What to study
p. 592: The basic principle of moral development: Learning the rules and
experiencing satisfaction when conforming to them and discomfort or guilt when
violating them. What are the three components of morality?
What is internalization? Note the developmental shift from external control to internalization.
p. 593-594: Piaget’s stage theory:
The stage of moral realism: Know the concepts of moral absolutism, immanent justice and the role of egocentrism. (All of these concepts are associated with moral realism.) Note especially the importance of consequences for judgments of morality.
morality of reciprocity (age 11): Others' feelings and points of view become
important. Notice especially that intentions, not consequences, are critical to
p. 594: What is the point of the stories about John and Henry? Know which one is seen as “naughtier” by children in the stage of moral realism and what their reasoning is. (This has to do with how the child evaluates the moral relevance of accidental versus intentional behavior and the relevance of the amount of damage.)
p. 595: Note that in some cultures belief in immanent justice increases rather than decreases. What's up with that?
p. 595: Was Piaget right about the cognitive capacities of 6-year-olds in their ability to judge the moral relevance of intentions? (Know the Chandler et al. 1973 and the Bussey 1992 studies.)
p. 595: Kohlberg’s theory: Notice it’s cognitive focus: This is about moral reasoning. Pay close attention to the Heinz story and understand how children’s moral reasoning about Heinz changes over the 3 levels and stages 1–5 in Table 14-1. (We’ll skip Stage 6.) I will go over this in class. It is important to grasp how children respond in the different stages.
p. 597: Note definitions of preconventional level, conventional level, and postconventional level. Figure 14-1 shows that indeed there is a developmental progression in the use of the various stages of moral reasoning.
p. 597-598: How does Gilligan contrast the moral judgments of males and females? Note the responses of Jake and Amy to the Heinz dilemma. Also see the results of the two studies by Walker on p. 629. But note that in fact boys and girls do not in fact differ in moral reasoning on Kohlberg-like reasoning tasks. This means that Gilligan may be right that girls have more of a caring orientation than boys, but that this is not reflected in their reasoning on the stages presented in Table 16-1.
Box 14-1: Contrast beneficence obligations (more typical of Indian Hindu children) versus justice obligations (more typical of Americans). What were the results of the study? Note that the style emphasizing individual rights and justice implies that people will go against family obligations to honor abstract rules of justice. At the very end of the box, the beneficence style is described as more feminine. My view: It is part of the collectivist cultural complex. Western societies are individualistic, most non-Western societies are collectivist. Collectivism is associated with extended families and a strong sense of social obligation to the family and other kin. In the latter, morality is what's good for the family or kinship group. Hence the stealing is justified if it helps the family.
p, 599: Have educational interventions aimed at fostering moral judgment at promoting closer links between moral reasoning and moral behavior?
Note that Kohlberg (and Piaget) did not believe that parents influenced moral development but Walker’s finding disagree with this. What parental practices are associated with higher levels of moral reasoning?
p. 602: : Note that not everyone gets to Stage 5 (see also Figures 14-3). What is the dominant pattern of adult moral reasoning? Note that it is easier to advance a person’s moral reasoning than it is to lower it. Why does this fit with a stage theory? Note that Kohlberg dropped Stage 6 from his scoring because it was so rare. In the longitudinal study, no one got to Stage 6.
p. 603: Brief reference is made to Box 14-1 as suggesting that Kohlberg’s focus on individual rights and obligations leads him to mis-describe moral development in some cultures such as New Guinea and India. These are usually described as collectivist cultures and are common in non-European parts of the world.
p. 605: Moral judgments and moral behavior are often unrelated, especially in young children. On p. 606, the text notes that there is some linkage for older children, but most adults do not get even to stage 5, and very few, if any, get to stage 6. The text points out that a lot of our morally relevant action is impulsive and not guided by rational thought such as stage reasoning. Notice that the little girl who impulsively kicked her brother may be able to give a good moral reason why she should not have acted this way. This shows there are gaps between our impulsive behavior and our moral reasoning. But quite often people use moral reasoning to justify morally questionable behavior. Lots of smart people, such as lawyers, can reason at the highest levels on Kohlberg’s stages, but they aren’t very nice people. Lots of moral reasoning is framing things to convince other people that what you did was moral. Would you want a person who reasons at Stage 1, 2, or 3 to be your lawyer?
pp. 606-607: What are self-regulation, the control phase, the self-control phase, and the self-regulation phase? The last involves better ability to delay gratification. Notice the age differences in how long children can delay gratification.
Nice discussion of how parents shift control strategies to respond to children’s changing cognitive abilities. Define passive inhibition system and active inhibition system. Note the connection of effortful control (an aspect of the active inhibition system) to internalization of rules. However, note that fearful children can be more easily socialized to have a conscience, indicating that the passive inhibition system is also involved. What type of discipline is more effective with relatively fearless children?
pp. 608-609: The Affective Side of Morality: In the Kochanska (2002) study, how did the 45 month-old children respond in the guilt-inducing situation?
Girls are more prone to guilt than boys. The text says it's because of societal expectations, but I think it's deeper than that. What temperament is linked to guilt? And what types of temperament are related to lack of guilt (antisocial personality)? Note the link between power-assertive discipline and lack of guilt.
p. 609: What were the findings in Burton's reanalysis of Hartshorne and
May's (1928) data?
p. 610: What did Mischel find correlated with children’s ability to delay gratification at age 4? Note this pattern continues into adulthood.
p. 610: Define Prosocial behavior, altruism and know the difference.
p. 612: Note that children become more prosocial as they get older. Why would changes in cognitive maturation (e.g., perspective taking) and emotional knowledge (e.g., detecting emotional cues) be linked with increased prosocial behavior?
pp. 615: Notice girls are more prosocial and more empathic than boys. What data suggests that at least some of these differences are due to people's conceptions of what boys and girls are supposed to be like rather than what they really are? (Trust me, that's not the whole explanation.)
p. 615: E.O Wilson's Sociobiology is a classic. What is the point made here? p. 616: Note that prosocial behavior and empathic concern are heritable. Especially interesting is the study of Williams Syndrome.
What part of the brain is implicated in PET scan studies of prosocial behavior?
pp. 620-621: What is Hoffman’s theory of how empathy motivates prosocial behavior. Note that altruism is linked with perspective taking but that perspective taking alone may not be enough to make people altruistic. (What other trait is important according to Denham (1998)). This shouldn’t be too surprising. Just because I can understand why someone else is feeling bad doesn’t mean I want to help them. In fact, I suppose successful conmen are very good at perspective taking.
p. 622: Define Instrumental aggression, hostile aggression, reactive aggression, proactive aggression. Text refers reader to Chapter 12 (see Figure 12-4 on p. 515). What cognitive deficits do aggressive children have and what type of situation are these deficits most apparent? Note that there is some basis in reality for the biased attributions of aggressive boys. This has been found for all ethnic groups studied.
p. 623 Turning Points: What are aggressive children like in infancy?: p. 624: How does aggression change with age?
Note that an aggressive child may show fighting at age 8, vandalism at age 12 and homicide at age 18.
Text describes aggression as
“moderately stable” for boys and girls and that it is as stable as intelligence.
This is quite stable. Obviously, the longer the interval between assessments,
the less stability. What are aggressive children and “ill-tempered” children
like as adults? Note the different findings for boys and girls in the Caspi et
al. 1987 study. (See also Figure 14-5 on p. 625.)
Note that the study by Nagin and Tremblay qualifies the results on stability.
pp. 625: Boys more physically aggressive than girls even in infancy and cross-culturally. How does girls’ aggression differ from boys’? Define relational aggression. Notice that children who engage in relational aggression are more likely to be rejected by peers. See Figure 14-6: the sex difference in aggression become much less if we include relational aggression.
p. 627: Note the huge sex difference in violent crime (Figure 14-7).
p. 627: Testosterone is linked to aggression beginning in adolescence.
627-628: What did Olweus find as the indirect pathway by which testosterone affects aggression? What indirect pathway did Tremblay find?
What is an example of a reciprocal effect between dominance and testosterone levels?
What hormone is linked to aggression in girls?
p. 628: What do twin studies show? In the Cloninger study, notice that a conflict-filled environment seems to exacerbate the predisposition to aggression: 40% of males adopted into homes where both biological and adoptive parents were criminals became criminals themselves, compared to lower rates for other combinations of biological and adoptive parents.
What type of temperament is linked to aggression?
p. 629: Note African American families encourage daughters to be more assertive than European American families. In what type of family is physical punishment especially likely to be associated with aggression? (Deater-Deckard & Dodge, 1997). Note that the effect is not found in African-American children.
pp. : What were Patterson’s results?
Note that this style of parenting happens even when children are behaving
appropriately. Are children passive victims in this process? Define coercive
parenting. Figure 14-8 on p. 632 shows Patterson’s model but notice that the text says the best model is a
bi-directional one that recognizes parent, sibling and child influence.