ERIC Number: EJ849191
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
Young Humeans: The Role of Emotions in Children's Evaluation of Moral Reasoning Abilities
Danovitch, Judith H.; Keil, Frank C.
Developmental Science, v11 n1 p33-39 Jan 2008
Three experiments investigated whether children in grades K, 2, and 4 (n = 144) view emotional comprehension as important in solving moral dilemmas. The experiments asked whether a human or an artificially intelligent machine would be best at solving different types of problems, ranging from moral and emotional to nonmoral and pragmatic. In Experiment 1, children in all age groups indicated that a human would be superior to a computer not only at comprehending emotions, but also at solving moral dilemmas. In Experiment 2, older children also indicated that a human could solve moral dilemmas better than a "robot" with human-like perceptual and physical abilities. Experiment 3 further demonstrated that these effects were not solely due to a bias towards humans. Thus, children as young as age 5 view emotional understanding as an important element for moral, but not for nonmoral, reasoning, suggesting that the basis for Humean intuitions emerges early in life.
Descriptors: Moral Issues, Moral Values, Psychological Patterns, Emotional Response, Emotional Development, Cognitive Processes, Children, Kindergarten, Grade 2, Grade 4, Elementary School Students, Problem Solving, Cognitive Psychology, Computers, Age Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 4; Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A