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Psych 2040- Chapter 15: Moral Development, Altruism, and Aggression.docx

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Psychology 2040A/B
Michael G Mac Donald

MORAL DEVELOPMENT  morals: set of principles and ideals that helps an individual distinguish right from wrong o individual acts on this distinction o individual feels pride in good conduct o individuals feels guilt due to bad conduct  morality: internalization of moral principles  moral affect: how you feel  moral reasoning: what you think  moral behavior: what you do  definition of moral maturity (Canadian adults): 1. principled-idealistic: clear values, ethical, highly developed conscience 2. dependable-loyal: responsible, faithful to spouse, loyal, honorable 3. has integrity: consistent, conscientious, rational, hardworking 4. fair: virtuous, just 5. confident: strong, self-assured, self-confident Affect Component of Moral Development Psychoanalytic Theories  emphasize moral affect  Freud’s theory of Oedipal morality o largely unsupported  newer ideas discuss mutually responsive relationship: committed compliance: child’s eagerness to cooperate with a responsive parent  requires mutually responsive relationship: parent-child relationship in which both are attentive to the others’ needs and goals  situational compliance: child behaves due to parent’s power over him/her  aloof or insensitive parenting Reasoning Component of Moral Development Piaget’s Theory  stages of moral development progress with cognitive development  3 stages of moral development: 1. Premoral Period (0-5):— corresponds to precognitive period  little respect or awareness of socially defined rules 2. Heternormous Morality (5-10)— corresponds to cognitive development  rules are rules  immanent justice: violation of rules = punishment  expiatory punishment: punishment for its own sake; no concern for nature of the forbidden act 3. Autonomous Morality (10+)— with formal operations  rules as arbitrary agreements  reciprocal punishment: punishment dependent on forbidden act  no more immanent justice; rule-breakers often go unpunished  evaluation:  underestimated children: younger children do not ignore intentions of actor but do assign more weight to consequences than intentions  easily replicated  moral rules vs. social-conventional rules: moral transgressions much more serious than violation of social- conventional rules  authority dependent on context Kohlberg’s Theory  refinement of Piaget’s theory  based on rationale given to moral dilemmas  3 levels, each with 2 stages: 1. Preconventional Morality: morality based on consequences  stage 1) punishment and obedience: obeys only to avoid punishment; no punishment = no wrong done  stage 2) naïve hedonism: conforms to rules for benefit of oneself 2. Conventional Morality: desire to gain others’ approval  stage 3) “good boy”: meaning well, being nice  stage 4) social-order: laws transcend special interest 3. Postconventional Morality: morally right vs. legally proper  stage 5) social contract: laws are not always just  stage 6) individual principles: right and wrong defined by self-chosen ethical principles of one’s own conscience  support:  levels and stages are universal  longitudinal evidence prove invariant sequence  cognitive prerequisites: necessary but not sufficient conditions for reaching each stage; must also have relevant social experiences  social-experience hypothesis  peer influences > parental due to transactive interactions: peers challenge each others’ ideas and explain differences—promotes moral growth  education: greater education = greater moral reasoning  culture: postconvential moral reasoning in Western societies (more political conflicts), not in nonindustrialized countries  criticism:  culture bias— Western bias  gender bias— morality of care (focus on human welfare than law: females) vs. morality of justice (focus on law than human welfare)  incomplete— neglects moral affect and behavior  moral reasoning doesn’t predict moral conduct  underestimates young children Behavioural Component Social Learning Theories  emphasize behavioural component  doctrine of specificity: specific to situation rather than a stable trait  challenged: some moral behaviors reasonably consistent  internal motivation: resisting temptation in absence of surveillance  influenced by reinforcement and punishment  praise for behaving well = stronger internalized conscience  punishment more effective if accompanied by rationale  moral self-concept training: being told positive attributes about oneself = inclined t
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