Kids Just Wanna Be Helpful

Pacific Standard:

There’s a school of thought that considers young children essentially pure. “All things are good as their creator made them,” wrote philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau, “but everything degenerates in the hands of men.”

Newly published research provides some support for his supposition.

“From an early age, humans seem to have genuine concern for the welfare of others,” concludes a research team led by Robert Hepach of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Writing in the journal Psychological Science, he and his colleagues argue that before they are socialized into selfishness, children are intrinsically motivated to help others—and not because they wish to “take credit” for their beneficence.

Read the whole story: Pacific Standard

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