ERIC Number: ED116792
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Apr-10
Reference Count: N/A
Moral Behavior from a Cognitive Social Learning Viewpoint.
Mischel, Walter; Mischel, Harriet N.
This paper deals with one view of cognitive social learning and its applications to the psychological analysis of moral competence and moral conduct. The concept of cognitive and behavioral construction competencies is explained and cognitive competencies are said to be among the very best predictors of "honesty" in conduct. Moral competence includes the ability to reason about moral dilemmas, the skill of role-taking, and the kind of empathy required to take account of long-term consequences of actions as they affect other people. Although an individual may be capable of moral conduct, his decision on whether to act morally at any given time depends on his behavior-outcome expectancies. The young child's behavior is governed primarily by expected immediate, concrete consequences for himself, but as he matures the evaluation and reinforcement of his behavior become increasingly independent of external rewards and punishments and include more temporally distant and abstract considerations and self-reactions. It is thus concluded that age-related changes in the style and content of moral reasoning and conduct reflect changes in the individual's cognitive and verbal capacities in interaction with the social learning variables salient for him at different points in the life cycle. (JMB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A