children always break the rules

How Children of Age Five Will Stop Peers Breaking the Rules?


It is a fact that children always break the rules. Several reasons can help us to understand this fact. They will break the rules to check their patience or want attention. To show emotions and mental health issues are other significant reasons. Apart from this, several other reasons will lead them to break the rules. But, the University of Plymouth and Freie University Berlin found something interesting. These universities researched children. They found that children five will stop peers from breaking the rules. In this study, they took 376 kids from ages five to eight. These children had three different urban locations. These locations are South America, Europe and Asia. Apart from this, there were children from two rural locations. These locations were South America and Africa.

How Did They Know This Thing?

Both universities engaged these young children in a sorting blocks game. They told the kids to sort these blocks by size. They told the other half to sort the block by using colours. They divided them into a pair; and one kid was acting as a player, and the other was acting as an observer. Later on, the observer player was first paired with the same player. After that, they paired them with different partners. The results were shocking, as 255% intervened when they saw peers breaking the rules. They intervened when they saw a player with a similar rule they had learnt in the first place.

Was There Any Difference Between Urban and Rural Children Intervention?

Researchers were aiming that urban children would intervene the most. But, they left researchers in shock when they intervened less. As compared to urban children, rural children intervened the most. There was a clear difference between rural and urban children regarding intervention. Apart from this, they had a different approach to intervention. Rural children preferred imperative verbal intervention. It means they were constantly guiding other players about the game. There was also a clear difference in intervention between younger and older children. The younger children intervened the most as compared to older children. Observers played a significant role to stop peers from breaking the rules. The way of playing changed when observers intervened.

What Was the Purpose of This Research?

Even if you are working with a PhD dissertation help service, you always have a purpose for research as a researcher. You will conduct your research to meet your research goal. You will find something interesting that will contribute to future studies. So was the case with this research. Patricia Kanngiesser from Plymouth University was the lead author of this research. According to Patricia, the purpose of this study was to observe children’s behaviour. To observe this thing, they travelled worldwide to meet the research goal. She also said that they did not tell children what to do. They just taught them the game rules and observed what they do in real life. It was also shocking for them to see the intervention of children regardless of location. Children with rural backgrounds did well when their partners broke the rule. But, at the same time, they were shocked by children’s behaviour from urban backgrounds.

Does Why of Intervention Matter?

According to this study, the way of intervention matters. There are two ways of intervention and are: direct and indirect. In our daily life, we will prefer using the second way of intervention, which is indirect. We will use this because of our reputation. But, in this research, children preferred direct intervention. So, it was another key finding of the research. Children preferred direct intervention over indirect intervention.


This article discussed the behaviour of children when it comes to rule-breaking. In a recent study, children 255% intervened when they saw their partner breaking the rule.

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