Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Teenagers Not So Terrible: Breaking News

Teenagers want to help their parents from time to time. Shocking. Remarkable. Who cares?


Okay so I suppose this is what some people have in mind when they wonder about the value of psychology not to mention think about the misuse of tax dollars. This is one of those "so what?" studies...that didn't look at whether teens actually lend a hand or not but asked for their impressions of various scenarios involving parents, not theirs.


But because we're in the mood for some good news let's get the details from Science Daily...


"The researchers looked at almost 120 7th and 10th graders from lower-middle- to middle-class families and their parents. They asked them to react to stories in which either parents or teens asked for help, then judge what the protagonist should do and whether it was okay to say no due to personal desires."


Ah, yes, the teens reported their intentions not their behavior. A better study would have tied intentions to actual actions. Maybe even used a nice fabricated situation to see if the kids who expressed a desire to do so would perform a random act of kindness.


And what did they find?


Teens don't always act selfishly but feel the need to help even when they don't personally get much out of it.


Oh, okay. Good to know.


And what about more affluent teens? I now they're thinking SAT's and college admissions right now in between Mandarin and lacrosse, but do you think they'd answer the same way?

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