What does reflecting on your childhood have to do with ethics? Turns out, everything! Scientific research out of Harvard shows that people are more likely to help with extra tasks, judge unethical behavior more harshly and donate to charity when they had actively remembered their childhood. (But, it should be noted, NOT when they flashbacked to their teenage years, which is a whole other blog post!)
Here’s what’s cool. Regardless of whether the childhood memories were positive or negative, the recollections summoned a heightened sense of morality. Whether you were the one cutting in line, pulling someone’s pigtails or calling someone Fart-Head didn’t matter. Since childhood connotes innocence, it’s the frame of mind that affects behavior. If you find people where you work spending too much time on the phone with personal calls or swiping sticky pads for personal use, take them down memory lane to see improvement. That or buy them a Tonka truck or Mr. Potato Head for their desk!