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PSYB20 Chapter 14.docx

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Mark Schmuckler

PSYB20 Chapter 14: Morality, Altruism, and Aggression Basic tasks of socialization = communicating ethical standards to developing child and shaping and enforcing the practice of “good behaviours” Internalization: children incorporate others’ ideas and beliefs into their own concepts of themselves  develop personal standards of conduct - Believe to be the fundamental and essential process in the development of morality! 3 basic components of morality: 1) cognitive = knowledge of ethical rules and judgements about “good” and “bad” of various acts, 2) behavioural, 3) emotional = people’s feelings about situations that invoke ethical consideration Piaget’s and Kohlberg’s theories of moral development (compare and contrast) Piaget’s Cognitive Theory of Moral Development: 3 Stages 1. Premoral stage - Child shows little concern/awareness for rules - Lasts until ~age 5 2. Moral realism - Child shows great respect for rules but applies them quite inflexibly - Moral absolutism: see rules as unchanging and not to be questioned - Lasts ~ from age 6 – 10 3. Immanent justice - Deviation from rules will inevitably result in punishment - 2 factors that contribute: 1) egocentralism: ability to subordinate their own experiences and to perceive situations as others may, 2) immature way of thinking: leads them to confuse external reality with their own thought processes and subjective experiences - Lasts from age 11 onwards - Morality of reciprocity: child recognizes that rules may be questioned and altered, considers the feelings and views of others, and believes in equalitarianism: equal justice for all Evaluation of theory: - Findings in other cultures less consistent - Underestimated the cognitive capacities of young children (6 yr old able to consider an actor’s intentions when situation is described in a way that they can understand) Kholberg’s Cognitive Theory of Moral Development Like Piaget, believed that the child’s cognitive capacities determine the evolution of her moral reasoning and that moral development builds on concepts grasped in preceding stages 3 levels of moral development, subdivided into 6 stages: Level 1: Pre-conventional level: based on the desire to avoid punishment and gain rewards Stage 1: Obedience and punishment orientation - Morality of act is defined by physical consequences (avoid punishment) Stage 2: Naive hedonistic and instrumental orientation - Child conforms to gain rewards, understands reciprocity and sharing but reciprocity is a manipulative and self-serving (“I’ll lend you my bike if I can play with your wagon”) Level 2: Conventional level: child’s behaviour is designed to solicit others’ approval and maintain good relations with them. The child accepts societal regulations unquestionably and judges behaviour as good if it conforms to these rules Stage 3: Good-boy morality - Behaviour is to maintain approval and good relations with others, conforms to family and friend’s standards - Beginning to accept the notion of social regulations and to judge behaviours in terms of whether people conform/violate these rules Stage 4: Authority and morality that maintain the social order - Blindly accepts social conventions and rules and believes that if society accepts these rules, they must be maintained to avoid censure - Conforms to social order - Many people never go beyond this conventional level of morality Level 3: Post-conventional level: child’s judgements are rational and his conduct is controlled by an internalized ethical code that is relatively independent of the approval/disapproval of others Stage 5: Morality of contract, individual rights, and democratically accepted law - Morality based on agreement among individuals to conform to norms that appear necessary to maintain social order - Can be modified when people rationally discuss alternatives that might be more advantageous to more members of society Stage 6: Morality of individual principles and conscience - Conform to both social standards and internalized ideals - Based on respect for others - Intent is to avoid self-condemnation rather than criticism by others Evaluation of Kohlberg’s Theory - Dominant pattern of responding to moral reasoning in adults appear to be convention (stage 3 or 4) - People often show a remarkable inconsistency in their moral judgements (depends on the way questions are presented + also shaped by history of events) - Regardless of cultural background develops through the stage sequence in the same manner BUT possibility of cultural bias Piaget emphasized the roles of peers vs Kohlberg emphasized the importance of varied opportunities for role taking in the development of moral judgements Relation btw moral judgement and social rules Social-convention rules: socially based rules about everyday conduct (ex, table manners, modes of dressing) - Children view violating moral rules (result in harm) as more wrong then violations of social- convention rules (impolite, disruptive) - Moral rules = fixed, absolute, and invariant across cultures - Social conventions = arbitrary, relative and vary across communities and cultures - Differential btw moral and conventional rules → development of tolerance Relation btw moral judgements and moral behaviour - Maturity of moral judgements dot not predict how a child will behave - In older children they may be linked (level 5 & 6) - 4 step process involved in executing action: 1) child interprets situation in terms of how other people`s welfare could be affected by his possible action, 2) figures out what the ideally moral course of action would be, 3) decides what to do, 4) actually performs the action
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