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PSYC 2450 Chapter Notes -Grammatical Gender, Relational Aggression, Research

Course Code
PSYC 2450
Anneke Olthof

of 11
Developmental Psychology Chapter 15
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
Theories of Moral Development
Psychoanalytic theories emphasize affective component
o “feeling part of it”
Freuds 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
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
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
Piagets 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 Piagets 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
Developmental Psychology Chapter 15
Kohlbergs 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
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
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
Support for Kohlberg
o Age related but sequence not invariant
o There are cognitive pre-requisites
o Social experience contributes to morality
Parental influences