Raising kids is a challenge, raising kids that are conscientious and caring is even harder. From new research it’s clear that taking kids to enjoy art will help them care more about the world around them and make them more generous. Art helps people of all ages experience awe and that’s the key to success. Awe can come from many things, but art is a good pathway and it’s easy to take kids to your local gallery.
To figure this out, the research team asked 159 volunteers aged 8 to 13 to watch short movie clips. Some of these clips were neutral, others cheerful, and others awe-inspiring. The researchers then asked the kids to determine how many items in a list of foods should be donated to a food drive for needy families. Alternately, the kids were given the option of donating their reward for participating in the study–a ticket to a local art museum–to a refugee family.
“Children who watched the awe-inspiring video chose to count 50 percent more items for the food drive than children who watched the joy-inspiring clip and more than twice as many items as children who watched the neutral clip. Children in the awe-inspiring condition were also 2 to 3 times more likely to donate their museum tickets than children in the joyful or neutral conditions,” reports the Association for Psychological Science blog.