Development of children’s moral evaluations of modesty and self-promotion in diverse cultural settings

Journal of Moral Education 41 (1):61-78 (2012)


This cross-cultural study of the moral judgements of Mainland Han-Chinese, Chinese-Canadian, and Euro-Canadian children aged seven to 11 examined the evaluations of narrative protagonists? modest lies and self-promoting truthful statements in situations where they had done a good deed. The story characters had thus either lied or told the truth about a prosocial act that they had committed. Chinese children judged modest lies more positively and boastful truths less positively than Euro-Canadian children. Chinese and Chinese-Canadian children rated immodest statements more negatively than did Euro-Canadian children. The cultural differences were greatest with the oldest children. Chinese children rated modest lies significantly more positively than either Canadian group who did not differ from each other but an interaction between age and culture revealed the three groups to be significantly different at age 11 with Chinese children most positive, followed by Chinese-Canadian children, and with Euro-Canadian children evaluating modest lies least positively. Cultural strictures and acculturation factors respecting modesty and self-enhancement are reflected in these differences

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Kang sun Lee
Sungkyunkwan University

References found in this work

Moral Education in the Zone of Proximal Development.Mark B. Tappan - 1998 - Journal of Moral Education 27 (2):141-160.

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