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Chapter 14

PSYB32H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Smoking And Pregnancy, Birth Weight, Twin Study

Course Code
Diane Mangalindan

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Chapter 14: Morality, Altruism, and
-Through Internalization, children incoroporate other's ideas and beliefs into their own conepts
of themselves, thus developing personal standards of conduct.
-They begin to regulate their behaviour according to these standards, by themselves
without any external factors (like punishment) requried.
-Internalization is the fundamental process in the development of morality.
-Psych has 3 basic components of morality
1) Cognitive : inovles knowledge of ethical rules and judgements.
2) Behavioural: refers to people's behaviour in a situation that evokes ethical consideration
3) Emotional: refers to people's feeling about a situation that involve moral / ethical concern.
-Studies of moral behaviour have traditionally focused on negative aspects, such as guilt, but
now there's more work focused on positive emotions like empathy.
-The particular theory a researcher embraces determines which aspect of moral development
she explores.
-Cog theories: investigate moral judgements.
-Learning theories: provide underpinning for studies of ethical behaviour.
-Psychoanalytic theories: examine affective components of morality.
Piaget and Kohlberg both consider moral development to be an aspect of cog development.
Piaget's cognitive theory of moral development
-Piaget proposed a cognitive-developmental theory in which the child's moral concept evolves in
an unvarying sequence through 3 stages.
-He investigated child's developing moral judgement in two ways: 1)studying how kids change
their attitudes towards rules in common games 2) examining the way they change their
judgements of the seriousness of transgression overtime.
Stage 1: Premoral stage (until 5 y/o): child shows little concern or awareness of rules.
-Ex: in game of marbles, they don't play systematically w/ the intent of winning, but gain
satisfaction from manipulating the marbles and seeing different ways they could play
with them.
-By 5 years old, kids move into stage 2: moral realism (6-10):in which they develop great
concern and respect for rues that come from authority, usually parents, and see rules as
immutable - unchanging and not to be questioned.
-"moral absolutism" prevails in this stage.

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-If you tell them kids in other countries use different rules for marbles, they assure you
that's not true.
-There is also this rigidity in social interactions ; often fall back on "my mommy says" to
solve disputes.
-Young kids subscribe to the notion of immanent justice (notion that any deviation from rules
will result in punishment or retribution). This retribution can take the form of accidents or
mishaps controlled by inanimate objects or by a higher power.
-In this stage, kids evaluate the seriousness of an act in terms of consequences: do not take the
perpetrator's intention into account.
-2 factors contribute to moral realism:
1)egocentrism: their inability to subordinate their own experience and look at situations as
others may
2) immature way of thinking: leads them to confuse external reality with their own thought
processes and subjective experiences.
-stage 3: Morality of reciprocity (11+): In which child recognizes that rules may be questioned
and altered: considers feelings and views of others, believes in equal justice for all.
-Know that obedience to authority isn't always necessary and that violating rules isn't always
-Kids believe that if behaviour is to be punished, the punishment should be related to the
person's intentions and the nature of the transgression.
-Punishment should also be of a nature that makes up for the harm done and helps
teach the wrongdoer.
-Kids in this stage believe in equalitarianism: equal justice for all.
-To test what stage a child is at, Piaget would read paired stories to child and then ask if the
children in both stories were equally guilty.
-Moral realism: John is less ethical because he broke more cups.
-Moral reciprocity: Henry is less ethical because he tried to deceive mom, but John was
-In Western cultures, investigators find regular age trends in development of moral judgement
from realism to reciprocity.
-But doesn't hold up so well in other cultures.
-Piaget may have underestimated cognitive abilities of young children.
-Even six year olds are able to consider an actor's intentions when the situation is described in a
way they can understand.
-Ex: when kids shown story by video rather than orally, they were as responsive to intent
as the older kids.
-Also, Piaget's method may account for underestimate of children's ability to make moral

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-Piaget always mixed action outcome with intent: he required kids to judge whether a child who
causes la bit of damage is worse than the kids who caused lots but had good intentions.
-Today, researchers present stories in which good and bad intentions can be evaluated
separately from good and bad outcomes. This way, even elementary school children look at
intent as basis for judgment. (Stories had same outcome, different intent. Or other way around.
Kohlberg's Cognitive Theory of Moral Development
-Based his theory on Piaget's.
-Also believed that child's cog abilities determine evolution of moral reasoning and that moral
development builds on concepts grasped in preceding stages.
-He tested theories by interviewing boys b/w 10 and 16, presenting them w/ moral dilemmas in
which they had to choose to obey rules and authority or ignore these forces and respond to
needs and welfare of other people instead.
-Ex: Heinz' dying wife story.
-Kohblerg formulated 3 levels of moral development and subdivided them into 6 stages.
-The ages may differ for the stages but the sequence is fixed.
-some never attain the highest level of moral judgment.
1) pre-conventional level: behaviour is based on the desire to avoid punishment and gain
2) conventional level: behaviour is designed to solicit others' approval and maintain good
relations with them. The child accepts societal regulations unquestioningly and judged
behaviour as good if it conforms to these rules.
2) 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 or disapproval of others.
-Moral conflict is resolved in terms of broad ethical principles and violating these
principles results in guilt and self-condemnation.
-No specific level of response at any specific age was predicted by Kohlberg. Just noted that
young kids tend to give pre-conventional response, and older kids give conventional response.
-Participants in Kohlberg's work were all boys. Kohlberg's theory was biased against women.
-He failed to take account of differences in moral orientations of men and women: the traits that
traditionally have defined the goodness for women are those that mark them as deficient in
moral development.
-Women take a more caring and interpersonal approach to moral dilemmas whereas men tend
to emphasize less personal values as individual rights and principles of justice.
-Lollis looked at moral orientation in parent-child interaction in context of settling sibling fight.
-Moms displayed more care than justice orientations, whereas fathers did the opposite.
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