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					       CHAPTER 13

SOCIAL COGNITION AND MORAL
       DEVELOPMENT
             Learning Objectives
• What is a theory of mind?
• How is it assessed?
• What developmental changes occur in the
  acquiring of a theory of mind and what factors
  affect its emergence?
    Chapter 13: Social Cognition and Moral
                 Development
• Social Cognition: Ability to Understand
     psychological differences in others
     – Adopt others’ perspectives
•   Theory of Mind: False Belief Task
     – Where will Sally look for marble when she
       returns? (See next slide)
     – Used to predict and explain human
       behavior before 4 yrs of age
        • “He wanted to…” “He intended to…”
•   The false belief task involving Sally and Anne. The child who has developed a theory of
    mind should say that Sally will look in the basket based on her false belief that the marble is
    there. The child who fails this false belief task says that Sally will look in the box (where the
    child knows the marble has been moved).
        Developing a Theory of Mind

• Attentive parents
• Joint attention
• Pretend play
• Imitation
• Social experiences
• Talking about mental states
• Sensitivity to feelings of others
               Nature and Nurture
• Nature: Theory of mind proved adaptive
    – Functioning in a social group
       • Gain resources and survive
       • Bargaining, conflict resolution,
         cooperation
•   Nurture: Acquiring language and interaction
    – Having siblings, sensitive parents
    – Using mental states to explain behavior
       • “How do you think she felt?”
              Learning Objectives
• How do person perception and role taking
    skills develop?
•   Why are these skills important?
•   How do they change over the lifespan?
            Person Perception

• Psychological Traits Observed
  – Used to explain behavior
  – By about age 7 or 8
• Understanding Personality
  – Through adolescence
  – Used to evaluate others
              Role-Taking Skills

• The ability to adopt another’s perspective
   – Moving away from egocentrism
   – Essential in thinking about moral issues
• Beginning of empathy – about age 2
• 3-6 yr olds – egocentric
• Age 12+: multiple perspectives
• Socially isolated older adults’ decline related
  to processing speed
              Learning Objectives
• What is morality?
• What are the three basic components of
    morality?
•   What is Freud’s explanation for the
    development of morality?
•   How did Kohlberg assess moral reasoning?
•   What are the important characteristics of
    each level and stage of Kohlberg’s theory?
•   What are examples of responses at each
    stage of reasoning?
    Perspectives on Moral Development
• Three components of morality
  – Cognitive: Distinguish right from wrong
  – Behavioral: Act accordingly (Prosocial)
  – Affective: Feel pride and guilt or shame
     • Empathy:
     • A vicarious experience
• Most are motivated to avoid negative
  emotions
          Psychoanalytic Theory

• Superego: Conscience
  – Oedipus Complex
  – Internalization of parental morals
• Emotion important in morality
• Responsive parenting important
• Gender differences unsupported
     Cognitive-Developmental Theory
• Piaget’s Views
  – Premoral Period: Not moral beings
  – Heteronomous morality: Ages 6-10
     • Believe in rules from parents
     • Consequences/amount of damage
  – Autonomous morality: At ages10-11
     • Rules are agreements – not absolutes
     • Intention >important than consequences
Kohlberg: Reasoning about Moral Dilemmas

• Preconventional: Egocentric
    – Punishment and obedience
    – Instrumental hedonism
•   Conventional: Consideration of Others
    – Good boy/girl morality
    – Authority/social order maintaining
•   Postconventional: Consideration of All
    – Morality of contract
    – Individual principles of conscience
Video: Moral Development Childhood




            PLAY VIDEO
     Should I drive through that red light?
                YES              NO
Preconventional
Stage 1: I won’t get caught     I might get caught
Stage 2: I want to get home     I’m not in a hurry
Conventional
Stage 3: Everyone does it       I’m a good person
Stage 4: I’ve got homework      It’s against the law
Postconventional
Stage 5: It’s a stupid law      I’m a good citizen
Stage 6: No harm will be done   Someone might get hurt
               Learning Objectives
• How do social learning theorists explain
    moral behavior?
•   According to evolutionary theory, what are
    the functions of morality
           Social Learning Theory

• Bandura: Cognitive Self-Regulation
  – Anticipation of consequences to self
  – Actually apply consequences to self
• Moral Disengagement
  – No self condemnation for immoral acts
  – Bad acts = Bad behavior must be learned
  – “He’s really a good boy anyway.”
• Situational context important
              Evolutionary Theory
• Aspects that are universal
• Morality has been adaptive
• Altruistic traits aid survival
     – Reciprocity is key
     – Humans repay good deeds
     – Humans revenge bad deeds
•   Humans evolved to empathy and morality
•   Chimpanzee research: Find empathy,
    cooperation, but not altruism
            Early Moral Training

• Children internalize moral standards
• By 18-24 mo. learn through experiences to:
  – Associate negative emotions with violating
    rules (relationship w/parent important)
  – Exert self-control when tempted
• Prosocial behavior by age 2 (and earlier)
• Punishment must always be accompanied by
  an explanation
      Intentions and Rules: Research

• Piaget: Consequences versus Intentions
  – 3 yr. olds can judge intention
  – Theory of mind: “I didn’t mean it!”
• Piaget: questioning rules
  – Moral rules by age 2½
  – Adult rules often questioned
•   Age differences in appreciation that both giving into temptation and resisting temptation can
    make a person feel both good and bad about what he or she has done.
          Raising Moral Children

• Social Learning Theory
  – R+ moral behavior
  – Punish immoral behavior
  – Model moral behavior
• Hoffman: Three Approaches to Discipline
  – Love withdrawal: negative effects
  – Power assertion: moral immaturity
  – Induction: related to moral maturity
   Temperament and Moral Development

• Fearful, inhibited children
   – Become more fearful when reprimanded
   – Use gentle discipline
• Fearless, uninhibited children
   – Relationship with parent important
• “Goodness of fit”
• What works for one child may not for another
              The Adolescent
• Changes in Moral Reasoning
  – Shift to conventional reasoning
  – Identity includes moral and values
• Two Kinds of Antisocial Youth
  – Temporary in adolescence
  – Chronic/seriously aggressive
     • Less empathy for distress of others
     • Little remorse for criminal behavior
  Dodge’s Social Information-Processing
                  Model
• Individual’s reaction to frustration, anger
   – Not simply social cues
   – Deficient information processing
   – For most, accuracy improves with age
   – Aggressive kids show a bias toward
     attributing hostile intent/motive
   – Also choose aggressive response
   – Rejection, abuse in upbringing
Patterson’s Coercive Family Environments

• Ineffective parenting in childhood
• Family members in power struggle
• Try to control each other coercively
  – Threatening, hitting, even abuse
• Unpleasant aggressive child
  – Performs poorly in school
  – Disliked by other children
• Chooses aggressive peer group
                Nature-Nurture

• Inherit predisposition for aggression
• Child behavior evokes coercive parenting
• Parenting strengthens aggression
• Less opportunity to learn emotional control
• Exposure to violence in society
• Lower SES: Violence to solve problems
• Both bullies and their victims more likely to
  behave violently
                  The Adult

• Postconventional reasoning is possible
• Stable through about age 75
• Important moral lessons learned in life
• Spirituality: Search for meaning in life
  – Evident among reflective adults
• Religion: Little change even in old age
  – Based on longitudinal studies
        Advanced Moral Reasoning

• Necessary Cognitive Skills
  – Perspective-taking
  – Formal operations
• Social Learning Experiences
  – Interactions with parents
  – Discussions with peers
  – Higher education
  – Democracy
          Kohlberg in Perspective

• Sequence supported
• Devalued parental influence not supported
• Emphasis on peer contributions supported
• Cultural bias
• Liberal bias
• Gender bias not supported

				
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posted:7/21/2011
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