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ERIC Number: EJ1111254
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7240
Located in the Thin of It: Young Children's Use of Thin Moral Concepts
Wright, Jennifer Cole; Sedlock, Trisha; West, Jenny; Saulpaugh, Kelly; Hopkins, Michelle
Journal of Moral Education, v45 n3 p308-323 2016
One important socio-cultural medium through which young children's moral understanding is cultivated is parent/child discourse. Of particular interest to us was young children's use of basic ("thin") evaluative concepts ("good," "bad," "right" and "wrong"), which are ubiquitous in everyday discourse and serve as a potential bridge from the non-moral to the moral domain. We investigated 14 2-5-year-old children's (and their parents') use of thin evaluative concepts and found that while they frequently used "good" and "bad" to morally evaluate other people's and their own psychological/dispositional states and behaviors--as well as, less frequently, to highlight relevant standards, expectations and rules--they did not use "right" and "wrong." In contrast, a sample of US written and spoken public conversation revealed that adults "did." Reasons for this are discussed, along with the frequency of different types of moral evaluations, differences between children and their parents, and age-related trends.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A