PSY210 lecture 6 feb 13/2012.
Moral Development (Tina Malti):
• What is morality? Manner, character, proper behaviour
• Morality stems from philosophy, principles.
• Moral ideas: its important for society to move forward, responsible individuals,
• Movie atrocity: obedience to authority. 65% of people continued till the end.
• Morality, is about disobeying orders sometimes and do what YOU think is right.
• Early psychologists saw children as egoist being because they always wanted to do
what they wanted and put their needs first.
• Revolution in the thinking. Piaget: child as a moral philosopher,
• Kohlberg: children’s moral thinking is influenced by social relationships.
• Piaget: Heteronomous morality: child’s sticks to authority, and following rules
• Autonomous morality: child’s selectively applies rules, and does some critical
thinking. learn to negotiate and social interactions.
• Stages of moral development Lawrence Kohlberg: identified 6 stages.
• Kohlberg studied morality by asking people with situations about moral dilemma.
Preconventional: focus on self (young kids), conventional: focus on the group (most
adults), post conventional: focus on justice (ethicists).
• Stage #1: obedience and punishment orientation. Conscience= self-protection.
Punishment orientation is completely external to the self.
• Stage #2: instrumental- relativist orientation: action is judged right if it helps in
satisfying ones needs or involves a fair exchange.
• Stage #3: obligation to ones family, gang etc. conscience = group loyalty. One
earns acceptance by being “nice”
• Stage #4: Law and order orientation: following society as a whole, obeying laws to
maintain social order. What is right?
• Stage #5: Social Contract: loyalty to truth, conscience= reason. What should be
• Stage #6: Universal ethical and principle orientation: principles, no matter what the
price. Conscience = personal integrity.
• Criticized that it is hierarchical and it mostly depends on context most of the time
cause kids might argue stage #1 in one situation and stage #2 in some situations.
• Social Domain Theory: Personal: judgements about personal preferences. Depends
on culture and context. Conventional: rules that are imposed by the society, rituals
etc. Psychological domain: autonomy, individual choice.
• Age related changes in moral judgments:
• others welfare: basic,
• distribution of resources: form of sharing, basic moral code.
• Psychological harm (teasing): complex.
• Rights (individual rights): complex.
• Exclusion (group membership): complex. • Context of diversity: increased diversity encourages tolerance, increased diversity
reveals stereotypes, exclusion and prejudice in childhood.
• Intergroup inclusion and exclusion: requires both cognitive capacity and social
understanding. Intragroup (ingroup), intergroup (outgroup).
• Contrasting characteristics: children understand concepts of justice, fairness and
equality but they also form ingroups and have stereotypes about outgroups so how
do they balance these two sides.
• Research questions: is exclusion viewed as unfair? OR is exclusion viewed as
something to preserve ingroup.
• STUDY: interviewed preschool- aged children about gender exclusion in play
activities, two contexts. Straightforward: two girls playing with dolls, and a boy
wants to come and play. Most children answer from moral point of view.
complex: girls are playing, they have to pick a girl or a guy. The children answer
the girl because of stereotypes.
• Moral emotions: self-conscious emotions, important part why children adhere or
fail to adhere to their own moral standards.
• The “happy victimizer” paradigm: child brings chocolate, and put it in the jacket.
And another kid takes it. 4 year old: good. 8 year old: fear from other teachers. 12
year old: guilt.
• Moral emotions: empathy: effective response that stems from the apprehension of
another’s emotional state
• Sympathy: concerned about others well being
• Personal distress: self focused, aversive affective reaction to the apprehension of
anothers emotional state. Feeling unpleasant.
• How do emotio