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ERIC Number: ED077571
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1971
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Understanding of Morals.
Lee, Lee C.
Research efforts in the area of moral development of the child, as based on Piaget's theory, are discussed. Some of the important processes Piaget uses to explain cognitive growth are presented first, followed by his theory of how the individual's capacity for moral judgment evolves. The research discussed tests Piaget's chief underlying assumption that changes in cognitive structures are related directly to comparable changes in moral judgments. The hypotheses tested were: (1) authority-oriented moral judgments would develop concomitantly with the period of pre-operational thought, (2) as children move forward into the next stage of concrete operational thought, moral judgements would be based on cooperation and reciprocity, and (3) there would be a final stage of formal operations with moral judgments based on ideals. The general design of the study involved testing 195 boys (15 boys from kindergarten through 12th grade, with social class, sibling position, and IQ level held constant) on a series of six Piagetian tasks to assess their level of cognitive functioning. Levels of moral judgments were determined by his responses to nine different morally conflicting story situations. These stories were designed to measure a child's centration on authority vs. peer cooperation vs. humanitarian acts. Cognitive test scores were transformed into factor scores, which were related to the various modes of moral conceptualization. Pearsonian correlations were used to test the relationship between each cognitive component and each moral mode of response. The findings support Piaget's thesis of concomitant "growth" of the two modes of thought. [Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility.] (DB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY. Dept of Human Development and Family Studies.