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PSYC 2450
Anneke Olthof

1 Developmental Psychology Chapter 15 Morality Definition o Set of principles and ideals that helps an individual distinguish right from wrong  Individual acts on this distinction  Individual feels pride in good conduct  Individual feels guilt due to bad conduct Moral maturity o Motivation not based on reward/punishment o Internalization of moral standards  The process of adopting the attributes or standards of other people taking these standards as one‟s own Components of morality o Moral affects  The emotional component of morality  Includes feelings such as guilt, shame and pride in ethical conduct o Moral reasoning  The cognitive component of morality  The thinking that people display when deciding whether various acts are right or wrong o Contemplating morality o Moral behaviour  The behavioural component of morality, actions that are consistent with one‟s moral standards in situations in which one is tempted to violate them  What is actually done when tempted with a moral decision TheoriesofMoralDevelopment Psychoanalytic theories emphasize affective component o “feeling part of it” Freud’s theory of Oedipal morality: - Freud‟s theory that moral development occurs during the phallic period (3-6) when children internalize the moral standards of the same sex parent as they resolve their Oedipus and Electra conflict o Largest unsupported  Negative: child as young as 2 do show some evidence of feeling morally responsible, not supported by Freud Social learning view o A conscience may be formed early on if toddlers are securely attached 2 Developmental Psychology Chapter 15 o Mutually responsive relationship: Parent child relationship characterized by mutual responsiveness to each other‟s needs and goals and shared positive affect  With context of a warm mutually responsive relationship toddlers will display Committed Compliance  Compliance based on the child‟s eagerness to cooperate with a responsive parent who has been willing to cooperate with him or her o The child complies with parents because they want to see parents as someone who is on their side so the child wants to please the parent o Situational compliance promoted by insensitive parenting  Compliance based primarily on a parents power to control the child‟s conduct Social cognitive theories emphasize moral reasoning “what is right and wrong” o Depends on social experiences and cognitive growth o Will help children develop progressively richer understandings of the meaning of rules, laws, and interpersonal obligations  As they acquire these new understandings children are said to  Pass through an Invariant sequence of moral stages Piaget’s stages of moral development o Pre-moral period (0-5)  Children have little respect for the awareness of socially defined rules o 1. Heteronomous morality (5-10)  Rules, immanent justice, expiatory punishment  view Authority figures as sacred and unalterable o 2. Autonomous morality (by age 10-11)  Children realize that rules are arbitrary agreements that can be challenged and changed with the consent of the people they govern  Rules as arbitrary agreements  Immanent justice: the notion that unacceptable conduct will invariably be punished and that justice is ever present in the world Evaluating Piaget’s stages o Can be replicated! o Underestimate young children  Research method important o Moral rules vs. social conventional rules  Moral rules: Standards of acceptable and unacceptable conduct that focus on the rights and privileges of individuals  Social conventional rules: Standards of conduct determined by social consensus that indicate what is appropriate within a particular social context  Young children 2.5-3.5 consider moral transgressions (hitting, stealing ect.) much more serious and more deserving of punishment than social conventional violations. o Ideas about legitimate authority 3 Developmental Psychology Chapter 15 Kohlberg’s theory o Refined Piaget‟s theory o Used moral dilemmas in clinical interviews o Identified 3 levels, each with 2 stages o Level 1. Pre-conventional morality  Moral judgments are based on the tangible punitive consequences (stage1) or rewarding consequences (stage 2) if an act for the actor rather than on the relationship of the act to societies rules and customs  Morality based on consequences  Stage 1 punishment and obedience o Goodness or badness of an act depends on its consequences  Child obeys authorities to avoid punishment but may not consider an act wrong is not detected and punished  Stage 2 naïve hedonism o A person at this second stage conforms to rules in order to gain rewards or satisfy personal objectives. o Level 2. Conventional morality (acts morally to gain others approval)  Desire to gain others‟ approval maintain social order  Social avoidance and blame now replaced tangible rewards and punishments as motivators of ethical conduct  Stage 3 “good boy/girl” o Moral behaviour which pleases, helps, or is approved of by others  Stage 4 social order o Individual considers the perspectives of the generalized other, the will of society as reflected in law o 3. Post conventional morality  Person at this highest level or moral reasoning defines right and wrong in terms of broad principles of justice that could conflict with written laws or with the dictates of authority figures.  Principles of justice  Stage 5 social-contract o Individual views laws as instruments for expressing the will of the majority and furthering human welfare.  Stage 6 individual principles o Highest moral stage  Individual defines right and wrong on the basis of the self-chosen ethical principles of his or her own conscience Support for Kohlberg o Age related but sequence not invariant o There are cognitive pre-requisites o Social experience contributes to morality  Parental influences 4 Developmental Psychology Chapter 15  Friends more likely than parents to challenge and disagree with a child‟s or adolescents ideas and they contributed positively to moral growth when they did confront and challenge.  Peer influences  Transactive interactions o Verbal exchanges between two peers where each person presents their case “I do this because” well I don‟t think that‟s right because…  Benefits peer at a lesser stage of moral development  Advances education  More education leads to more complex reasoning about moral issues  Culture  In democratic culture that is free to express point of views there is a lot of exposure to different views Criticisms of Kohlberg’s theory o Western bias  Western ideal of justice, bias to cultures that do not value individualism and individual rights highly enough to want to challenge societies rules o Gender bias (?)  Morality of justice  Gilligan‟s term for what she presumes to be the dominant moral orientation of males focusing more on socially defined justice as administered through law than on compassionate concerns for human welfare  Morality of care  Gilligan‟s term for what she presumes to be the dominant moral orientation of females an orientation focusing more on compassionate concerns for human welfare than on socially defined justice as administered through law o Incomplete  Too much on moral reasoning and neglects moral affect and behaviour  (pride shame) o Does moral reasoning lead to behaviour?  Some data is consistent but  Most researchers have found that moral judgments of young children do not predict their behaviour in situations where they are induced to cheat or violate other moral norms o Underestimate young children The social learning perspective emphasizes moral behaviour o Doctrine of specificity: A viewpoint shared by many social learning theorists which holds that moral affect, moral reasoning, and moral behaviour may depend as much or more on the situation one faces than on an internalized set of moral principles o Issues of consistency 5 Developmental Psychology Chapter 15 Resistance to temptation o Forbidden-toy paradigm  Looking at the effect of punishment to resist a toy  Touch the good toy and a loud buzzer goes off touch bad toy and no punishment  Cognitive rationale  Reasons given to the child as to why they shouldn‟t touch the toy, makes them internalize what they should and shouldn‟t do  Internal vs. External attributions o Modeling  Learn by watching the model resist temptation but the model must still verbalize why Altruism What is altruism? - A selfless concern for the welfare of others that is expressed through pro-social acts such as sharing, cooperating, and helping o Concern for welfare of others o Willingness to act on concern Origins of Altruism - Long before children receive any formal moral training they may act in ways that resemble pro-social behaviour o 12-18 month olds occasionally offer toys to companions o Mothers of highly compassionate toddlers frequently disciplined harm doing with affective explanations  Discipline that focuses a child‟s attention on the harm or distress that his or her conduct has caused others  See the relation between acts and consequences of acts (distress of others) Development of altruism o Coercive tactics decrease compassion  Elicits sharing through a request or threat of some kind  “I wont be your friend if you won‟t gimmie some” o Affective explanations increase compassion o Study found 2.5-3.5 year olds took pleasure in performing acts of kindness for others during pretend play o 4-6 year olds performed more real helping acts and rarely play acted the role of an altruist Early pro-social behaviour o Toddlers show sympathy/compassion (eg: sharing toys) o Rarely make self-sacrificial responses (eg: sharing a treasured toy) 6 Developmental Psychology Chapter 15 Altruistic behaviour increases in school years o Link between perspective taking and altruism o Sex differences?  Girls often reported to help and to share more than boys  Magnitude of difference not large o Boys often found to be less cooperative and more competitive than girls do Social-cognitive and affective contributors o Role-taking skills  Children and adolescents w
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