rewards to himself and another child on a set of specially designed choice cards. The findings indicated that females were generally more altruistic than males. However, females pretrained to be altruistic to male partners showed lower altruism than expected, suggesting that sex role factors might be interfering. Males were less responsive to pretraining and/or partner sex effects, showing consistently rivalrous behavior across all conditions. Altruism was found to increase markedly for both males and females in the oldest age group. (JMB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Denver, Colorado, April 10-13, 1975)