223 Recalling Generosity

Based on research by Tasimi, Arber, and Young, Liane (2016) written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS.

Here’s a tip on how to raise kind and thoughtful children!

If children recall their past helpful actions, will they more likely choose to help someone? Psychology researchers evaluated 200 children ages 6-8, giving each child 5 stickers.They asked the child to either recall a time when they were nice to someone, were mean to someone, or when someone was nice to them. They showed the children a picture of a fictitious character named Gary, who had no stickers. They asked if the child wanted to share any of their stickers with Gary.  The children who previously recalled a time when they were nice to someone shared more stickers, behaving more generously compared to the other groups.

Researchers asked another group of children to remember 3 different times when they were nice to someone. They behaved equally as generous as those who only thought about one event.  Thinking about their own positive behavior increased children’s future generosity.

Reinforce good behavior. Share stories with your child to remind them of their past generosity and kindness.


Tasimi, A., & Young, L. (2016). Memories of good deeds past: The reinforcing power of prosocial behavior in children. Journal of experimental child psychology, 147, 159-166.

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