ERIC Number: ED400092
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Morality of Friendship versus the Morality of Individual Autonomy.
Berndt, Thomas J.
Two studies examined people's ideas about conflicts between the morality of friendship and the morality of individual autonomy. Study 1 included 144 subjects of 15, 18, and 21 years of age. In individual interviews, subjects were asked (1) what they would do in dilemmas in which friendship expectations conflicted with individual autonomy; (2) the reason for their decision; and (3) whether meeting a friend's expectations would be breaking friendship rules. Subjects also completed a questionnaire on the quality of friendship with their best friend, and another on their acceptance of individualistic values. Findings indicated that older students emphasized the morality of individual autonomy less than younger students but were no more likely to make individualistic decisions. Younger students resolved friendship-individualism conflicts by asserting their individual rights; older students resolved these conflicts by setting boundaries on friendship obligations. Students' decisions about dilemmas were unrelated to their endorsement of individualistic values but were related to the quality of their friendships; friendships with more negative features were associated with less compliance to friendship expectations. Study 2 used the same methodology as Study 1, but included adult graduate students--79 from the United States and 69 from India. More Indian than American adults resolved conflicts by complying with friendship expectations. However, Indian adults endorsed individualism more often than American adults. The differences between American and Indian adults' decisions about the dilemmas were not related to differences in friendship quality. In both studies, decisions showed little consistency across dilemmas. Two tables list the dilemmas used in the studies. (KDFB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Rokeach Value Survey