Only children’s books with humans have moral impact, study finds

01 Sep 2017 Spratt

Posted By: SG   |   Source: The Guardian   |   URL:


According to new research from the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), moral lessons in children’s books have more impact if they come from human characters rather than anthropomorphic animals. The study, which engaged 100 children aged 4 to 6, showed that sharing behaviour improved in response to a story about sharing featuring human characters, but not when the illustrations were changed to animals.

In response to the research, however, picture book authors have argued that if stories are truly engaging they will resonate for a lifetime, regardless of whether their protagonists are human or animal, and that it’s not necessarily about simple initial responses.

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Institution: Author: Alison Flood