Eighty-one third graders who previously had been tested with two role-taking tasks and an empathy questionnaire were administered a standard resistance-to-temptation task after exposure to one of four prohibitions: simple; explicit person-oriented; inexplicit person-oriented; and object-oriented. The explicit person-oriented and simple prohibitions were more effective at reducing deviation than was the object-oriented rationale. Role-taking skills influenced susceptibility to inexplicit person-oriented rationales. Regardless of rationale condition, children who scored high on empathy (p<.05) and role-taking (p<.10) tended to deviate less than the other children. The data are compared with prior research, and implications for the study of moral development are reviewed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies