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ERIC Number: ED114179
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
A Developmental Study of Empathy: Egocentrism to Sociocentrism or Simple to Complex Reasoning?
Watson, Marilyn Sheehan
This study was designed to determine whether children's judgments of another's emotional state are based on egocentric or perspectivistic reasoning processes. A total of 91 children, between the ages of 3 and 10, at three grade levels, were shown a series of photographs containing conflicting situational and expressive cues to the pictured child's emotional state. The children between 3 and 7 years of age based 96 percent of their judgments on the expressive cues, while the correspondence between expressive cues and judgments decreased to 86 percent for the 9- to 10-year-olds. The subjects' own emotional responses to the photographs appeared to be independent from their judgments. It is argued that these results support the conclusion that children as young as 3 years of age judge the emotional states of others on the basis of perspectivistic reasoning processes, and that the development of social reasoning proceeds along a continuum from simple to more complex reasoning processes. (Author/BRT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A