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Factors influencing young children's use of motives and outcomes as moral criteria

by S.A Nelson
Child Development ()
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Presented 4 stories combining positive and negative outcomes to 80 preschool children and 30 2nd graders in 3 story presentation groups: verbal only, verbal plus pictures with the motive implied, and verbal plus pictures with the motive explicit. Results support the hypotheses that (a) children as young as 3 yrs can and do use motive information for making moral judgments when this information is explicit, salient, and available; and (b) when motive and outcome have opposite valences, children tend to recall the story so as to make them congruent. Results are discussed in terms of the influence of the young child's comprehension processes on recall and moral judgments. (13 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)

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