Using social domain information to predict future social actions
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Using Social Domain Information to Predict Future Social Actions. Steve Thoma, Jason Scofield, Stephnie Casterline, and Travis Hartin University of Alabama. Background. C hildren and adults divide the social world into moral and conventional domains ( Turiel , 1998) .

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Using Social Domain Information to Predict Future Social Actions

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Using Social Domain Information to Predict Future Social Actions

Steve Thoma, Jason Scofield, Stephnie Casterline, and Travis Hartin

University of Alabama


Background

  • Children and adults divide the social world into moral and conventional domains (Turiel, 1998).

    • Domain information influences how children and adults make inferences about social events (Smetana, 2006).

  • Children use a person’s past knowledge to make inferences about the future (Koenig, Clement & Harris, 2004).

    • Children track multiple observations to make a global judgment about a person’s knowledge and then maintain the judgment over time (Scofield& Behrend, 2008).


Study Overview

  • Question:

    • Do children and adults track domain information when judging an actor?

      • e.g., If children see an actor violate multiple moral (e.g., hitting) or conventional (e.g., cutting in line) rules do they judge the actor as bad?

  • Participants (n=85):

    • n=46 Children (3-, 4- and 5-year-olds)

    • n=39 Adults (undergraduates)


Method


Method

  • Procedure

    • 4 trials, each depicting 3 acts and 1 judgment

    • Questions:

      • Evaluating the Act

        • Whether the act was good or bad (a little or a lot)?

        • Should the act be praised or punished (a little or a lot)?

      • Evaluating the Actor (i.e., global judgment)

        • Is the actor good or bad (a little or a lot)?


Hypotheses

  • Children and adults will rate morals and conventions differently.

    • Children and adults will rate broken morals as worse and more punish-worthy than broken conventions.

    • Children and adults will rate followed morals as better and more praise-worthy than followed conventions.

  • Children and adults will make global judgment of an actor who breaks or follows morals or conventions.

    • Children and adults will rate a moral rule-breaker as worse than a conventional rule-breaker.

    • Children and adults will rate a moral rule-follower as better than a conventional rule-follower.


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