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On what did Damon focus with regards to moral development?
The making of moral decisions about sharing resources such as rewards or possessions
What are the features of stage 1 of distributive justice?
- Children understand sharing based on possible personal gain
- 'I should get what I want because I want it'
What are the features of stage 2 of distributive justice?
- By age 5
- Judgements about sharing are based on equality
- Everyone should get an equal share, irrespective of individual effort or need
- There is a clear rule about distribution, but this is inflexible
- 'Everyone should get the same'
What are the features of stage 3 of distributive justice?
- By age 7
- Decisions start to be based on the ideas of merit
- 'The person who works the hardest deserves the most reward'
What are the features of stage 4 of distributive justice?
- By age 8-9
- Reasoning is based on benevolence, understanding that some people should have special consideration, perhaps because of their disadvantage
- 'The smallest person in the class should have the best seat in the school concert so that they can get a better view'
What was the aim of Damon's study into distributive justice?
To investigate age related changes in reasoning about distributive justice
What methodology was employed during Damon's study into distributive justice?
- Children aged 4-10 were given dilemmas about sharing
- The children were interviewed and their responses were recorded
What were the results of Damon's study into distributive justice?
- Children from 4-5 focussed on what they wanted or tried to justify having more base on some subjective attributes such as gender
- Children from 5-7 thought everyone should have an equal share of profits
- Children >7 showed consideration of individual merit and need
What was concluded from Damon's study into distributive justice?
As children get older, reasoning about distributive justice moves from emphasis on self gratification to focus on individual merit and the needs of others
What did Enright et al find in 1989?
- Children were presented with exactly the same dilemma and asked to choose a picture out of two with what they felt to be the correct outcome
- The results matched Damon's stages and were sourced from P's from USA, Sweden and Zaire
- This also provides cross cultural support to DJ
How can Damon's perspective be seen as a positive aspect?
- It focusses on distribution of resources rather than morality involved in wrongdoing
- This offers a different perspective into moral development
How does Damon's theory relate to other theories?
The findings parallel the shift in emphasis from reasoning based on self interest to reasoning based on the needs of others
How are Damon's results high in ecological validity?
The research is based on dilemmas which are experienced in the everyday life
How has the reliability of DJ been verified?
It has been replicated in other countries giving it cross cultural support
What did Carson find?
- American children focussed on merit when dividing resources
- Children from the Philippines were more concerned about the effects of unequal distribution or group harmony
- This suggests that there might be differences between individualist and collectivist cultures
What did McGullicudy Lisi et Al find?
- Merit is more likely to be used in interaction with friends whereas benevolence is more important with interaction with strangers
- This suggests that DJ is more complex than Damon suggests
What did Damon find about equality?
- Males are more likely to reason by equality whilst females females show more complex reasoning, considering issues such as relationships and context
- This supports Gilligan's theory of gender differences in morality
How might Damon's research methods be criticised?
- The dilemma posed is hypothetical so might not reflect how children would actually share
- DJ might not have predictive validity as it cannot effectively predict actual behaviour
What did Gerson and Damon find?
- Children in groups of 4 were asked to make bracelets using beads
- The groups were manipulated in terms of age and other factors so that some were more productive than others
- At the end of the task each group was given 10 chocolate bars to share
- The P's were interviewed individually about how they they believed the sweets should be shared
- 10% of children showed more advanced reasoning in the actual sharing than they did in the hypothetical dilemmas
- 40% showed less advanced reasoning in real life suggesting that real life reasoning may be less sophisticated than hypothetical reasoning
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