ERIC Number: ED365581
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Individual Differences in the Categorization (or Domain Placement) of Social Cues in Occurrences of Everyday Moral Conflicts.
Lee, John Y.
This study examines the role of individual differences in categorizing or domain placing social situations as entailing or not entailing moral harm in accounting for occurrences of everyday moral incidents. It was hypothesized that (1) much of what is experienced as morally injurious in everyday social events between significant others stems from the human tendency to interpret social cues from one's own vantage point and, given that the meaning attributed to a given social situation is contingent on the role of the interpreter; and (2) an act which is judged to be morally harmful, unfair, or wrong in one context may not appear so in another. In order to test these hypotheses, third and sixth graders were interviewed about everyday moral incidents in which they viewed themselves as having morally injured a friend, parent, sibling, and teacher (perpetrator accounts). They also were asked about incidents in which they viewed themselves as having been morally injured by a friend, parent, sibling, and teacher (victim accounts). As expected, the majority of both perpetrator and victim accounts indicated that the harm experienced by the victim was not judged to be intended by the perpetrator. The attribution of harm varied, however, depending on whether the moral incident was recounted from the perpetrator or victim perspective and the other's specific relation to the subject. Also as expected, many of the subject's perpetrator accounts revealed that subjects unwittingly engaged in acts which they judged as morally unfair in their victim accounts. The educational and theoretical implications of these findings were discussed. (Author)
Descriptors: Behavioral Science Research, Conflict Resolution, Context Effect, Cues, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Grade 3, Grade 6, Higher Education, Individual Differences, Interpersonal Relationship, Moral Development, Moral Values, Self Concept, Social Cognition, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Domain Placement
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Atlanta, GA, April 12-16, 1993).