Most informal studies conclude that kids like candy. So when a Yale psychology professor told 60 Minutes that she performed an experiment in which kids willingly threw chocolate bars in the trash, we were intrigued.
The study, run by assistant professor Kristina Olson, asks children to choose between fairness and chocolate bars. Any parents who have heard the mantra of "Gimme!" from their seemingly greedy kids will be interested to see the video-taped responses (above) of the young subjects in Olson's lab.
In what Yale researchers call "a gorgeous finding," most children in the study choose a fair and equal division of resources-- even if it means throwing extra chocolate bars away in a trash can. Kids of this age, researchers say, show a strange "obsession" with fairness.
But would those same kids choose the fair option if no one was watching? Olson's lab pulls a fast one on the kids by altering the study slightly. In the second version of the test, kids have a chance to sneak extra chocolate bars for themselves without being seen-- or so they think!
The hilarious result, included in the above video, makes us wonder what our own kids would do. 60 Minutes producer Shari Finkelstein walks us through both versions of the experiment above. To see Finkelstein's full report on studies of morality in babies and children,
What do you think your children would do?