NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ977019
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Arousing "Gentle Passions" in Young Adolescents: Sustained Experimental Effects of Value Affirmations on Prosocial Feelings and Behaviors
Thomaes, Sander; Bushman, Brad J.; de Castro, Bram Orobio; Reijntjes, Albert
Developmental Psychology, v48 n1 p103-110 Jan 2012
When people reflect on their important values, they may become more attuned to the needs of others. Two longitudinal field experiments examined whether a subtle value-affirmation manipulation can initiate relatively enduring increases in young adolescents' prosocial feelings (Study 1; M [subscript age] = 12.9) and prosocial behaviors (Study 2; M [subscript age] = 12.9). Participants completed a brief writing exercise that affirmed the values they deemed either most important (value-affirmation group) or unimportant (control group). As predicted, the value affirmation, coupled with a booster affirmation 6 weeks later, caused increases in prosocial feelings and behaviors over the 3-month study period. Antisocial students who were value-affirmed showed especially strong increases in prosocial behavior. These results suggest that "gentle passions" can be aroused in youth by cost- and time-efficient means. The practical utility of value affirmations will need to be evaluated in future work. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 7; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands