congresos y reuniones científicas
Altruism plasticity: a case study in 6-7 years old children.
LOZADA, MARIANA; D'ADAMO, PAOLA; MARGUTTI, LAURA; BARCLAY, CARLOS
Congreso; II International congress of Positive Psychology; 2011
Human altruism is a pro-social behaviour which emerges at early stages and develops throughout life. This highly malleable trait is greatly affected by social contexts. Diverse studies have demonstrated that infants display a variety of altruistic behaviours such as comforting, sharing, informing, and instrumental helping. The purpose of this preliminary study was to evaluate the effects of an intervention program on altruism between peers, in 6-7 year old children of a public school from Bariloche, Argentina. The intervention included mindfulness practices, cooperative activities and emotional security priming. The program was conducted during school time in 41 participants along 10 weekly sessions. Results showed that altruism among peers significantly increased after the intervention in the experimental group, whereas in the control group no variation was observed. Moreover, aggressive behaviour was significantly lower in the experimental than in the control group. Interestingly, mindfulness practice performance improved throughout the intervention period. Results in different genders was observed when comparing aggressive and altruistic behaviour. Boys were significantly more aggressive and displayed less altruistic behaviours than girls. This preliminary investigation indicates that mindfulness practices, cooperative activities and emotional security priming can contribute to enhance altruism in scholar contexts. Moreover, the present case study provides evidence accounting for the high plasticity of altruistic behaviour in children, highlighting the importance of socio-cultural environments.