Commitments to help by children

effects on subsequent prosocial self-attributions.

R. B. Cialdini, N. Eisenberg, R. Shell, H. McCreath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Children of both sexes and at several ages were or were not induced to make a commitment to help hospitalized children by sorting papers. The commitments occurred under either public or private circumstances. Later, the children discovered that the commitment to help would require that they give up their recess times (i.e. breaks). The willingness of subjects to live up to their commitments and the altruistic self-attributions resulting from those commitments were measured. It was found that, regardless of conditions, virtually all subjects were willing to give up recess time to help. However, their self-attributions differed systemically with condition: only after making a private commitment to help did subjects come to see themselves as more altruistically oriented. Further, this effect appeared earlier for girls than for boys and persisted at least one month after the initial commitment. No such effects occurred for public commitments, suggesting that children as young as eight years were able to discount the self-relevant implications of prosocial commitments made under public scrutiny.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe British journal of social psychology / the British Psychological Society
Volume26
StatePublished - Sep 1987

Fingerprint

Hospitalized Child

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Commitments to help by children : effects on subsequent prosocial self-attributions. / Cialdini, R. B.; Eisenberg, N.; Shell, R.; McCreath, H.

In: The British journal of social psychology / the British Psychological Society, Vol. 26, 09.1987.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{40c232f3e2ff4de2b0973bcacc0ca669,
title = "Commitments to help by children: effects on subsequent prosocial self-attributions.",
abstract = "Children of both sexes and at several ages were or were not induced to make a commitment to help hospitalized children by sorting papers. The commitments occurred under either public or private circumstances. Later, the children discovered that the commitment to help would require that they give up their recess times (i.e. breaks). The willingness of subjects to live up to their commitments and the altruistic self-attributions resulting from those commitments were measured. It was found that, regardless of conditions, virtually all subjects were willing to give up recess time to help. However, their self-attributions differed systemically with condition: only after making a private commitment to help did subjects come to see themselves as more altruistically oriented. Further, this effect appeared earlier for girls than for boys and persisted at least one month after the initial commitment. No such effects occurred for public commitments, suggesting that children as young as eight years were able to discount the self-relevant implications of prosocial commitments made under public scrutiny.",
author = "Cialdini, {R. B.} and N. Eisenberg and R. Shell and H. McCreath",
year = "1987",
month = "9",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "26",
journal = "British Journal of Social Psychology",
issn = "0144-6665",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Commitments to help by children

T2 - effects on subsequent prosocial self-attributions.

AU - Cialdini, R. B.

AU - Eisenberg, N.

AU - Shell, R.

AU - McCreath, H.

PY - 1987/9

Y1 - 1987/9

N2 - Children of both sexes and at several ages were or were not induced to make a commitment to help hospitalized children by sorting papers. The commitments occurred under either public or private circumstances. Later, the children discovered that the commitment to help would require that they give up their recess times (i.e. breaks). The willingness of subjects to live up to their commitments and the altruistic self-attributions resulting from those commitments were measured. It was found that, regardless of conditions, virtually all subjects were willing to give up recess time to help. However, their self-attributions differed systemically with condition: only after making a private commitment to help did subjects come to see themselves as more altruistically oriented. Further, this effect appeared earlier for girls than for boys and persisted at least one month after the initial commitment. No such effects occurred for public commitments, suggesting that children as young as eight years were able to discount the self-relevant implications of prosocial commitments made under public scrutiny.

AB - Children of both sexes and at several ages were or were not induced to make a commitment to help hospitalized children by sorting papers. The commitments occurred under either public or private circumstances. Later, the children discovered that the commitment to help would require that they give up their recess times (i.e. breaks). The willingness of subjects to live up to their commitments and the altruistic self-attributions resulting from those commitments were measured. It was found that, regardless of conditions, virtually all subjects were willing to give up recess time to help. However, their self-attributions differed systemically with condition: only after making a private commitment to help did subjects come to see themselves as more altruistically oriented. Further, this effect appeared earlier for girls than for boys and persisted at least one month after the initial commitment. No such effects occurred for public commitments, suggesting that children as young as eight years were able to discount the self-relevant implications of prosocial commitments made under public scrutiny.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0023408997&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0023408997&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 26

JO - British Journal of Social Psychology

JF - British Journal of Social Psychology

SN - 0144-6665

ER -