The many manipulations of morty mouse

Children's stories and the parental encouragement of altruism

Craig T. Palmer, Jennice Wright, Scott A. Wright, Chris Cassidy, Todd L. VanPool, Kathryn Coe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Most analyses of children's stories share the assumption that stories are told to children to influence their behavior. This paper explores how the analysis of stories can provide insight into social strategies used by people interacting within their cultural context. To demonstrate the potential of this approach, we created multiple versions of an original children's story to explore attitudes of college students toward the form of social interaction known as reciprocal altruism. Some versions portrayed the protagonist of the story as following a tit-for-tat strategy, while in other versions the protagonist was altruistic toward all the other characters regardless of their past behavior. Subjects read one of the versions and rated it in terms of how likely they would be to read it to a child of the appropriate age. The highest rated version involved the protagonist being altruistic even to characters that had cheated in the past. We discuss this finding and suggest future applications of this methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-257
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Anthropological Research
Volume62
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

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altruism
manipulation
Manipulation
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Mouse
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student
Protagonist

Keywords

  • Children's stories
  • Culture
  • Indirect reciprocal altruism
  • Parental behavior
  • Reciprocal altruism
  • Tit-for-tat strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology

Cite this

Palmer, C. T., Wright, J., Wright, S. A., Cassidy, C., VanPool, T. L., & Coe, K. (2006). The many manipulations of morty mouse: Children's stories and the parental encouragement of altruism. Journal of Anthropological Research, 62(2), 235-257.

The many manipulations of morty mouse : Children's stories and the parental encouragement of altruism. / Palmer, Craig T.; Wright, Jennice; Wright, Scott A.; Cassidy, Chris; VanPool, Todd L.; Coe, Kathryn.

In: Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol. 62, No. 2, 06.2006, p. 235-257.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Palmer, CT, Wright, J, Wright, SA, Cassidy, C, VanPool, TL & Coe, K 2006, 'The many manipulations of morty mouse: Children's stories and the parental encouragement of altruism', Journal of Anthropological Research, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 235-257.
Palmer, Craig T. ; Wright, Jennice ; Wright, Scott A. ; Cassidy, Chris ; VanPool, Todd L. ; Coe, Kathryn. / The many manipulations of morty mouse : Children's stories and the parental encouragement of altruism. In: Journal of Anthropological Research. 2006 ; Vol. 62, No. 2. pp. 235-257.
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