Larsen, N. E., Lee, K., & Ganea, P. A., (2017). Do storybooks with anthropomorphized animal characters promote prosocial behavior in young children? Developmental Science. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/desc.12590
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Children Relate to Human Characters in Books More Than Animals
According to the results from a new study, young children are more likely to learn and apply character lessons from books that feature human characters than from stories that center on human-like animals. In this study, children who read the human story showed increases in altruistic giving, but those who read the anthropomorphic story or a control story showed decreases. Thus, contrary to common belief, realistic stories including humans as the main characters, not anthropomorphic ones, are better for promoting young children’s prosocial behavior. This study is important because it adds to the growing body of research on how picture books with realistic stories and human characters are more likely to transfer real-world knowledge and prosocial behavior to children.