Prosocial TV News Increases Altruism in Children
Children are more likely to display altruistic prosocial behaviors after watching children’s television news with prosocial content, a study in Journal of Children and Media reveals. Findings show that children who watch a television news item showing other children organizing a fundraising action for UNICEF, are more likely to donate and offer help.
- Children’s television news items that show prosocial behavior can encourage altruistic prosocial behavior in children, such as offering help and donating money.
- For makers of children’s television news and developers of prosocial behavioral interventions it is important to know that television news can serve as an effective platform to increase children’s prosocial behavior.
Can prosocial behavior in children’s television news affect prosocial intentions and behaviors in children?
372 9- to 13-year-olds (44% boys).
The Netherlands, Nijmegen
Children watched either a prosocial news item showing children organizing a fundraising action for UNICEF or a news item about UNICEF that did not show prosocial behavior. Afterwards, children were given the opportunity to donate to UNICEF, which served as an index of prosocial behavior. Prosocial intentions were captured by asking children whether they wanted to help setting up a project for UNICEF at their school.
Facts and findings
- Children who watched prosocial news in which other children were organizing a fundraising action for UNICEF were more willing to help with setting up a project for UNICEF at their schools, compared to children who did not watch prosocial news.
- Children exposed to prosocial news also donated more to UNICEF, compared to children who did not watch prosocial news.