he Effects of Transgressors' Affective Reactions on Children's Moral Judgments

Journal of Moral Education 11 (2):89-93 (1982)
Abstract The present study investigated the degree to which transgressors? affective reactions influence children's moral judgments. Eighteen children at each of three different grade levels (first?, second?, and third?grade) were required to make judgments of the goodness or badness of four different transgressors.The transgressors acted out of good or bad intent, produced low or high levels of damage and displayed the affective reactions of happiness, sadness or neutrality because of the outcomes they produced. Results showed that the transgressors? affective reactions significantly influenced the children's moral judgments. More importantly, the children excluded intention information when they evaluated transgressors who displayed reactions of happiness. But, they did not exclude intentions when they evaluated transgressors who displayed reactions of sadness or neutrality. A number of hypotheses were offered to account for the means by which reactions of happiness block children's use of intent information
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