Building Prosocial Behavior
Over the years, behavioral management principles such as reinforcement, modeling and even the use of punishment have been explored in the building of prosocial behavior. This area is sometimes referred to as "Behavioral Development" or Behavior analysis of child development. Midlarsky and colleagues (1973) used a combination of modeling and reinforcement to build altruistic behavior. Two studies exist in which modeling by itself did not increase prosocial behavior; however, modeling is much more effective than instruction giving (such as "preaching"). The role of rewards has been implicated in the building of self-control and empathy. Cooperation seems particularly susceptible to rewards. Sharing is another prosocial behavior influenced by reinforcement.
Reinforcement is particularly effective at least early in the learning series if context conditions are similar. Evidence exists to show some generalization.
Recent research indicates that behavioral “interventions” produce the most valuable results when “applied” during early childhood and “early adolescence."
More controversial has been the role of punishment in forming prosocial behavior. One study found that donation rates of children could be increased by punishing episodes of failure to donate.
The socialization process continues by peers with reinforcement and punishment playing major roles. Peers are more likely to punish cross-gender play and reinforce play specific to gender.
Read more about this topic: Behavior Management
Famous quotes containing the words behavior and/or building:
“The purpose of polite behavior is never virtuous. Deceit, surrender, and concealment: these are not virtues. The goal of the mannerly is comfort, per se.”
—June Jordan (b. 1939)
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
—Bible: New Testament, 2 Corinthians 5:1.