As a father of two elementary school age children, I found the survey responses posted here to be absolute gold. Anne E. Moncure elementary school students aged 6 to 9 were asked what they would give the world this holiday season.
Some of the responses are hilarious (just look for the response from Franklin England), and of course many are very touching. What I found very interesting is that the responses seem to track very well with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
The viz above shows the top 100 gifts (by word count) mentioned by the 277 student respondents, and how these gifts could be categorized based on Maslow’s hierarchy (my attempt to categorize). It would seem that the collective responses of the students match very well with the pyramid.
More than anything else, kids wish to fulfill people’s most basic needs such as food, water and shelter. The frequency decreases as you move up the pyramid.
Did you think the wish list generated by the kids would be dominated by video games and the most popular toys? I did. Obviously, my kids didn’t ask me for more clean water this holiday season, they asked me for toys. However, even at their young ages, they are attuned to the fact that many around the world don’t have enough to meet their basic necessities, and would want to give gifts that meet needs, not wants.
Wouldn’t it be great if more of us retained this desire into adulthood?
Well done Ben. I suspect they didn’t respond with video games because:
1. The question was asked at school where they were probably talking about giving to others, and
2. The question was phrased in a way for them to NOT think selfishly.
I like the viz!
Hi Andy – thanks for coming by again and leaving a comment! You make a good point about survey bias here. They would likely give different answers if you asked them the survey question in the middle of a Toys-R-Us aisle.
Perhaps part of the reason they came back with Maslow’s pyramid is because that is what we are teaching them to say. Less “warm and fuzzy”, but valid all the same. Appreciate it as always!
I really like this visualization especially in respect to how it is laid out, the coloring of it, and how you use sizing to replicate the pyramid look of Maslow’s hierarchy in relation to the survey results.
Very well done!
Hi Robb – thanks a lot for the positive feedback! Much appreciated.