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Chapter 14

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PSYC 351
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Chapter 14 Moral Reasoning  Evaluating Piaget's Model a. Supported: i. With age, motives & intentions considered to evaluate the morality of actions ii. cognitive measures important in children's level of moral judgement 1. perspective-taking, mental state understanding iii. peer relations are an important. they give opportunities to tackle moral issues (i.e. kindness, unkindness, exclusion from play, failure to share) iv. can achieve advances in moral reasoning via discussions with peers v. punitive parents who reinforce strict adherences to rules --> child displays less mature moral reasoning and behaviour b. Some of Piaget's predictions are held up for scrutiny. For example i. Parents DO play a far more important and different role in dev of morality ii. Piaget underestimated moral reasoning abilities of young children iii. When Piaget's dilemmas are presented in ways that make intentions more salient, even younger children can take motives into account iv. Even young children consider a variety of factors in addition to motives and damage, when assessing a character`s morality 1. taking a toy from friend is more wrong than taking it from a non-friend 2. breaking of moral rules is worse than violation of social conventions  Evaluating Kohlberg's Model a. Supported i. individuals progress through the sequences in the predicted order ii. i.e. test done on boys from age 10 to adulthood iii. 10- boys primarily used preconventional reasoning (emphasizing obeying authority or actin gin one`s own self-interest) iv. 14-24- stage 3 reasoning (concerned with conforming to expectations to win others' approval) v. 36- a small number were reasoning at the post-conventional level (stage 5) b. individuals will apply the same level of moral reasoning across a range of problems i. 60% of time, across a series of moral dilemmas involved only one stage ii. 90% it involved two adjacent stages c. individual's level of reasoning is not always consistent d. level of reasoning can be influenced by characteristics of the dilemma itself (i.e. whether it involves general moral issue or personally experienced problem) e. are these stages universal? well in non-technological societies people rarely progress to 5th stage i. not a problem for kohlberg's theory, because even he says that culture and experience help determine what stage a person ultimately reaches ii. a serious problem is though that he doesn't address certain moral issues and concepts found in other cultures 1. For example, in chinese culture, conflict between what is right for individual vs. what is right for society is not resolved by choosing one over the other (as required by kohlberg's hypothetical dilemmas)....instead, they reconcile f. so kohlberg's model is not applicable to everyone in some cultures g. applicability should be universal across cultures AND between sexes h. justice reasoning = best indicator or moral development i. according to kholberg, female reasoning was not as advanced as male's j. Carol Gilligan asserted that women's moral reasoning is just different, not lower i. women's moral reasoning is less concerned with justice and more concerned with responsibility and care (ethics of care)--> right to do something vs. obligation to do something ii. life is more important than obeying laws = justice oriented iii. should steal because of obligation to help someone he loves = care orientation k. Conclusion: no evidence that males and females score differently on kohlberg's tasks at any age. No gender differences in 86% of the studies. themes of justice and care came equally. 6% females scored higher, 9% males scored higher. l. research doesn't support the notion that kohlberg's approach is biased in favour of one sex over the other, nor that males and females differ in their approaches to moral dilemmas m. however, there is some evidence that females may focus more on issues of caring when reflecting on moral issues  Evaluating Turiel's Model a. Moral reasoning involves several independent domains of social cognition b. Children distinguish among these from an early age. Preschool children believe that: i. breaking a moral rule is always wrong (stealing) but breaking a social convention depends on setting and situation (eating with hands) ii. it's wrong to do something immoral, whether or not a rule about it exists iii. ignoring a social convention is okay if there is no rule about it iv. in situations involving harm and justice, children judge that peers, parents, and other adults all have the authority to intervene to protect another person v. it's not legitimate for a teacher or other authority figure to compel a child to violate moral rules vi. but, children believe teachers and other authority figures have the right to make their own rules in their own arenas of influence vii. teachers can make rules in the classroom, but not in children's homes viii. which is more wrong? minor moral misdeed (stealing an eraser) or major social conventional transgression (wearing pyjamas to school)? minor moral misdeed c. children's moral reasoning will be influenced by the context in which it takes place i. i.e. in stories, breaking moral laws is always wrong. in reality, children consider other factors (i.e. motives, intentions) in determining the wrongness of the act ii. physical harm is always viewed as wrong but psychological harm (calling someone stupid) is viewed wrong when it occurs in real life, but as much more acceptable when it occurs as part of a game d. some differences as well as similarities in cultures i. children from lower income families are less likely to draw clear distinctions between moral rules and social conventions, and they view fewer issues as matters of personal choice e. some harm and justice are universally regarded as wrong (i.e. breaking promise, destroying property), but the category of moral transgressions may be wider in some cultures than others  Distributive Justice and Retributive Justice a. Distributive Justice i. Kids perform different amounts of work. How should reward be distributed? ii. 4 yrs- reward distribution is characterized by self-interest (takes large portion of earning to themselves, regardless of amount of work they contributed) iii. 5-6 yrs- children begin to divide rewards according to equality principle, with all children receiving same share, whatever their input iv. >=7 years- equity; children who do more work are given more of the reward, although not always in the correct proportions v. Allocation influenced by cognitive (understanding of proportions) as well as situational variables and culture 1. giving to those who are in greater need 2. giving to those who are kind and helpful to them 3. collectivistic cultures tend to be more egalitarian in their distribution 4. if child knows they will interact again with the person who did relatively little work, they will reward that person using equality rule rather than equity rule b. Retributive Justice- what factors children use in assigning blame or responsibility? i. Harm? Responsible? Punishment? Both adults and kids go through these 3 steps ii. However, children think that the approach followed by adults will be different iii. kids think that the adult would view a negative behaviour negatively as well but that the parents would focus more on the outcome than on the motive, and would evaluate the character's behaviour more harshly than the child iv. children's moral reasoning in situations involving responsibility for damage does not represent a simple imitation of what they expect from adults v. children's predictions about harshness of adults judgements show that children think adults are creators and enforces of social rules  Social and Family Influences on Moral Reasoning a. Peers i. Both Piaget and Kohlberg argued that children's interactions with peers are important for development of moral reasoning ii. indeed, positive correlation between child's peer interactions (popularity) and level of moral maturity iii. it's likely that the relationship is bidirectional iv. from an early age, children respond to moral transgressions usually by talking about the injury or loss experienced by the victim and asking the perpetrator to consider how it would feel to be the victim of the transgression v. experiments show that discussing moral issues with peers can foster advances in children's moral reasoning vi. interaction with peers with somewhat different perspective are most beneficial b. Parents i. 6-16 yr olds and parents attend 2 lab sessions 2 years apart ii. in first session, both responded individually to real life situation and kohlberg's iii. disagreement in at least one issue from each? discuss. iv. parents lowered their level of reasoning during the conversation, while children raised theirs v. consistent with vygotsky's notion of a zone of proximal development vi. nature of discussion differed in kohlberg's vs. real-life situation 1. hypothetical: parents challenge children's reasoning and adopt a opinionated lecturing type style 2. real life dilemma, parents are more supportive, focusing on drawing out the child's opinion and trying to understand it 3. quality of interaction on the real life dilemmas predicted children's moral reasoning 2 years later vii. through discipline for misconduct 1. children internalize rules and prohibitions given by parents 2. effectiveness of discipline on internalization depend on several factors: 1) type of discipline and 2) child's temperament a. power assertion (commands, threats, physical force), love withdrawal (verbal disapproval or ridicule, withholding affection), induction (reasoning with the child to explain why certain behaviours are prohibited, encouraging feelings of guilt, pointing out how the misbehaviour may have caused harm or distress to someone else); inductive --> best moral reasoning ability, then love-withdrawal, then power assertion b. temperament: i. for fearful, timid and anxious kids: gentle discipline and avoidance of power tactics is best to promote internalization ii. fearless children: cooperative and responsive approach basically, the type of discipline that is most effective with a particular kid is the one that best fits with the child's personality and temperament  Moral Reasoning and Moral Conduct a. kids often behave in moral ways without being able to explain clearly why b. piaget believes
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