ERIC Number: ED366408
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Early Responsivity to Moral Events: Physiological and Behavioral Correlates?
Lamb, Sharon; And Others
This study investigated toddlers' reactions to morally related events to determine whether age was a factor in emotional reaction, whether the middle of the second year was a salient time for the emergence of emotional reactions to such events, and whether heart rate change could be used as a new measure of moral responsivity. While their heart rate was being monitored by an electrocardiograph machine, 51 toddlers aged 14 to 21 months were presented with three kinds of morally related events: (1) a prohibition to touch a certain object; (2) a distress cry from the experimenter who pretended to lose something important; and (3) a request to violate a standard, such as a request to spill juice on the floor. Toddlers' emotional responsivity to these events was measured by their heart rate changes, facial expressions, and latency to touch an object presented after the prohibited object. Although no clear relationship between heart rate and other measures of emotional responsivity and no clear age trends were found, those toddlers whose heart rates accelerated after the prohibition were less likely than other toddlers to touch the object that was presented after the prohibited object. Negative affect after the prohibition was expressed in the older age groups significantly more frequently than in the younger groups. (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Response Patterns
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (70th, New Orleans, LA, March 25-28, 1993).