Coaching World Issue 13: March 2015 - Page 6

Shutterstock.com/Rawpixel Keeping Current to give any of their stickers to the unknown child by placing them in a box when no one was looking. On average, the children shared just under two of their stickers. Raising Generous Kids Making sure children know the difference between right and wrong may not be enough to ensure they grow up to be generous adults. Healthy people, even small children, experience an immediate emotional response to seeing good or bad behavior, but generosity requires a more complicated thought process. Researchers recorded children’s brain activity and found the first link between implicit moral evaluations and actual moral behavior, according to a study in the December 18, 2014 issue of Current Biology. Their brain activity suggested that the children’s moral judgments depended on early and automatic processing while observing the helping and harming scenes, as well as a thoughtful evaluation of those scenes. However, it was the appraisal of the scenes alone that predicted whether or not a child shared his or her stickers. A child’s ability to distinguish between right and wrong is just the first step in becoming a generous person. “These findings provide an interesting idea that by encouraging children to reflect upon the moral behavior of others, we may be able to foster generosity,” Decety said. —Lisa Barbella A Shutterstock.com/lenetstan “Moral evaluation in preschool children, similar to adults, is complex and constructed from both emotion and cognition,” said Jean Decety, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago. “However, we found that only differences in neural markers of the latter predict actual generosity.” 6 Coaching World Toddlers are notorious for their unwillingness to share their toys, but studies have shown that even infants can perceive inequality and preschoolers are capable of acting for the benefit of others. Global View of Anger So, how does generosity develop in small children? Decety and fellow researcher Jason Cowell monitored the electric brain activity of children, aged three to five, while the kids watched helpful and harmful scenarios and while they made decisions about how to treat another, anonymous child. However, new findings by a crosscultural team of researchers from the U.S. and Japan suggest that, in some cultures, anger may be associated with better health, instead of worse. The children were given 10 stickers and told the “rewards were theirs to keep.” They were told that the next child