Random App of Kindness
Is it possible, through an app, to teach children empathy - being able to imagine other people’s perspectives and worldviews and feeling compassion and concern for them?
Researchers at Universities in the USA think so. They recently launched an app for IOS and Android - the Random App of Kindness.
It is known that empathy is teachable and given youngsters use their cell phones regularly throughout the day, their goal was to build empathy in the young by creating an interactive smartphone app. With this goal in mind, their challenge was to translate interventions that have been known to increase empathy in other face-to-face settings like classrooms to mini-games that can be easily played on smartphones throughout the day.
The resulting app includes 9 mini-games, each of which are based on scientifically established ways of promoting aspects of empathy.
Does it work?
Initial results look promising. In a small randomized control trial with youngsters aged 10-17 who were randomly assigned to play either the Random App of Kindness (RAKi) or a control app for two months, analysis found that teens who used RAKi had more empathic emotional responses to a person in distress, and were more likely to help that person, compared to those who played the control app.
This 2 minute video gives more detail:
Why not get youngsters you are connected with to download and give it a try? Download from here.
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