ERIC Number: ED206398
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Influence of Structured Group Experience on Moral Judgments of Preschoolers.
Moran, James D., III; O'Brien, Gayle
This study examines the influence of social experiences received in a group-care setting on the development of moral reasoning in young children. Thirty-five children approximately 4 years old, participated in the study. Twenty of the subjects attended day care or nursery school; the remaining 15 did not attend any group-care programs. Each child individually heard 12 "moral judgment" stories--6 with positive intention and negative consequences, and 6 with negative intention and positive consequence. Accompanied by a two-frame cartoon-like drawing depicting the story action, each story was read twice to each child. After the second presentation, the child was asked to rate the story character on an 8-point rating scale as to goodness or badness. Analysis revealed that only in stories involving personal property was there a significant tendency for consequence-based judgments. The major differences as a function of story content and social experience occurred in negative intention/positive consequence stories. In these stories, the group-care children rated contexts in which an actor was involved in injury to another person on the basis of intention, whereas the home-based group focused on the consequence. In stories with negative intention in which damage to personal property occurred, however, group-care children tended to be more consequence-based than did home-reared children. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Intention; Moral Judgment
Note: A version of this paper was presented at the Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 17-21, 1981).