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ERIC Number: EJ908358
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1522-7227
Children's, Adolescents', and Adults' Reference to Goals to Explain Interpersonal Actions
Pillow, Bradford H.; Lovett, Suzanne B.; Hill, Valerie
Infant and Child Development, v17 n5 p471-489 Sep 2008
This study investigated children's, adolescents', and adults' references to an actor's goals when explaining interpersonal actions. Participants were presented with eight brief stories containing a variety of social events and were asked to explain why the actor in each story performed the central action. Children, adolescents, and adults mentioned goals for most of the stories. Adults and adolescents mentioned psychological goals much more often than did children. Older children, adolescents, and adults mentioned complex psychological goals more often than did younger children. Younger children often mentioned instrumental or social goals. When making goal attributions, children, adolescents, and adults considered both the nature of the action and the social context in which it occurred. Participants mentioned psychological goals more often when explaining an antisocial action and social goals when explaining a prosocial action. Participants were also more likely to mention psychological goals when interpersonal events immediately preceding the central action were described. Thus, goals were offered as explanations for interpersonal actions by all age groups, but the type of goals mentioned varied by the age of the participant, the social context, and the valence of the action. (Contains 4 tables.)
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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
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Maine