Money Can Make Children Achieve More But Give Less

January 29, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. sort / sɔrt / (v.) – to organize in a particular order
Example: The hospital employee sorted the patients’ records from oldest to most recent.

2. generosity / ˌdʒɛn əˈrɒs ɪ ti / (n.) – willingness to give
Example: The charity thanked the organization for its generosity.

3. maximum / ˈmæk sə məm / (n.) – the highest number possible
Example: Employees are allowed to take a maximum of two guests to the party.

4. implication / ˌɪm plɪˈkeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the effect of something
Example: A child’s environment has implications on his/her growth.

5. interpersonal / ˌɪn tərˈpɜr sə nl / (adj.) – referring to interactions between people
Example: The position requires good interpersonal skills.


Read the text below.
Handling money can cause children to work harder, but it can also make them less giving, a study says.

A group of researchers found that money can affect children’s behavior in helping, taking, and giving. The study’s participants were 550 children from Poland and the United States, with ages ranging from three to six.

The researchers conducted several experiments. In one of them, the researchers asked the children to complete puzzles after sorting money or buttons. Most children who sorted money completed the puzzle faster than those who sorted buttons.

In another set of experiments, experimenters asked children to help them prepare a task for another child after sorting money, buttons, or pieces of paper. The children were instructed to bring the assigned experimenter as many red crayons as they could from a far side of the room. Results show that those who sorted money were less helpful in the task than those who sorted buttons or pieces of paper.

To measure money’s effect on generosity, the researchers conducted another experiment. Children were randomly assigned to sort money, candies, or buttons. The team said that each child could get a maximum of six Disney stickers and that they could either keep all of them or give some to other children. Those who sorted candies or buttons were more generous than those who sorted money.

The study suggests that although children may not be fully aware of the value of money, they understand that they can use it in exchange for something. The results demonstrate key implications of money on achievement, generosity, and interpersonal harmony, co-author Lan Chaplin said.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What is your opinion about giving money to children? Did it change after reading the article?
·         In your country, do children usually handle money? If yes, in what situations? If no, why not?

Discussion B

·         At what age do you think children learn the real value and purpose of money?
·         How can adults properly prepare children for handling money?

January 29, 2016