ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Altruism in Children

Updated on November 21, 2015
Beata Stasak profile image

Beata works as a qualified primary school teacher, a councillor for drug and alcohol addiction and a farm caretaker for organic olive grow.

out beyond right doing and wrong doing there is a field I will meet you there..Rumi


Teaching for thirty years

in Europe and Australia

kids of different ages, races,

beliefs and abilities

I passed with them

many tests but the one

I have repeated many times

sticks to my mind:)


very simple idea really

students in one class

each get ten stickers

of different colour, quality,

popularity and size.

From the five they choose

and keep

they are asked to give away

all or few or none

to any child.

Then they are taken out of the class

to mingle in the safe public place

with kids they do not personally know

and encourage to share the stickers around.

After the set up time

teacher asks each student

how many or if any

they shared and with whom and why.

The parents are informed

to give the teacher permission

to conclude the test

and asked before hand

what they think

what will be the response

of their child.

I kept the notes

of the Altruism test

from the communist Europe

from the catholic school

of the post communist time

from the united church campus

and the Muslim campus

in Australia

and the public Australian schools

I still teach to this day.

This old teaching logbook

of mine

is the silent reminder

of my teaching beginnings

and stays with me to the end

but also shows me

very clearly

how children are the same

and different


where they are

and what they are taught

to value and believe in.

Before I share

my findings with you

my curious reader

I have to state

do not expect

the data based

accurate assessments

with percentage and all,

just a mere observations

of one old teacher.

I have done the Altruistic Test

in the few primary schools

in the Communist Europe

over the time of five years

with different age group

and all atheists

with socio-economic background

all the same.

The results were interesting,

and I generalise here

so be aware,

and also time plays the role

as these tests were done

twenty years ago:

1.Older kids were more willing

to share.

2.Those with the higher level

of socio-emotional intelligence

scored better.

3. Majority of children picked up

the similar stickers because everyone

should be the same

4. Majority of children kept one sticker

and shared the rest because it is fair.

5. They gave away the stickers

on the public playground

firstly to kids

they seemed

familiar to them

(a little kid from neighbourhood..)

6. The least stickers

were given

to the kids

of minorities like gypsies

or politically

or socially ostracised

(single mother's families,

on the secret police watch list..)

The Communist parents told me

they hoped children should share equally

and every one should be the same.

In the post communist era

in the first private catholic schools,

results of the students rapidly changed.

Older kids still shared more

and those with higher

socio-emotional intelligence

scored better.

And yet, students were more

interested in picking different stickers

and valued the religious ones more.

The majority of children

wanted keep all five stickers for kids

in their church or home

and very few were given away

to strangers they did not know

because God don't know them

and they probably even don't know God.

The catholic parents thought their kids would give away five or at least four to the strangers because they know God is watching them and see how good they are.

In the Australia

the different



made the difference

in results,

those better off

were willing to share more.

In the past ten years

I have tested students

from the same class

from the United Church

and the Muslim College

their scores were similar

to the catholic students

from the post communist Europe

as well as their parents' responses.

But something curious happened.

Many parents in Australia

were disappointed with the results.

We asked them afterwards

where they found the five stickers

and mostly forgotten at the bottom

of the school bags.

Students were forced then

to give them away

because God can see everything, smile.

And finally the public schools

in Australia and their scores,

still older kids shared more

and those with higher socio-economic

intelligence and from better

socio-economic background

find it easier to part with stickers,

but with two or three.

Majority of kids stated

they want to keep two

because they got it first

and it is fair.

And also the bargaining

took place in the classroom

once they pick their favourite ones

and there was not enough

cool stickers around,

the swap market style,

one cool sticker for two ordinary ones,

some heated arguments

and screams and shouts

but after that

kids found it easy to give away the rest

to the first kid they stumbled upon

on the public playground

without any exemption

or wondering who is that kid

or where they come from.

The most parents had no expectations,

they just hoped their kid would share at least few.

And they all had been pleasantly surprised

with satisfactory results,

and laughed that kids are to bargain

and get what they want

in our cut throat competitive world.

Later their parents also found

the heavily bargained for stickers

on the bottom of the school bag,

once won, the prized sticker lost its shine.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      3 years ago from Western Australia

      Thank you Eric very smart observation of the accuracy and us in the social experiments we daily undertake even unconsciously B

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cool and it dang sure is accurate. Accuracy is not numbers it is observation. The umph is there for us to extrapolate what we will. Science of the social nature is made from non-interference and repetition. Put my boy in a Petre dish and who knows, leave him alone and we all know - good stuff happens. Thanks a bunch for this, will share it with some teachers.

    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      3 years ago from Western Australia

      yes I agree Max, it is not the accurate research just a mere reflection of one teacher, and yes you are right teachers change with time and different settings just as students is hard to measure something so changeable and fluid and so dependable on the situation at hand as the human response hey?

    • Max Havlick profile image

      Max Havlick 

      3 years ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      Hi Beata. Thank you for sharing this material.

      An interesting experiment, to say the least, but to be honest, it also seems possible to me that your own different manner in response to these very different cultural environments might have had important, if only subtle, effects on the responses of your student subjects.

      Continued best wishes.

    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      3 years ago from Western Australia

      Kids are kids they come up with many things adults would never come up with smile and make us smile even laugh at their logic, hey? Was happy to share, found it interesting too:)

    • agusfanani profile image


      3 years ago from Indonesia

      It's interesting to know how your students do the altruism tests and find out the results. The result saying few students don't want to share with people they don't know because God don't know them too has made me laugh.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)