childhood non-compliance Essay

Submitted By thunder9091
Words: 2523
Pages: 11

What kind of noncompliance behavior to do children prefer to engage in?

Piaget proposed that the autonomous morality of late childhood is preceded in early childhood by heteronomous morality. When someone acts autonomously, it is because they act based upon internal drives, desires and values. On the other hand, when one acts heteronomously, he or she acts based upon external forces and obligations from their environment. Children thinking in terms of heteronomous morality see the world as an unchangeable collection of rules and laws that are not under the control of any people (Hoffman, 2000). Accordingly, they think only of consequences of an action or behavior, and find the intentions of the individual as irrelevant. An example of childhood use of heteronomous morality can be applied to trying to steal a cookie (Nucci, 2005). In the process, the child either accidentally breaks twelve glasses or purposefully breaks one glass. While an adult may see the intentional breaking of one glass as a worse crime, a child using heteronomous morality would conceive that breaking the twelve glasses accidentally would be the less moral act due to the consequences of the action. The caveat to heteronomous morality is that young children presumably do not oppose or defy authorities; “from this is follows, for example, that if distributive justice is brought into conflict with authority… the youngest subjects will believe authority right and justice wrong” (Nucci, 2005). In the 1980’s, researchers began to view children as possessing moral capacities, not imposed by adult authorities, at early ages. Before this theoretical approach, children were viewed as only mimicking their environment with no consideration of morality in their behavior. Specifically, researchers have attended to children’s spontaneous reactions of a positive kind, as well as to their non-aversive emotional tendencies to aid in the understanding of moral development. Many conducted observational studies to examine whether children engage in behaviors like helping others and sharing [Radke-Yarrow, Zahn-Waxler, & Chapman, 1983]. The results support the idea that children are governed by a rudimentary set of rules on how fairness should be employed. It was well documented that children react to the needs and pain of others by expressing empathy or sympathy through facial expression and act to further their welfare by engaging in sharing behavior. Researchers also attended to emotions like sympathy and empathy, instead of solely or mainly looking to aversive emotions [Eisenberg & Fabes, 1991; Hoffman, 1984, 2000]. Thus convergent evidence suggests that children exhibit some rudimentary skills to guide their moral behavior around the age of three years (Implementing child rights, 2006). Despite this purported ability, children are still often noncompliant to adult requests. Researchers have extensively pointed to subjective emotions as having a significant effect on individual’s choices. Research has been concerned with two general kinds of affective influences on judgment and choice. Studies of integral affect document the influences of subjective experiences that are relevant to present judgments and choices. For example, anticipated regret when evaluating a gamble has been shown to influence how much one is willing to gamble (Larrick & Boles, 1995; Loomes & Sugden, 1982). Studies of incidental affect focus on the sometimes puzzling influence of subjective emotional experiences that should be irrelevant to present judgments and choice. Influences of incidental affect on judgment have been summarized in the Affect-as-Information model. According to this model, people rely on their present feelings to make complex judgments, as long as the experienced feelings are perceived as relevant to the object of judgment (Clore, 1992; Schwarz, 1990; Schwarz & Clore, 1983). For example, when asked to rate overall life satisfaction,…