London Metropolitan University Research Institutes


Young People's Propensity to Behave Pro-socially and Altruistically towards Others

Funded by

British Academy (UK element)

[with the Polska Akademia Nauk (PAN) (Poland); the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) (Turkey); and the Ministry of Education and Science (MEC) (Spain)]


April 2008 - December 2009


This is associated with an European Collaborative Research Project (ECRP)of thee European Science Foundation, which supports the Turkish, Spanish and Polish contributions.

Young people are growing up in a complex and fast changing world. Local and national issues are only comprehensible if set in a wider global context, yet we know little about their interest in such issues or about how prepared they are to engage with democratic processes to bring about change.

This study has two parts:

  • Part 1 investigates concerns of British, Polish, Spanish and Turkish young people (aged 10, 14, 17) for their personal, local and global futures, focussing on issues such as democratic processes, poverty, unemployment, human rights, the environment and conflict. It will identify whether they are optimistic or pessimistic, and whether they are willing to work for change or are uncommitted to social participation. Part of a wider European project, it will illuminate how prepared young people are for their role in a rapidly changing Europe. The originality lies in its focus, its pan-European context and its innovative research methods. It will create new knowledge which will inform policy and practice.
  • Part 2 investigates the development of pro-social, altruistic behaviour in young people. Embedded in education for citizenship is the teaching of social skills, participation and community action, all of which contribute to building social and cultural capital. Using the well-established Ultimatum Game (Roth and Prasniker) we will examine the extent to which young people act pro-socially and altruistically. Such research has not been done systematically with young people across Europe.

Aims of the Research

The project will chart the changing hopes and fears of young people, aged between 10 and 17, in two locations in each of four countries, and relate this to their propensity to act in prosocial ways.


We plan journal articles, a website and possibly a monograph, most of which will appear in 2010.

IPSE Project Team

The British Academy-funded element is led by Alistair Ross (IPSE), working in partnership with Cathie Holden (School of Education, University of Exeter)

Kim Allen
Sumi Hollingworth
Sarah Minty

The ECRP project is led by Prof Beata Krzywosz-Rynkiewicz, University of Warmia and Mazury

Other partners:

Cathie Holden, University of Exeter

Beata Krzywosz-Rynkiewicz, University of Warmia and Mazury
Anna Zalewska, Warsaw School of Social Psychology

Melinda Dooly, Autonomous University of Barcelona
Carmen Tabernero, University of Cordoba

Nilüfer Pembecioglu Öcel, Istanbul University
Erol Nezih Orhon, Anadolu University


Alistair Ross
Angela Kamara


   Company Information    Page last updated 12 November 2009     Contact Page Owner (Angela Kamara)