The influence of intention, outcome and question-wording on children's and adults' moral judgments

Nobes, Gavin ORCID:, Panagiotaki, Georgia ORCID: and Bartholomew, Kimberley ORCID: (2016) The influence of intention, outcome and question-wording on children's and adults' moral judgments. Cognition, 157. 190–204. ISSN 0010-0277

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The influence of intention and outcome information on moral judgments was investigated by telling children aged 4-8 years and adults (N=169) stories involving accidental harms (positive intention, negative outcome) or attempted harms (negative intention, positive outcome) from two studies (Helwig, Zelazo, & Wilson, 2001; Zelazo, Helwig, & Lau, 1996). When the original acceptability (wrongness) question was asked, the original findings were closely replicated: children’s and adults’ acceptability judgments, and children’s punishment judgments, were primarily outcome-based. However, when this question was rephrased, 4-5-year-olds’ judgments were approximately equally influenced by intention and outcome, and from 5-6 years they were primarily intention-based. These findings indicate that, for methodological reasons, children’s (and adults’) ability to make intention-based judgment has often been substantially underestimated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: moral development,moral judgment,intention,outcome,replication,acceptability,punishment
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2016 00:03
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2023 16:30
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2016.08.019

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