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Natural disasters test kids’ altruism

Younger children become more selfish than older children following a natural disaster.

American and Canadian researchers studied Chinese children’s empathy and altruism one month after a 2008 earthquake.

The study found while nine year olds’ willingness to give to others nearly tripled after the earthquake, six year olds’ willingness to share dropped by a third. Nine year olds also had significantly higher empathy scores than six year olds.

The results suggest that altruism at a young age remains fragile.

Read more at University of Chicago

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