08 August 2013

Kids treat nice kids nicely

Young children are more likely to be nice to other children who are kind, a new study finds.


Goodness doesn't go unrewarded: Young children are more likely to be nice to other children who are kind, a new study finds.

Japanese researchers watched the day-to-day behaviour of kindergarteners, aged 5 and 6, on the playground. The observations revealed that children were more likely to offer an object to or help a child whom they had seen being helpful to another child.

The findings, published on 7 August in the journal PLoS One, suggest that children establish a sense of their peers' reputations early in life, said Kenji Onishi and colleagues from Osaka University.

Collaborating with people based on their reputation or by seeing how they behave with others is crucial for cooperative societies to succeed, a journal news release said. Even though acts of kindness aren't always reciprocated by recipients, they increase a person's chances of having someone else in their social network help them, the researchers said.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians explains how you can change your child's behaviour for the better.

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