ERIC Number: ED192930
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Story Content as a Factor in Children's Moral Judgments.
Moran, James D., III
This study investigates effects of perceived rule-breaking on the moral reasoning of young children. Thirty first-grade children (15 males and 15 females) were read 10 randomly ordered moral judgment stories by one of three experimenters. Each story was accompanied by a two-frame cartoon-like drawing depicting the action. Two stories of each of the following five types were included: negative intention/negative consequence (NN); negative intention/negative consequence with rule-breaking (NNrb); negative intention/positive consequence (NP); negative intention/positive consequence with rule-breaking (NPrb); and positive intention/negative consequence (PN). Following pre-training with the scale the children rated the story characters on an eight-point scale ranging from very bad to very good. Repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a significant story effect which, however, was not directly in accord with Piagetian theory. Individual comparisons via Tukey tests showed the NPrb stories were rated significantly different from every other story type. No other story comparison was significant. Further analysis of the findings suggests (1) that intention may be more salient to a child if the story portrays intended damage to another person rather than to property; and (2) a need for revision of Piaget's theory of moral reasoning that takes into account story content and perhaps incorporates the Piagetian notion of decalage. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Moral Judgment Task (Piaget); Piagetian Theory; Rule Breaking
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the meeting of the Oklahoma Home Economics Association (Tulsa, OK, March 1980).