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Lecture 12

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PSYC 2500
Kim O' Neil

Lecture 12 Self- control - Beginnings of Self-Control - Influences on Self-Control - Improving Children’s Self-Control Beginning of self-control - 1 year: aware that others impose demands • Understand that they are not allowed to do certain things, and asked to do others • Teaching them self-control and strategies on how to control their behavior - 2 years: have internalized some controls • Begin to regulate their emotions - 3 years: capable of self-regulation • Deliberately avoid situations or temptations - Self-control develops gradually during elementary school - Ability to maintain self-control is consistent over other situations (e.g., confessing to misdeeds) and many years later • Self-control is based in temperament and personality (therefore, does seem to be some genetic component to it) Influences on self-control - Parental discipline style is important - Inductive reasoning • Explaining the situation to the child  Tells a child they shouldn’t be doing something, and explains why • Encouraging them to think it through on their own • Related to higher levels of self-control  Because they become more committed to their actions, and develop better coping and problem solving skills - Power assertion • No explanation • ‘Boot camp’parenting style • “Because I said so” • Authoritarian parenting style Influences on self-control - Self-control more likely when parents have control themselves • Children learn from models in their environment - Children have less control when parents are very strict • Because the parents are trying to control the behavior, and not allowing the child to control their own behavior  Children don’t know how to think things through on their own  Situational compliance: a child will only listen to parents when they are present  Committed compliance: act appropriately even when parents aren’t present - Giving children more opportunities to regulate own behavior fosters self-control - Emotional toddlers and preschoolers have less self-control - Children who are naturally fearful respond to parents’requests to comply with rules - Children who are not naturally fearful respond to parents’requests to cooperate that are based on the attachment relationship • Cooperate because they have a strong attachment/good relationship with parents Improving children’s self-control - Helpful suggestions: • Remind children of the need to resist temptation (e.g., long-term goals more important than short-term goals) • Make tempting events less attractive • Children who have concrete way of handling tempting situations are better at resisting • Appropriate self-instruction and diversion Reasoning about moral issues - Piaget’s Views - Kohlberg’s Theory - Promoting Moral Reasoning Piaget’s views - Until about 4 years the child is premoral • No consistent understanding of morality  Criticism: depends on culture, and how much those around them stress the development of morality - Between 5 and 7 years, children are in a stage of moral realism • Rules must be followed and cannot be changed  Heteronomous morality  Absolute rules handed down by another (by figures of authority)  Immanent justice  Belief that breaking a rule always leads to punishment, which is why they follow them - Around 8 years, progression to moral relativism • Understanding that rules are created by people to help them get along (to maintain social order)  Autonomous morality  Many people work together to create rules  Based on free will Kohlberg’s theory - Three levels of moral reasoning: - Preconventional • Child does not understand the rules/conventions • Morals based on rewards and punishment  No underlying principle of what’s right or wrong • Obedience to authority  E.g., someone at this stage would respond to the moral dilemma by saying:  Heinz shouldn’t steal the medication because he could get in trouble or go to jail  Or, he should only steal the medication for his wife if he knows he’s not going to get caught - Conventional • Child understand rules/conventions • Moral decisions based on social norms/expectations  E.g., someone at this stage would respond to the moral dilemma by saying:  Others wouldn’t see him as an honest citizen anymore  That Heinz should steal the drug because husbands are supposed to do all that they can for their wives - Postconventional • Moral decisions based on personal beliefs • Universal moral principles outweigh laws/rules  E.g., someone at this stage would respond to the moral dilemma by saying:  Should steal the drug because preserving life takes precedence over all other rights and laws - Support for the theory: • People progress through the stages in sequence • Moral reasoning is linked to moral behavior - Cross-cultural evidence is inconsistent Promoting moral reasoning - Reasoning becomes more sophisticated after discussions about moral issues and exposure to higher levels of reasoning - Strive for committed compliance not situational compliance Helping others - Development of Prosocial Behavior - Skills Underlying Prosocial Behavior - Situational Influences - Socializing Prosocial Behavior Development of prosocial behavior - Prosocial behavior: actions that benefit others - Altruism: prosocial behavior that helps othe
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