May 6, 2014
We are born generous but modern habits like shopping and TV are making children more selfish, a new book has claimed.
Child psychotherapist Graham Music examined decades of research and said our modern, consumerist society could be a bad influence on children’s health.
The counsellor of more than 20 years’ experience, from London, said constantly pushing against our hard-wired wish to be altruistic could be turning children more stressed as adults.
In the book, The Good Life: Wellbeing and the New Science of Altruism, Selfishness and Immorality, he suggests social changes over the last few decades are making us greedier.
Mr Music gave examples such as shopping and the pressure to have the latest gadgets or clothes, along with a faster pace of life and a barrage if information on television.
Having to focus more on being guarded and worried occupies our brains, and makes us unable to focus on being selfless instead, he said.
Mr Music told MailOnline: ‘There was one study for example where some children were exposed to TV adverts and some weren’t, and there were differences observed in the kids’ behaviour.
‘There’s a lot of research to show consumerism and unhappiness are linked. You can have a set of life values which are more based on intrinsic motivations, like loving family, or you can base them on external factors like looking good and having the right clothes.