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Its MINE! Mine! Mine! Mine! Kids get property rights, maybe better than adults.

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posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 08:35 PM
Mine! Probably one of the first words kids learn and one they cling to the most as they grow up. It usually takes a stern parent to teach them to learn to share with others without being so greedy.

One study says this tendency may mean that the kids get capitalism and it is the parents teaching them about sharing that may be moving us all toward socialism.

Scientific Evidence Proves Capitalist Ideas May be Innate

Americans have indicated avid opposition to property rights violations throughout the course of U.S. history, whether those violations take the form of taxation, eminent domain, or “open space” laws. According to one psychologist, that sense of being wronged when one’s property rights are violated may be innate, as property ownership may be a natural-born attribute.

In an article published in Science News magazine, Bruce Bower contends that young children are predisposed to concepts of possession, ownership, and ultimately, capitalism. Citing evidence produced by psychologist Ori Friedman, Bower asserts that children are natural-born capitalists.

Bower writes:

Psychologist Ori Friedman of the University of Waterloo in Canada reported on May 28 at the Association for Psychological Science annual meeting [that] at ages 4 and 5, youngsters value a person’s ownership rights — say, to a crayon — far more strongly than adults do, Friedman and psychology graduate student Karen Neary found.

Rather than being learned from parents, a concept of property rights may automatically grow out of 2- to 3-year-olds’ ideas about bodily rights, such as assuming that another person can’t touch or control one’s body for no reason, Friedman proposed.

According to Friedman, “Parents and adults may teach kids when it’s appropriate to disregard personal ownership,” such as when to lend a toy to another child.

The New American

The studies show that children had a better respect for and understanding of property rights than many of the adults.

Friedman’s team presented a simple quandary to 40 preschoolers, ages 4 and 5, and to 44 adults. Participants saw an image of a cartoon boy holding a crayon who appeared above the word “user” and a cartoon girl who appeared above the word “owner.” After hearing from an experimenter that the girl wanted her crayon back, volunteers were asked to rule on which cartoon child should get the prized object.

About 75 percent of 4- and 5-year-olds decided in favor of the owner, versus about 20 percent of adults.

A second experiment consisted of more than 100 kids, ages 3 to 7, and 30 adults. In this case, participants saw the same cartoon boy and girl but were told that the crayon belonged to the school that the two imaginary children attended.

Nearly everyone, regardless of age, said that the user should keep the crayon for as long as needed in this situation. In other words, kids distinguished between people using an owned or a nonowned object.

In a final experiment that presented two cartoon adults, one using a cell phone that the other owned, most 4-year-olds but only a minority of adults declared that the device should be returned to its owner even before the borrower had a chance to use it. Children showed some flexibility in allowing borrowers to keep the phone — say, if it was needed for an emergency — but adults adjusted their opinions more readily to such circumstances.

Science News

Is it possible that we are all born Capitalists but, society teaches us to have socialistic tendencies? Or, is greed a tendency that needs to be curbed through altruism in order for society to operate properly?

Did the kids get it right, or the adults?

edit on 6/23/11 by FortAnthem because:

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 08:40 PM
I agree, kids grow up with too much greed, but can you blame em when they are just as brainwashed by toy commercials as we adults are with normal commercials?

But to change that image of greed being good lies with the governments and media, and since they are corporate controlled that won't happen.

I don't think you can do a lot as parent to prevent this except giving a good example and control what information they get.

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 08:44 PM
Capitalism exists for thousands of years. So even Communist Nations are in some way Capitalistic

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 08:59 PM
It's an interesting study, but I can think of a half dozen tests off the top of my head that might support an opposite conclusion.

Say the owner was portrayed as owning an entire box of crayons, for example, while the 'user' had only the one. Would the children have responded the same way? Of course if they concluded that the child with only one crayon should be able to keep theirs since the other kid has an entire box, then I could interpret and spin the results by stating that children are innately against the idea of individuals hording wealth at the expense of the needy.

Or say instead of a crayon it was an umbrella that was at issue and the 'user' was standing in a rainstorm while the 'owner' was portrayed as being safe and dry inside. How would the children react then? If they agree that the kid in the storm should keep the umbrella then I could claim that the rule of necessity trumps property rights.

Regardless, I don't think using children to try to prove political ideologies is worth a damn. It's more likely that they were trying to get the answer 'right' based off of what they thought the grownups would want them to say versus thinking about the complexity of the situation. There's a reason we don't let them vote until they have the intellectual capacity to know what their doing. Just my two cents!
edit on 23-6-2011 by Boreas because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 23 2011 @ 09:32 PM
While I think the study provides interesting insight into children's understanding of property rights, I think The New American's interpretation that understanding property rights=capitalism and sharing=socialism tends to oversimplify things.

Society and economics is much more complicated than than that and TNA's assertion that teaching our kids to share equates to teaching them socialism could result in a lot of bad parenting IMO. This is another indication of society trying to politicize everything and turning the information to reflect their ideals and prove their ideologies.

Parents should not stop teaching their kids to share for fear of raising socialist totalitarians. Sharing is an important social skill that everybody must learn for society to operate properly, and it avoids a lot of playground fights.

Even the best capitalists need to learn to share the wealth; if they horde all the wealth to themselves, they will starve the very people who create the products and provide the services they need to survive. Only by providing a fair living wage and supporting a strong middle class can an economy function properly. Hoarding wealth at the top results in a decay at the bottom and eventually the failure of the whole economic system. It doesn't matter how many Federal Reserve Notes the fat cat capitalist has amassed when the economy falls apart; you can't eat your money if the system has stopped producing food.

Fat cat capitalists hoarding all the money to themselves helped to bring about the financial crisis. Only if they learn to share the wealth again can the economy get back on track.

edit on 6/23/11 by FortAnthem because:

posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 05:19 AM
If this society was not capitalist but something like a utopia where no one ownes any object rather there are so many objects everyone can lend anything they need and return it afterwards, then there would have been scientific evidence humans would have the innate ability to lend or share. In utopia everyone would work together without profit, there would have been scientific evidence for that and linked to some gene.

This news item appears one of those "We have a bad quality which we could feel guilty about but don't worry, no one can do anything about this, change is impossible because it's all in the genes and DNA and we can't change that so don't feel bad when you see a beggar in the streets dying while enjoying a Big Mac, it's all scientific truth and you'd be stupid to deny such a fact, because where will we end up if we don't believe in science?! So go on consuming, don't listen to that primitive thing called a conscience just listen to modern scientific facts!".
edit on 24/6/2011 by Dragonfly79 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 08:00 AM
reply to post by Dragonfly79

I think you are right; if the study had been conducted in another way, they probably would have come to another conclusion. Most studies about human nature are designed to come to a foregone conclusion anymore. It is very difficult to design a study that wouldn't have any biases involved.

It is good to see that the kids in this study understood the concept of ownership but, I am sure that if the study had measured their level of charity and generosity, the results would have been different. My children display an amazing tendency for generosity and compassion for their fellow man. Not sure if I taught them to be that way somehow or if they developed that instinct on their own.

If the study had been set up in a way to test your example of the starving guy on the street with the test subject walking by, Big Mac in hand, I am sure many of the children would unselfishly offer the starving man their cheeseburger while the thought would never cross the minds of many of the adults.

Many adults would rationalize that the starving man could be dangerous and they didn't want to be associated with him or would assume that he got that way through involvement with drugs and was not worthy of their help. The children would just see a fellow human being in need and would feel compelled to help him out because they have not yet developed the cynical worldview held by most adults today.

I believe that the tendency toward generosity is as ingrained into our nature as is the understanding of private property and ownership.

posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 12:22 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

Property rights are completely natural, but charity is something we do out of the goodness of our heart. But socialism is neither because you're forcing others to be charitable.

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