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whereRU: Aresty Poster #151 - "Moral Reasoning in Preschool Children" by Aresty Posters 2009

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Taken by
Aresty Posters 2009 Aresty Posters 2009
Explore score
0.06 Gigapixels
Date added
May 31, 2009
Date taken
May 30, 2009

"Moral Reasoning in Preschool Children"
By Kasturi Mungale

In moral reasoning experiments, it was found that adults think harming someone as a means of saving 5 others is morally worse than harming someone as a foreseen consequence of saving 5 others. We hypothesized that preschoolers will have the same moral reasoning as adults in moral reasoning experiments; like adults, preschoolers will favor harming a person as a foreseen side-effect of saving 5 people rather than harming a person intended as a means to save 5 people. We presented 3-5 year olds with verbal narratives accompanied by computer animations involving a main character faced with a moral dilemma over whether to help 5 people by harming another person. Participants rated the main character?s actions on a 5 point scale from ?really bad? to ?really good?. Most of the preschoolers think that the foreseen scenario is ?really good,? the intended is ?really bad? and that omission is ?just okay?. Like adults, children rated scenarios in which harm was a foreseen side-effect as more permissible than harming a person intended as a means to save 5 people. These results show that preschoolers have the same moral reasoning as adults. It also shows that moral reasoning is not solely dependent on environmental and social factors. Since preschoolers have moral reasoning that is similar to adults, there maybe some unconscious processes that evaluate the intentions behind an action.

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