Moral Development and Reasoning Essay examples

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lecture #14
Moral Development and Reasoning

Early Approaches

People were very concerned with instilling moral behavior in the next generation, emerged with the establishment of psychology as a discipline
A. Moral Knowledge

- Paper and pencil tests in the early years
- Rank from worst to best the following words; seemed almost like a verbal IQ test, correlation of +0.7
B. Good habits

- Concern with establishing good habits (boy scouts and girl scouts)
- Want to instill good moral habits
- Concern for moral character
C. Freudian Psychoanalytic: the emergence of the superego

- Writing that the superego appears around age 5 & 6 and children are absorbing the values of parents and society around this time

- Picking up a conscience and realizing the values of society and if you don’t abide by them then you have guilt
II. Moral Behavior and Knowledge
A. Hartshorne & May (1930): Character Education Inquiry

- Carried out a multi-year study of students, not as wise about one-way mirrors
- Lots of test questions about morality
- Measures of intelligence
- Actual situations where they would test people’s honesty, if students didn’t think people were watching them then they would cheat


Thursday, October 16, 2014

- Cooperation
- Could students resist temptation for longer periods
- What they found was the paper and pencil knowledge of right conduct correlated only modestly positively for the behavior they actually observed

- EX: Students knew they shouldn't cheat but given the opportunity they would cheat
- Old: If you knew what was right, you wouldn't do it
- Variability among the assessments, sometimes cheat in certain tests but not others
- +0.25 correlation, modestly positive
- Principal Findings: Students often acquired a good bit of moral knowledge (knew what was right and wrong) but it did not correlate highly with their behavior (+0.25).
Moral knowledge=IQ Test scores. People tend to think in traits and consistency in behavior. - Some concerns:
- These kids do not have a say in whether they participated or not
- May not behave as well so they don’t have to do it again
- Situational factors could have an effect on how you behave
**2009: Cleaning out a building in Scotland
-Found boxes and boxes of IQ tests of the children in Scotland
-Data from 1932 & 1947
-Tried to locate the same individuals
-How consistent is intellectual abilities over the years
-The numbers were consistent (age 70 correlation +0.67 and 90 +0.54) to that of the original ones
III. Contribution of Jean Piaget: Moral Judgment and Reasoning READ BOOK ON

- Enjoyed interacting with children
- Hated public speaking
- Marriage troubles at the end of their lives

Thursday, October 16, 2014

- Started collecting information in Geneva, Switzerland by playing with children (tried to join games and would feign ignorance and have the children instruct him on the games) A. Rules: Conformity and Knowledge

- 3-4 year olds didn’t under stand rules but from 3-5 would imitate their elders. Didn’t understand rules until 11-12 and realized you could change the game as long as everyone knew and agreed. Rules were not eternal

- Some of these children who thought the rules were eternal would watch Piaget
- Important for younger boys to win (Piaget didn’t enforce no cheating)
- Firm grasp of rules and set-up by 11 and can change the rules
B. Motivation or Intention

- Ask children about good vs. bad behavior
- -9-10 would worry about the intention of a person rather than the action (ex. breaking a teacup)

- Breaking 8 teacups by accident vs. 1 while doing something wrong
- Before 9 they didn’t worry about motivation
C. Notions of justice

- No bad consequences=not bad
- Older children see a lie as bad even if they don’t get away with it
- Younger children would believe there is an all-powerful