ERIC Number: ED230284
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Judgment of Intentionality by Nursery School Children.
Murray, Frank S.
The purpose of this study was to measure the ability of very young children (ages 3 and 4) to use intention in making moral judgments. A total of 22 nursery school children, 11 males and 11 females, successfully completed the experiment; additionally, 39 high school students participated. Judgments of the "goodness" of story characters were made by the nursery school children. Stories were especially designed to explicitly state the character's motives; in each, the motive of the principal actor was either positive or negative and the consequences of the behaviors produced were either positive or negative. In this way, four combinations of intention and consequences were obtained for each of four motives: obedience, lying, stealing, and irascibility. Each child was presented with 16 stories in two sessions spaced 1 day apart. High school students performed the same task with age-appropriate materials. Comparisons were also made between responses to these newly constructed stories and responses to stories used by Piaget (1932). Results showed that: (1) young children exhibited intentionality in making judgments, (2) no statistical differences existed between judgments of older and younger subjects, and (3) young children gave greater weight to negative consequences in their judgments than did high school students. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (Atlanta, GA, March 24-26, 1983).