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ERIC Number: ED154941
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Moral Reasoning and Role-Taking in Young Children Verbally and Behaviorally Assessed.
Peterson, Judith; McNamee, Sharie
This paper reports two studies designed to investigate the relationship between conceptions of distributive justice and perspective taking in preschool children. Subjects in the first study were 39 white, middle-class 4- and 5-year-old children. They were administered a concrete object form and an abstract picture form of a perceptual role-taking measure. Their moral reasoning about distributive justice was assessed verbally in a hypothetical situation and behaviorally in a real situation. Results indicated that children were better able to role-take with real objects than with pictures and that their moral reasoning was at a lower, more egocentric level in the real situation, where the rewards were edible, than in the hypothetical situation. Results also showed a moderate relationship between perceptual role taking and moral reasoning. In the second study, twenty other 4- and 5-year-olds were presented with two sharing dilemmas. Each dilemma was presented both in a picture story and in a real situation in the classroom. Subjects' social perspective taking was assessed in an interview and their cognitive role-taking ability was assessed behaviorally. Results showed that the children's moral reasoning was fairly consistent across a variety of distributive justice dilemmas and that the behavioral assessment of their reasoning appeared to be valid. Findings also showed an intercorrelation of perceptual, social, and cognitive role-taking measures, all of which were shown to be related to moral reasoning in preschoolers. (JMB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (85th, San Francisco, California, August 26-30, 1977)