Child Development (forthcoming)

James Dunlea
Columbia University
The current work investigated the extent to which children (N=171 6- to 8-year-olds) and adults (N = 94) view punishment as redemptive. In Study 1, children—but not adults—reported that “mean” individuals became “nicer” after one severe form of punishment (incarceration). Moreover, adults expected “nice” individuals’ moral character to worsen following punishment; however, we did not find that children expected such a change. Study 2 extended these findings by showing that children view “mean” individuals as becoming “nicer” following both severe (incarceration) and relatively minor (time-out) punishments, suggesting that the pattern of results from Study 1 generalizes across punishment types. Together, these studies indicate that chil- dren—but not adults—may view punishment as a vehicle for redemption.
Keywords punishment  moral cognition  social cognitive development  experimental jurisprudence
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References found in this work BETA

The Expressive Function of Punishment.Joel Feinberg - 1965 - The Monist 49 (3):397-423.
Forgiveness and Mercy.Jeffrie G. Murphy & Jean Hampton - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.

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