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  • The Animals in Moral Tales JECP accepted manuscript

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 219, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2022.105392

    Accepted author manuscript, 663 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 3/03/23

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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The Animals in Moral Tales: Does Character Realism Influence Children’s Prosocial Response to Stories?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
Article number105392
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/07/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume219
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date3/03/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Previous research has suggested that moral stories depicting realistic characters may better facilitate children’s prosocial behavior than those containing anthropomorphized animal characters. The current study is a conceptual replication with a different sample and an extended age range. We examined the relationships between story character realism (anthropomorphized animal or human), theme (sharing or busyness), age and prosocial behavior (i.e., resource allocation). Four versions of an illustrated story book were created: An Animal Sharing book; an Animal Busy book; a Human Sharing book; and a Human Busy book. A total of 179 children, between 3 and 7 years old listened to one of the four versions of the story. Children’s sticker donating behavior was measured prior to hearing the story and again following a story recall task. All groups donated more stickers post-story than pre-story. Younger children were more likely to increase their donation than older children and children who had made higher human internal state attributions in a previous experimental session donated more stickers post-story. In contrast to previous research, we found that a sharing-themed narrative depicting human characters was no more influential on sticker donation than the other stories.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 219, 2022 DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2022.105392