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Interaction between reading books and product preference on altruistic behavior in adolescents

  • 한국청소년활동연구
  • Abbr : SKYA
  • 2019, 5(3), pp.23-44
  • DOI : 10.36697/skya.2019.5.3.23
  • Publisher : Korea Youth Activity Research Association
  • Research Area : Natural Science > Life Sciences > Child Study > Adolescence Science
  • Received : August 30, 2019
  • Accepted : September 30, 2019
  • Published : September 30, 2019

Guk-Hee Lee 1

1경기대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

It has been previously stated that cooperation accompanied by linguistic communication can be a catalyst for altruistic behavior(Dunbar, 2003; Smith, 2010). However, no experimental evidence exists to support these claims. Previous studies have shown a link between musical cooperation and an increase in altruistic behavior in adults, but it is unclear whether this effect can be ascribed to the music itself or if it is the linguistic factor in the lyrics that caused these results. This study seeks to improve upon the limitations of existing studies on altruism and to add to the diversification of activities that increase altruism. This study was performed specifically on adolescents and—in addition to the above—it also focuses on how activities affect the character education of adolescents. A cooperative linguistic activity, “reading books together(reading a page in turn),” was used to determine if the activity affected an increase in altruistic behavior. Prior to the experiment, adolescents’ preferences for different goods(candies)—high preference or low preference—were identified through a survey. After establishing their preferences, when subjects were asked to share their candy, the research also observed whether the number of candies shared changed depending on their preference for the candies that they were given. Experiment 1 was performed on 16 adolescents in a study room. The adolescents were randomly assigned to two groups: one group was given the task of reading books together and the other group was given the task of reading books individually. The selection of tasks was random. Next, each of the original groups was randomly divided into two groups again. One group was given the highly preferred candies and the other given the less preferred candies. Altruism was measured by the number of candies that were shared among friends(in-group) in the study room. Experiment 2 was performed identically Experiment 1, separating 16 adolescents into two groups and then separating them into two groups again according to their preference of candies. In Experiment 2, the adolescents’ altruism was measured by counting how many candies were shared among friends from other study rooms(out-group). It was found that in both groups where adolescents who read books together(Mexpt. 1 = 5.50, Mexpt. 2 = 5.88) the participants shared more candies than those who read books on their own(Mexpt. 1 = 2.63, Mexpt. 2 = 3.00). Additionally, in both Experiments 1 and 2, adolescents who read books together showed no difference between the number of highly preferred candies(Mexpt. 1 = 5.25, Mexpt. 2 = 6.00) and less preferred candies(Mexpt. 1 = 5.75, Mexpt. 2 = 5.75) being shared. Contrastingly, adolescents who read books individually shared fewer of the highly preferred candies(M expt. 1 = 1.75, M expt. 2. = 1.50) than the less preferred candies(Mexpt. 1 = 3.5, Mexpt. 2 = 4.50), showing an interaction between altruism and group activity. This experiment has significant theoretical implications, as it investigates how linguistic cooperation interacts with an increase in altruistic behaviors. It also has practical implications, as it extended the experiment of altruistic behavior from musical cooperation activities to reading and linguistic activities.

Citation status

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