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Developmental changes in judgments of responsibility and morality for others' actions

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Developmental changes in judgments of responsibility and morality for others' actions
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Walden, Tedra Ann, 1952-
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iii, 76 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

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Adults ( jstor )
Child development ( jstor )
Child psychology ( jstor )
Children ( jstor )
Intentionality ( jstor )
Judgment ( jstor )
Moral judgment ( jstor )
Morality ( jstor )
Motivation ( jstor )
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Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 71-75.
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Typescript.
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Vita.
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by Tedra Ann Walden.

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DEVELOPMENTAL CHANGES IN JUDGMENTS OF RESPONSIBILITY
AND MORALITY FOR OTHERS' ACTIONS




By

TEDRA ANN WALDEN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TC
THE UNIVERSITY
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF
DEGREE OF DOCTOF


THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF*
OF FLORIDA
THE REQUTREVIENTS FOR THE
OF PHILOSOPHY


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1978














ACKNQ ,>2 [ i.iTS

4
It i rS t r,; muc to l i ths ; w

kr:ou, (onstruI-ivc( C' r t2 ,l. ti~e .'i : I Dr.

Sco t Mi oIr offered c rly hul S_ 'l I as

se'Vi n', as au i i, qhtfui souiding boar. I woul r! aso ie to L-, 6

other m Ieoers of the committee; Dr. La-,,rence Sev'ry Dr. Wil i .

,;' :I D, Afesa Decl-!i than(,I for their trest, help, ad

critical (coni2nts.

I would like tc acknov, I e-loe thc influence of fr end and i ow

graduate student, nov D Dunel on rors\vth, with whom T st ,,'2 el

hours of disussion. The enjihusiasia of Er. Andrea Sedia- kindi-; J,

initial interest. Her Prjvicetive analysis 0i the problem provider

the conceotual groundwork vhich stimulated this research. Philip S.

Zeskind %i-;s the source of ever-present encouragement aind unwavering

faith, as well as technical assistance and direction ir the filming.
Dr. Lillie Hay Shaw; principal of Glen Springs Elementary School,


tran.,ormed a potetitially-difficult data collection process into a

pleasure. 1 cannot thank her enough. The teachers at Glen Springs

Elementary and at Teddy Bear Nursery were patient and helpful arid

the students were delightful. Susan Stockham was a capable and chee,-

ful assistant in the collection of data. Marsha Clarkson and Lisa

Eyler served as actors in the taped episodes.

Finally, t> ,Ks to Mark Leary and Douglas Tuthill for teI comic

rel i ef.















TABLE Of CONTENTS


AC .' ,, C'!_T5 ii


CHAPLR, 0NE INTR ,OD!JCTION 1

Sunmm!ary ard Corclusions 17
A Recorceptualization of the Problem 19

CHlPIEk 7010 THE EXPERIMENT 27

Subjects 27
Dcs ign 27
Stimulus Materials C.0
Testing Materials 2 9
Procedure 30

CHAPTER THREE RESULTS 33

Attribution of Intentionality (AI) 34
Attribution of Responsibility (Af\) 35
;oral Judgments (MNo) 33
Supporting Evidence 40

,HA2YE, FOUR DiSCUSSION 42

APPENDIX I TABLES AND FIGURES 54

CPD'nS II -E S 6

REFERENCE NOTES 70

RiEFFSiPiaN A E .S 71

IC~.AP~CLSIKEICH













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Gradui.te Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillmen t of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


DEVELOPMENTAL CHrkNGES IN JUDGMENTS OF RESPONSIBILITY

AND MORALITY FOR OTiHIIUS' ACI ONS

By

Tedra Arin 'Walden

August 1978

Chairman: Marvin E. Shaw
Major Department: Psychology

Investigations of children's judgments about the actions of otrle~s

have generally provided strong evidence that children are more likely

than adults to base judgments on objective features of the situation

rather than subjective states of the actor(s) involved. This has

usually been regarded as support for Piaget's (1932) assertion that

because of the young child's egocentrism and realism the child is

logically incapable of making subjectively based judgments. However,

some studies indicate that under appropriate conditions ever young

children wav make infereiices about subjective factors. Thus, while young

children do not typically base their judgments on the intentions of

others, research suggests that they are capable of doing so. Most re-

search has relied on children's judgments of morality or responsibility

to indicate whether the children did or did not make judgments of sub-

jective states, such as the actor's motives or intentions. Few have

attempted to distinguish between tho production of subjective inferences








about others and the use of these inferences as mediators of sub-

sequent moral an responsibility judgments. Thus, young children may

be capable of making subjective responses but may fail to either do

so spontaneously or to use these subjective inferences to mediate

subsequent mrality judgments. Seventy-two kindergarten, 72 fourth

grade and 72 adult participants viewed one of four videotaped episodes

in which an actor eitner accidentally or intentionally produced a

positive or negative result. Various "prompts" were used in an attempt

to elicit mature (subjective) inferences about the sector's behavior.

Some children were given a "plan" for processing the actor's behavior

in terms of intentionality. Other children were encouraged to make

inferences about intentionality based on information they had previously

received and (presumably) stored in memory. In a third (control) condi-

tion children were not prompted to make subjective attributions. All

children were explicitly asked to make ratings of the actor's intentions.
Results supported a mediatioral deficiency explanation of children's

objective moral judgments and attributions of responsibility. Even

young children made adult-like inferences about the intentions of an

actor without being prompted to do so. HowEver, these inferences failed

to mediate the children's judgments of morality and responsibility in

an adult-like way. C'>fldren's judgments were more influenced by con-

sequences than by intentions. It is suggested that while children are

capable of making at least simple inferences about another's intentions,

children, especially very young children, may employ different criteria
than adults for making moral and responsibility judgments.


Chairman














CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

iln dily life each of us continually observes people doing thin,;.
,any timas we iiake decisions about why the perscls involved acted in

exactly te way they did. We may make value judgments about the goo'-

ness of a person and his or her behavior. Our decisions about why

sonr:one ,1aves a certain way and our judgments of a person and h-K or

her behavior have an important influence on the way we act and react

toward someone and on our feelings about that person. It can b' qui

useful irn everyday living to be a good naive "scientist." proFicc; 'Ic

figuring out why people do what they do. Scientists ard nonsciepti 7

alike are interested in our interpretations of social phenomena because

of the pervasive influence of these interpretations in the dai to day

conduct of our lives. Scientific investigation of people's judg:, ents

about the behavior of others has revealed some interesting systenatic

differences among judgments made by various groups of people (e.g. actor--

versus observers) in different situations (e.g. after failing vers,-

succeeding). The elucidation of these differences has proved to e a

provocative and knotty problem for psychological explanation.
Since Piaget (1932) reported that yourger children differ from

older children and adijlts in their moral evaltv;itirtis of others. much

effort has been directed toward identifying the cognitive and social

bases for this difference. Piaqet demonstrated a develooiiental ,








in the rioral judgments of children from a focus on the seriousness of

the outcome to a focus on the motives arid intentions of the actors.

Subsequent studies have generally supported his findings (Bandura and

McDonald, 196.'; Boehm, 1962; Buchanan and Thompson, 1973; Cowan, Langer,

Heavenrich, and Nathanson, 1969; Gutkin, 1972; Harris, 1977; Hebble,

1971; Johnscn, 1962; King, 1971; Medinnus, 1962; Rule and Duker, 1973;

Sedlak, 1974; Turiel, 1966; Whiteman, 1967). Piaget claimed that young

children base moral judgments solely upon objective, observable features

of the situation such as consequences, punishment or the extort to

which an action conforms exactly to established rules. The child tcids

to view actions as totally right or wrong and believes that everyort

sees them in the same way. Piaget called this stage of moral develop-

ment moral realism, the morality or constraint, or heteronomy.

Piaget suggested that development of moral reasoning is a proce-ss

paralleling the development of logical operations. Two major cognitIve

limitations underlie both the young child's moral realism and preopera-

tional thought. These are egocentrism, or the child's failure to see

any viewpoint except its own, and realism, the confusion of objective

and subjective aspects of experience. As a result, the child assumes

that there is one point of view (its own) that is universally shared by

all.

Piaget believed that both maturation and experience play a role in

the transition from heteronomous to autonomous moral judgment--matura-

tion as it involves development of the child's cognitive capacities

and experience as the child shifts from interaction mainly with adults

to more give-and-take interaction with peers. Through experiences of

shared decision making and taking alternate and reciprocal roles with








othe's, the child begins to contrast his or her own point of view with

that of others. The child becomes more aw,,are are better able to judge

the inner states of others and these are taken increasingly into account

in rendering moral judgments. The child now begins to consider rules

changeable, deriving their power not from authority but from mutual

respect and reciprocity. The autonomous child makes judgments of

right or wrong based on the specifics of the situation and the actor's

intentions.

Piaget studied moral judgments by telling children pairs of stories

posing a moral dilemma and asking the children to resolve it. In one

story of each pair the actor performed an act which unintentionally re-

sulted in severe damage while in the other story the actor accidentally

caused a negligible amount of damage while committing an intentionally

improper action. The subject's task was to decide which child was more
"naughty" and to tell why. Piaget reported on the basis of responses to

these stories that prior to approximately 7 years of age (7 to 9 years)

children based their moral judgments on consequences or punishments

received instead of the actor's motives or intentions. He cited this

as support for his view of moral judgment as progressing through a

sequence of cognitive stages from moral objectivity to moral subjectivity.

Preoperational children make moral judgn~ents based on objective in-

formation such as consequences or the degree to which an action violates

a rule. They do not use intention cues in their evaluations because

they lack the requisite cognitive abilities to make inferences about

another's intentions.

While most of the data on moral development have been consistent

with Piaget's basic findings, there have been criticisms of the work








and anomalies have sparked attempts to reconcile discrepant findinw!s.

Hebble (1971) noted that Piaget's story pairs were based on only tvwo

of the four possible co-mbinations of intent aAd damage, thus con-

founding the effects of the actor's intentions and the amount of dnacie

donfe. Therefore, the relative contribution of consequences and intent

in children's oral judgments cannot be determined (Chandler, Greei -

span, and Barenboim, 1973). It is impossible to tell whether children's

judgments focus on consequences, intentions, or both. Armsby (l'7l)

observed that Piaget's story pairs did not clearly differentiate

accidental from intentional behavior. In Piaget's stories the motives

of the actor varied, but the damage done was always accidental. 1i hJas

been suggested that it is harder to make judgments of accidental

actions. For example, judgments of accidental actions are made more

slowly than are judgments of intentional ones (Imamoglu, 1975). It has

been argued that the number of comparisons required in the story pair

technique might tax the memorial and processing capacities of the pre-

operational child (Berg-Cross, 1975). Since the inability to make

simultaneous comparisons is precisely one of the cognitive limitations

characteristic of the young child, the child in this situation might

choose to simplify the problem by considering only the most salient

and manageable variable, in this case, consequences. Furthermore, the

demand characteristice of Piaget's question, "Which child is naughtiest?"

may prompt a child to make a judgment of naughtiness when neither child

was considered naughty before the question was asked (Berg-Cross, 1975).

These studies and others (Costanzo, Coie, Grumet, and Farnill, 1973;

imamoglu, 1975; Rule, Nesdale, and McAra, 1974; Sedlak, Thompson,

Sands, Teddlie, Hudson, Jaffe, and de Carufel, note 2) have used








revised Procedur-s whli, r"iorect these difficulties and have found

that intention oes play AoJia role in the moral judgments of young

children, though there are a(.e changes toward greater reliance on

intentions.

The cognitive developmental position asserts that basic cogni-

tive imitations (egocentrism and realism) render the child incapable

of making subjectively based moral judgments. The very youn9 child

carnot base its moral judgments on the internal states of others be-

cause the child does not even realize that others have internal

states different from the child's own. However, research has shown

that, while children's ability to identify emotions and other inter-

nal factors generally increases with age (Gates, 1923; Burns and

Cavcy, 19L7; Whiteman, 19G7), even children as young as 3 can identify

basic emotions when the assessment procedure is simple (Borke, 1971).

The subjectivity of children's judgments has been shown to be in-.

fluenced by features of the testing situation such as the order of

presentation of intent and consequence information (Feldman, Klosson,

Parsons, Rholes, and Ruble, 1976), the familiarity of the objects or

events being judged (Berzonsky, 1971), the recipient of the negative

consequences (Imamoglu, 1915; Sedlak, 1974), charactersitics of the

actors being judged (Fiapan, 1968; Irwin and Moore, note 1; Shaw and

Sulzer, 1964) and the medium by which the information is delivered

(Chandler et al., 1973; Rybash and Roodin, 1978). A number of re-

searchers have been able to modify the basis for moral judgments with

a variety of training or modeling procedures (Bandura and McDonald,

1963; Cowan et al., 1969; Turiel, 1966). Data showing that young

children can, under any circumstance, make judgments about subjective








stavis of c:teis is problematic for a developmental theory which

posis thef children are incapable of doing this. Furthermore, it is

at least embarrassing that what are supposed to be developmental

changes in cognitive ability now appe-r to be manipulable by training

or by contextual features of the judgment task.

Hoider (1958) proposed a theory in which some of these contextual

features are parameters of the judgment process instead of supposedly

irrelevant task variations. Extending Piaget, he proposed that we

consider a number of basic internal and external (personal and environ-

mental) factors in making judgments of others' behavior and that these

criteria cen be meaningfully ranked by the degree to which the criteria

center on the actor's internal states as opposed to attributes of the

environment. Heider also suggested that there is a developmental pro-

gression in the way children come to take these factors into account

in making judgments.

Heider described five levels of development in making attributions

of responsibility for some effect (Shaw and Sulzer, 1964). At Level 1,

Global Association, the person may be held responsible for any effect

he or she is connected with in any way, without requiring direct

causality. For example, a person may be held responsible for actions

committed by one's friends or countrymen. At the level of Extended

Cmission one is held responsible for any outcome that was produced

by one's own actions, even though the consequences definitely could

not have been foreseen. Heider noted the parallel between his Level 2

and Piaget's "objective responsibility" because the actor is judged

according to what he or she does, not according to the motives in-

volved. At the level of Careless Commission (forseeability) an actor








is held responsible for any effect whicl, could have been foreseen,

even though the consequences ;,%ere not intended. At Level 11, Pur-

posive Commission (intentionality), the person is held responsible

only for effects that he or she intentionally produced. Heider

observed that this is what Plaget called "subjective responsibility"

because the motives of the actor are, the central concern. In the final

level, Justified Coimmission, environmental forces becoii;e ascendent

once again, in that responsibility for an action is at least partly

shared by a coercive environment. At this level a person is held only

partly responsible for outcoi.es that were intentionally produced if

the circumstances were such that most persons would have felt and acted

in the same way. Thus, Heider explicitly focused on intentionality as

a key element in mural jud;.2nt. Attributions at lower levels hold a

person responsible even for unintendd effects while higher level

judgments hold a person responsible only for effects that were actually

intended.

Shaw and Sulzer (1961) described Heider's levels as qualitatively

different form,; of attribution in that they are "different ways of

taking into account the several variables in the total situation"

(p. 40). They suggested, following Heider, that children base judg-

ments of morality or responsibility on different standards or criteria

than do adults. They reasoned that if children are less differentiated

than adults with respect to attribution of responsibility, they

should show little variation in their responsibility attributions de-

pending on information available about the actor's intentions, for-

seeability of the outcome et Cetera. Thus, children should attribute

greater responsibility th]n adults at lower levels and perhaps at the








Justified Coaission level e,.; well. Adults should be more dis-

crimina-ng, attributing greater responsibi lity only under conditions

of forseeability and intentionality and less responsibility under

conditions of objective responsibility. Thaw and Sulzer presented

(second grade) children and adults with scenerios represenLing situa-

tions at the various "levels of responsibility. Both children and

adulLs genet-ally attributed greater responsibility up to the level of

Purposive Commission (intended acts). Although adults attribut d

greater responsibility at the three highest levels, not even children

attributed much responsibility at the two lowest levels. Harris

(1977) used the same method and reported a complementary developmental

trend, showing that young children attributed more responsibility at

lower levels. Taken together, these studies provide some support

for Heider's description of developmental trends in the use of ob-

jective and subjective information in responsibility judgments. Al-

though adults were more dependent on information about subjective

knowledge and motives in attributing responsibility than were children,

even young children did show some awareness of the importance of in-

tentions in their judgments. While these studies describe quite well

the age differences in assignment of responsibility, they only per-

mit speculation as to the explanation for these observed differences.

Children's evaluations of others necessarily reflect both their

understanding of others' actions and the evaluative criteria they

consider to be relevant in making the evaluation. Even if children

can and do make subjective inferences about others, their moral judg-

ments will differ from those of adults if the children do not -chink

that intentions and other subjective staLes are appropriate criteria








upon which to b -e moral judgments. That is, objective moral judg-

ients could result not only from the child's lack of cognitive under-

standing of motives but also from the failure of the child's

attributions of intentionality to mediate moral judgments.

Adults have a fairly clear conception of what factors are e

considerations in decisions of goodness or badness. Ule do not usually

hold a person responsible for outcomes which he or she did not intend

or could not have forseen (Heider, 1958). Heider has suggested that

our conceptions specify which information should be sought in the sit-

uation and used in rendering a judgment (see Kelley, 1971). It may be,

however, that the child has a different conception of naughtiness.

The child may perceive naughtiness to be more objectively--basle'd than

do adults. There are several possible reasons for this. It is pos;,ible

that for the child naughtiness and punishment may be more reliably Con-

tingent on behaviors or outcomes than on intentions. It may hapj'en

that the child is sometimes punished cr labeled "bad" when the J-jL '

intentions were actually good. The young child is constrained by

limited verbal ability and may have difficulty communicating ...hi''

ticated motives to the parents. The adult may perceive an action

sequence as causally connected and organized by the child's intentions

when the child may not perceive intentionality in the sequence at all.

For these reasons. the child may actually acquire different criteria

for naughtiness, responsibility, praise, and blame. The child may be

capable of inferring the intentions of another and may do so, yet

may not realize that one should consider the;e in, making moral judg-

meits. rhc child may possess information abo.t others subjcctivc

states, yet not use it.








Flavel Iand 04o -S (C.rs i 0 Pick, acd Flave 1 19({ FClve,

Beach, and, Chinsky, 195C; I,,endler, 1963; Woely, Olson, Haliwes, and

Flavell, 1969; Reese, 1963) have discussed a similar issue in the

study of verbally mediated ;-ecall tasks. The-se authors argued that

one should consider at least tUo separate developmental hypotheses,

product o, and mediational deficiencies, in addition to a basic leck of

cognitive ability to account for the differences in performance be-

tween children and adults. They give attention to the possibility that

the relation between the child's linguistic and nonlinguistic behavior

undergoes important (qualitative) changes in childhood. Thery Iis--

tinguish two distinct developmental hypotheses which are not logicaliy

dependent on each other. The production deficiency hypothesis alleges

that young children do not produce the relevant mediators and this

explains the lack of reliance on these mediators in their behavior.

While the child "knows" the relevant words and can produce them in some

situations, a particular situation fails to elicit them. The child

does not produce the relevant mediators in some situations which call

for them (according to adult standards). The mediational deficiency

hypothesis, alternatively, asserts that younger children do spontan-

eously produce the appropriate mediators in a situation, just as older

children do, but that these potential mediators fail to mediate the

child's overt behavior as they should. According to the mediational

deficiency hypothesis, there is a period during which the child tends

not to regulate or mediate overt behavior verbally (in this case, by

verbally rehersing stimulus names or categories), despite the child's

ability to understand and correctly use the words that could serve as

would-be mediators. A strict i;.terpi'etation of the mediational








deficiency hypothesis posits that, should the child attempt to in-

voke these skills, they would not effectively influence or mediate

task performance. Thus, the mediators may occur when they "ought" to,

but they do not mediate behavior as they ought to.

Flavell et al. (1966) found that younger children did not spon-

taneously verbally rehearse stimulus names in a nonverbal serial recall

task when such a strategy would have facilitated later recall of the

stimuli. Thus, the children failed to produce the nediator, in this

case, verbal rehearsal, that would have aided recall. Neither did

younger children spontaneously arrange a series of pictures of categor-

ized objects into groups whereas older children did (Moely et al., 1969).

However, when the younger children were given assistance in arranging

the pictures into groups, they were clearly able to categorize and use

these categories as mediators in their recall of the pictures (as

measured by an increase in subsequent recall).

Similar considerations may be important in explaining children's

moral judgments. It is possible that even after a child becomes

capable of producing the relevant mediators, they may not be produced

in some situations that adult standards would deem appropriate. That

is, although the child may be capable of making inferences about the

motives, intentions, or plans of others, the child may not actually

make such inferences in the moral judgment situations we have used to

test them. The young child may fail to produce subjective inferences

in these situations. Alternatively, young children may make appro-.

priate inferences about others' intentions but may not consider them

in making moral judgments. That is, intentions and other subjective

information may not mediate children's moral judgments. For some









reason, they are not considered a rc!,v;nLt crit erion upon which to

base moral judgimients.

Some evidence supports a rAdiatioiial deficiency hypothesis re-.

garding r-oral judgrmets. Ar shy (19:'l) reported that young children

were able to correctly judge another's ii,tentio!is, yet failed to r-Ae

autonom)us-level judgments in moral jucgment tasks. It. was not clear,

however, whether the tasks that were used to measure awareness c'

intentionality and moral judgment were actually comparable. Thus, it

was not possible to tell whether children did actually infer the in--

tentions of the story characters. Imamoglu (1975) found that although

5-year-olds did not give much weight to intentions when evaluating acts,

they gave considerably more weight to intentions when asked to make

judgments of like or dislike for the actors. She interpreted this as

implying that being aware of intentions is not necessarily the same as

weighting them more heavily than consequences in one's judgments.

Farnill (1974) suspected that children might employ different

criteria for different kinds of judgments and thus the extent to which

children's evaluations would reflect considerations of others would

vary. He argued that because children may be especially socialized in

outcome-based moral judgments (Costanzo, et al., 1973), particularly

when outcomes are negative, children may believe that the appropriate

criteria for making moral judgments are relevant situational norms. If

so, when children's moral judgments are solicited by adults, their

responses are more reflective of their understanding of norms than of

their ability to grasp and utilize intention information. Farnill

compared good/bad judgments made by boys who were prompted to adopt

the usual moral judgment set to judgments made by boys who were









pronptcd to adopt a set concentrating on the actor's willingness and

ability to cooperate. He found that the use of information about the

intentions of others did vary with the social judgment set young

judges x:ere induced to take. Subjects in the cooperative set used in-

tentions to a greater degree than those given the moral judgment set.

Farnill suggested that when taking a cooperative set children are free

to adopt whatever bases of moral judgment that are propitious to the

attainment of their personal goals, whereas by comparison a moral judg-

rent set Lay inhibit consideration of intentions. Although this stuJy

was hampered by some of the same difficulties of the Piagetian proce-

dure (intent was confounded with consequences), the results suggest

that the findings of research on the development of children's use of

intentions in moral judgment may not be generally applicable across

all types of judgments. This is consistent with other evidence

showing that children's judgments of kindness (Baldwin and Baldwin,

1970) and liking (Imamoglu, 1975) reflected the actor's intentions at

an earlier age and lying (Sediak, et al., note 2) at a later age than

did their moral judgments.

Bearison and Isaacs (1975) claimed to have supported a production

deficiency hypothesis, a failure to spontaneously make subjective in-

ferences about others, in children's moral judgments. These authors

attempted to test whether children fail to infer the intention behind

the act or whether for some (unspecified) reason their knowledge of

the actor's intentions does not mediate their moral judgment.

Children between the ages of 6 1/2 and 7 1/2 were presented with four

pairs of moral judgment stories. Two of the pairs (baseline) were of

the standard Piagetian type, while the other two varied according to









three treat,1i.nt conditions. In one condition (intention explicit)

the intentions of the story characters ,;ere made explicit by including

a line in the story that expressly stated the intentions of the actor

(e.g. "The first boy did not want the food to spoil."). In a second

condition (intention asked), the intentions of the actor were not

explicitly stated but following the presen'Cation of each pair of

stories subjects were asked if each of the characters "meant to do a

bad thing." The purpose of this probe was to direct the subject to

consider the characters' intentions without explicitly stating those

intentions. A third (control) condition was similar to the baseline

procedure. Results supported the existence of a production deficiency

as opposed to a mediational deficiency. That is, although the chilc',ren

were reported not to have spontaneously inferred the intentions of

others, they were capable of making such inferen-ces when prompted to do

so and this knowledge mediated their moral judgments. Bearison and

Isaacs also reported that directing children to consider others' in-

tentions is as effective a technique for promoting autononious moral

judgments as actually explicitly telling children the intentions of

another. Thus, it is argued that young children (between 6 1/2 and

7 1/2) do not spontaneously infer the intentions of another but can do

so when asked. When children do produce intentionality information,

it mediates their moral judgments. Therefore, these results suggest

that children do not use intentions as mediators of moral judgments

because they do not spontaneously represent intentions cognitively.

14ethodological difficulties make the results of this study in-

conclusive. Bearison and Isaavs' stories were similar in both form

and content to Piaget's and, like his, they confounded intentions









with consequences. Child),en were asked to compare two actors and

choose the naughtiest. It is therefore impossible to make any stat--

ments about the extent tc which intentions were considered. The

children's responses were scored dichotomously as either henleronomious

or autonomous. As noted earl ier (Chandl er, et al. 1973) -,n (i there/

or response dimension that permits only a judgment of which chi-16 ,

most naughty is poorly suited for determining the relative contribu-

tion of consequences and intentions in moral judgments. Since

Bearison and Isaacs looked for a change in the children's responses

between a control and a treatment phase, it is hard to iriterpcIet a

change or lack of change. A change to autonomous judgments could

represent either a very small or a very large change in the bases fkr

mural judgments.

Curiously, Bearison and Isaacs apparently never asked the children

to actually rate the actor's intentions. Participants were asked to

consider whether the actor had "meant to do a bad thing," but the pur-

pose of this prompt was to direct subjects to consider the actor's in-

tentions, so apparently no data on this judgment were collected.

While this is surprising, it is not unusual, for of the many studies

that have attempted to infer the basis for developmental differences

in moral judgment, few have actually assessed children's attributions

about the intentions of the actor. With few exceptions (Berndt and

Berndt, 1975; Sedlak, et al., note 2), the intentions of the actor have

been experimentally varied and if a child failed to base moral judg-

ments on those manipulated intentions it was inferred that the child

did not possess information about the intentions of the actor. That is,

the basis for the subject's judgment has usually been inferred from the









judoe nt itself. Although some studies have attempted to elicit

spontaneous verbal explanations for judgments from children (Creznitz

and Kucelmass, 1967; King, 1971, Piaget, 1932; Whiteman, Brook, and

Gordon, 1974) most have not clearly assessed the young subjects' judg-

mi nts about the actor's intentions, that is, whether they believed

that the actor acted intentionally. Since it has been shown (Baidk:in

and Baldwin, 1970; Breznitz and Kugelmass, 1967) in similar areas that

young children may be able to use intention in interpersonal evalua-

tion but be unable to articulate its use, children in these studies

may appear to be more, objective than they actually are.

One study that actually assessed chIdren's attributions of in-

tentionality has been reported by Berndt and Berrdt (1975). They noted

that the term "intention" is often used to refer to two separate con-

cepts. It may refer to the intentionality of the act, whether it was

intended or accidental. It may also refer to the motive of the actor,

or the reason for the action. Berndt and Berndt argued that most

previous studies have confounded motive with intentionality, good

motives being associated with accidental damage and bad motives with

intentional damage. They manipulated motives and intentionality and

asked children to make a judgment of intentionality (whether the actor

had injured the victim "on purpose"). While the understanding of

motives (as compared to the "ideal" mature response) was generally

better for older than for younger children, all children could dis-

tinguish intentional from unintentional behavior. The lesser under-

standing of motives by young children was they result of their

difficulty in understanding distant, more obscure motives. Motives

(good versus bad intention s) affected children's moral judgments at








all ages but differences in intention (accidental versus intention'

consequences) did not affect the evaluations of the youngest children.

Five-year-old children understood both the concept of motive as a reason

for acting and the accidental -intentional distinction but when makin,

a moral evaluation, they considered motives but not intentionality.

However, Berndt and Berndt did not succee in orthogonally varying

motive and intentionality. Accidental actions appeared only in connec-

tion with good or harmless motives. Furthermore, all of these (iata

were derived from verbal statements elicited from children and scored

as either correct or incorrect (or good, bad, neither in the case of

moral judgments). It is possiLle, thus, that this may be a less sen-

sitive test of children's use of intentionality as a mediator of moral

judgments than might be constructed.



Summary and Conclusions

Previous studies of young children's attributions of responsibility

or naughtiness provide strong evidence that children are more likely

than adults to base their judgments on the objective features of the

situation rather then the subjective states of the actors involved.

However, evidence also indicates that children as young as 3 years of

age may be capable of inferring internal states such as intentions

under some circumstances. The preceding review has suggested some

specific features of the testing materials and procedures frequently

used in studies of children's judgments that may elicit more ob-

jectively based judgments from young children. For example, when the

situation is familiar, simple, and similar children may make in-

ferences about subjective factors and may base moral judgments upon









these inferences. When the child is instructed to consider inten-

tions, moral judgments may rely more heavily on the actor's intentions.

When the child is required to make judg-ments other than of morality,

intentions may have relatively more or less influence upon the child's

judgments.

Piaget concluded that the young child is logically incapable of

making subjectively-based judgments due to its egocentric and realistic

attitude which prevents making inferences about the subjective states

of others. That is, the child simply has no cognitive representation

of concepts like intentionality to interpret the actions of others with.

The evidence reviewed here, however, does not support this conclusion

since even young children appear to be capable of inferring internal

states oF others. Since the ability of young children to make sub-

jective inferences has been domonstrated under some conditions, the

conclusion that young children cannot infer tne internal states of

others must be questioned. Yet, if children are indeed capable of

making inferences about the subjective states of others, why do we so

often observe that young children make objectively-based judgments?

What is the explanation for the apparently discrepant findings that

young children sometimes appear to base their judgments on motives, in-

tentions, and other subjective factors but often do not? It is possible

that some of the methodological considerations common to many experi-

mental studies of children's moral judgments may be a major contrib-

uting factor to findings that children make objective moral and respon-

sibility judgments. However, it has also been suggested that the

young child's ability to make subjective inferences may not invariably

lead to the child's production of that inference or to the child's use








of that i~fer: or a rr :diaer of rora-I judgients, If we regard the

child's ability a- only a prere-quisite condition for the mendiation

of judgents by others' subjective states, at least two other explalv-

tions for the observed phenomenon may b- sugrestcd: (1) tho child's

actual spontaneous production of subjective inferences when it is

appropriate to do so and (2) the child's use of information abouL

the internal states of others as mediators of moral and responsibil-ItY

judgmnts.

A Reconceljtualization of the Problem

One commonalty among many previous investigations of "ibutioK.

of responsibili ity and moral judgment is the focus on essentially

the same type of dependent variable. In many cases the child's jul!,-

ment of responsibility ("something we might praise or blame anoth-,r

person for") or naughtiness is used to infer whether the child has.

made inferences about intentions or other subjective states of th.

actor(s) being judged. If the child's judgments covary with the man-

ipulated motives of the actor, it is assumed that the child has made

inferences about these motives, while if the child's moral judgments

do not covary with the actor's motives, it is often assumed that the

child has failed to infer relevant subjective motives of the actor.

However, this overall moral or responsibility judgment is in fat! a

final judgment in a process having several necessary compooen-ts. If

children do attribute personal responsibility, do n'ke moral jucKi-

ments in the same way adults do, then using this final attribution as

the dependent variable is reasonable. We assume that the child con.-

siders basically the same data and reaches similar conclusions aor'

the data if the ultimate judgment about the total data conf>.irati(jn









is the same. However, we find that children and adults do differ in

their (final) morality and responsibility judgments. Research reports

that children tend to base their judgments on more objective, observ-

able feature. of the environment, ignoring subjective states of the

actors involved. A few studies indicate, though, that children may

base their judgments on the subjective states of others under some

circumstances. Since these final judgments differ we may suspect

that some intermediate step or antecedent event which either happened

differently or failed to occur at some age was influential in pro-

ducing this difference.

Fiavell and his colleagues have suggested that, while a child

might be capable of making a response, the child may fail to spon-

taneously produce it. Or, the child may produce a response that fails

to mediate subsequent behavior. In a production deficiency the child

is alleged not to produce the relevant mediators at all. While the

child knows the relevant concepts and can produce them in some sit-

uations, they are not produced in certain situations. In a media-

tional deficiency the child tends not to use a would-be mediator

even though the child can understand and correctly use the mediating

concepts. Potential mediators fail to mediate the child's behavior

as they should.

With respect to moral judgment, few have distinguished between

the production of subjective inferences about others and subsequent

use of these inferences as mediators or moral judgments. Rather, as

noted earlier, many have concluded from children's objectively-based

moral judgments that children are incapable of, or at least do not

produce subjective inferences. However, few investigators have attempted








to actually determine whether the childreni do, in fact, produce sub.-

jective inferences. Arinsby (1971) reported that children were capable

of correctly inferring another's intentions as young as 6 years of age,

yet failed to make autonomous moral judgments in a subsequent morAl

judgment task. He suggested a mediational deficiency in young children

because, while they were capable of making the inferences, such infer-

ences apparently did not mediate their moral judgments. Howev'er,

because the tasks Armsby used to measure the children's ability to

infer intentions and the tasks used to assess moral judgments were

not comparable, one cannot determine whether the children, were actually

inferring the intentions of the actors in the moral judgment situations.

Bearison and Isaacs (1975) attempted to explicitly test whether a pro-

duction deficiency or a mediational deficiency hypothesis best explains

why children appear to base moral judgments on objective, observable

information. They reported results which appear to support the

existence of a production as opposed to a mediational deficiency.

They suggested that children did not spontaneously infer another's

intentions, but were capable of doing so when prompted, and their

knowledge of another's intentions then mediated their moral judgments.

However, Bearison and Isaacs failed to provide any direct evidence

as to what inferences about the story character's intentions the

children actually made. These researchers, like others, relied on

the children's moral judgments to infer whether the children did

or did not make inferences about the intentions of the actors. A

clear and unambiguous test of production versus mediational deficiencies

as explanations of children's objectively-based moral judgments has

yet to be reported.









Flavell et al. (1966) have described the ideal experimental

conditions for testing production deficiency and mediational de-

ficiency hypotheses. These iare outlined and commented upon briefly

below.

Elicitation. The t&sk should be one in which most mature sub-

jects would more or less naturally adopt a mediational apprech in

dealing with the task. One way in which this can be determined is by

using the judgments of a mature group of subjects as a standard

against which other judgments can be compared.

Mediation. One should be able to distinguish mediated from non-

mediated overt responses on the task. Ideally, this should be deter-

mined for each individual response, rather than simply for the overall

pattern of responses.

Production. One should have some procedure for determining

whether a subject actually produced the potential mediating response.

One might accomplish this by assessing the production of such a re-

sponse or by including an experimental condition in which subjects

are instructed to make the response at the appropriate time and in

which such production of the mediating response can be clearly demon-

strated. In testing for a production deficiency, spontaneous produc-

tion versus nonproduction of the would-be mediator constitutes the

dependent variable.

Competence. One must be sure that all subjects have the same

receptive and productive command of the words and concepts in question.

That is, the experimenter should be able to provide evidence that all

subjects can use and interpret the concepts in approximately the same

way.









Flavell et al. propose that when these four conditions are met,

a mediational deficiency can be tested by examining only those task

responses for which there was the requisite production of potential

mediating responses. The hypothesis is confirmed if older subjects

show more responses judged to be mediated than younger subjects do.

A production deficiency is indicated if older subjects produce the

potential mediator on a greater number of the appropriate occasions

than do younger subjects.

The purposes of this study were, thus, to establish optimal

conditions for investigating the effects of intention on children's

and adult's judgments. Prompts were used in an attempt to focus

children on the intentions of the actor. If children do not normally

make judgments about the intentions of the actor but are capable of

doing so, then instructing them to do so should reveal a change in

judgments of intentionality. Two types of prompts were used. One

prompt (before story) instructed the child prior to observing the

action to think about the intentions of the actor. It was reasoned

that providing children with a plan for processing the information

about to be received might encourage children to encode information

in terms of intentions (Picek, Sherman aid Shiffrin, 1975). Plans

have been shown to effectively improve children's task behaviors

(Mischel and Patterson, 1976; Patterson and Mischel, 1975, 1976) and

have been shown to be significantly more developed and efficient in

older than in younger children (Collins, Berndt and Hess, 1974;
Cosgrove and Patterson, 1977). A second type of prompt (before AR)

occurred immediately after the participants had viewed the action but

before any judgments were made. This prompt should be ineffective in








influencing the child's encoding of information in terms of inten-

tionality but may direct the child to consider intentionality inforna-

tion that has already been received and stored in memory (if, indeed,

it has). This prompt is quite similar to the prompt used by Bearisor.

and Isaacs (1975). Each subject either received one of the above

prompts or received no prompt (after AR).

This study directly assessed children's attributions about the

actor's intentions. This procedure allowed a determination to be

made regarding whether young children make different inferences th;m

do adults about an actor's intentions or whether inferences about in-

tentionality have a different relation to subsequent moral judgements

and attributions of responsibility in children than in adults.

Finally, this study investigated both moral judgments and attribu-

tions of responsibility. Since both judgments have been hypothesized

to rest on inferences about an actor's intentions, both may be useful

indices of developmental changes in inference and judgment processes.

What is the relation between attributions of responsibility and moral

judgments and does this relation differ in children as compared to

adults? Furthermore, are each of these judgments similarly affected- "

by subjective information (the intentions of the actor) and objective

factors (consequences of the action) in the situation?

Children of two age groups were selected for testing. One group

of very young children who were below the age (about 7 years old)

usually suggested for the onset of the shift from objective to sub-

jective judgments was chosen. It was expected that these very young

children would typically give objectively-based moral judgments and

thus should be appropriate for testing capability, production, and









mediational deficiency explanations. A second group of children was

selected to be just above the age (about 9 years old) usually sug-

gested for the consolidation of the developmental change. Finally, a

group of adults served as a comparison group which mzay be considered

to represent "ideal" or "mature" responses.

This research design does fulfill the requirements suggested by

Flavell et al. (1966) for testing production and mediational defil-

ciency hypotheses. The use of a group of adult subjects provides a

comparison group which can be used to determine the approach that a

mature subject would take to the problem (elicitation). The relation

between the participants' judgments of intentionality and their sub-

sequent moral judgments and attributions of responsibility reveals

whether judgments of intention mediate judgments of responsibility or

goodness. The production of the mediator can be determined by as-

sessing each participant's attributions about the intentions of the

actor in the story. Intentionality is assessed quantitatively (a 5-

point rating). This should be a more sensitive test of subjects'

beliefs about an actor's intentions than has been used to date. In

some conditions of this study, subjects' production of the mediating-

response will be encouraged by asking them to consider the intentions

of the actor. Thus, if young children do not spontaneously make this

inference but are capable of doing so when asked, a comparison between

prompt and no prompt conditions will show differences in intentionality

judgments. Further, it will be possible to test whether this elicited

mediating response does indeed mediate subsequent moral judgments.

It will be insured that all subjects understand the tesing procedures

and materials in the same way (competence) by pretesting, by




25



instructing subjects in how to use the materials and by carefully

defining all critical terms.














CHAPTER II

THE EXPERIMENT

Subjects

Subjects were 72 kindergarten and 72 fourth grade students from an

elementary school in Gainesville, Florida. Kindergarten children ranged

in age from 63 months to 86 months, with a mean age of 71 months (5 years,

11 months) and fourth grade children ranged from 106 to 125 months, with a

mean age of 116 months (9 years, 8 months)' Seventy-two adults par-

ticipated for partial fulfillment of a laboratory requirement in Intro-

ductory Psychology at the University of Florida. Half of the subjects

at each age were female. Subjects at each age were wmtched for socio-

economic status, as measured by the father's occupation scored on the

Hollingshead Occupation Index (T-= 5.0). Subjects at the younger two

ages were matched for IQ as measured by the Otis Lennon Mental Abilities

Test (kindergarten) and the Metropolitan Achievement Test (fourth grade).

IQ scores were not available for adults. Black subjects who participated

(ten kindergarten, eight fourth grade, seven adult) were randomly assigned

to cells of the design with the stipulation that only one black could

appear in each cell. Approximately half the blacks at each age were female.

Design

Subjects here randomly assigned to the experimental conditions of

a 3 (age) x 3 (prompt position) x 2 (intentionality) x 2 (consequences)

x 2 (sex of subject) design. That is, each subject received one type

of prompt (before story, before AR/MJ, after AR/NJ or control) and one

intent- (intentional, accidental) consequence (good, bad) combination.

27








Stimulus Materials

Four different videotaped episodes were prepared (one for each inten-

tioii-consequence combination) by adding different endings to a standard

stein. in each episode a young girl (7 1/2 years of age) was shown sitting

in her coat and hat, waiting for her mother who bustled in and out of the

room, obviously delaying the two from departing. Intentional episodes

showed the little girl walking over to a table, picking up a clock, and

banging it forcefully on the table five times. The action resulted in

the clock either getting fixed (good consequences) or broken (bad con-

sequences). In intentional episodes, the little girl stated aloud her

intentions ("That always works to get this'funny clock running'. Ha'. Ha'.'

or "Ha'. Ha'. I sure did bust this clock all up'."). In the accidental

episodes, the child disinterestedly dropped the clock on the table,

either breaking it into pieces or fixing it. Finally, Mother bustled

in, looked at the child and the clock and reiterated the outcome ("Oh,

the clock is running again. You fixed it'." or "Oh, look, you've broken

the clock'.!"). All scenerios ended with a neutral, rather expres.sionless

shot of the mother and child. Each episode lasted 35 seconds. Episodes

were presented using a Sony VO-1600 Videocassette Recorder and were viewed

on a Sony CVM-1710 Trinitron Color Monitor using Sony KC-60 videocassettes.

A pilot study was undertaken in a separate kindergarten to insure

the clarity of the stories and testing materials to the children. Seven

children viewed each of the four final episodes. Each child was

taught to use the (5-point circles) scale and asked to make two judg-

merits of each episode: 1) whether the actor acted intentionally or

accidentally and 2) whether a good thing or a bad thing happened. For









each episode all seven children rated the actor's intentions and the

evaluation of the outcome correctly, i.e., as had been intended by the

experimental manipulations. That is, the children rated the accidents

as accidental, the intentional actions as intentional, the broken clock

as bad, and the fixed clock as good. In every case, the child's rating

was either the most or second most extreme response in the appropriate

direction. Thus, the ratings of intentional and accidental episodes did

not overlap at all, nor did ratings of episodes with negative and posi-

tive consequences. It was clear that the children were perceiving the

actions depicted in the episodes as appropriately intentional or acci-

dental as had been intended in the creation of the different episodes.

Testing Materials

Each subject mde three judgments. Attributions of intentionally

(AI) were rated on a 5-point item consisting of five squares which

increased from left to right in size from 11 mm to 61 mm (see Appendix

II for scales). Attribution of responsibility (AR) las measured

on a 5-point scale consisting of 11 mm squares stacked vertically on

each other and increasing in size from one 11 mm square to five 11

mm squares. Moral judgments (MJ) were made on a 9-point rating

scale which had been divided into two (5-point) halves, with a neutral

point common to both. One half consisted of faces increasing in

size from a small (11 mm) face with a neutral expression to larger

(30 mm) faces with a wider smile. The corresponding bad half con-

sisted of the small neutral face with four (increasingly) larger

frowning faces. The order of the moral judgment and attribution of

responsibility questions was counterbalanced within each of the

(3 x 3 x 2 x 2) equal cells. Each judgment was made on a similar, but








Visually unique item to mimimize confusion among the rating items.

Procedu re

Each child was taken individually from the classroom by an

assistant to a -mall, private activities room within the school. Be-

cause there was approximately a five minute wait, the child was en-

gaged in conversation by the assistant. As each child entered the ex-

perimental room, he or shc was introduced to the experimenter (the

author) and engaged in a short, standard conversation. E then said:

I am going to let you watch a little story on TV in a minute.
I want to find out what you think about the story, so I am
going to ask you some questions about the story, okay? I want
you to give me some special kinds of answers, so first I am
going to show you how to give me answere about things, okay?

E then placed a practice sheet of paper containing five circles which

increased in size in front of the subject. It was explained that very

big circles mean very much of something and very little circles mean

very little of something. Subjects were assisted in rating small, large,

and medium-sized fish on the circles. Each subject was then asked to

use the circles to describe "very sick," "not very sick at all,"-and
"medium sick." Only those subjects who showed correct, unaided use of

the scale were allowed to continue. Two 6-year olds, zero lO-year-olds,

and one adult subject were terminated for failure to use the ratings

properly and were subsequently replaced by another subject.

At this point, E presented the following prepared text (according

to the subject's condition, as noted):

Okay, do you thing you know how to use these to tell me your
answers? I have some more here. They are not circles, but they
are like the circles because they all mean very, very much of
something to very, very little of something, too. I am going
to let you answer my questions with them. But first, I am going
to show you a little story on TV. It's just short, so watch
it very carefully, okay? Watch everything that happens.









If Before Stoy. I want you to watch and decide whether shc,
means to do what she does, okay? You decide whether the little
girl means to do it Ty whether it is an accident. Do ycu know
what an accident is? Okay, you think about whether the little
girl does it by accident or on purpose. Now, watch.

All subjects observed one episode.

If Before AR/MJ. Now, first I want you to think about whether
E -i-t-tie c-irl meant to do it or whether it was an accident.
Do you know what an accident is? Okay, did she do it on pur-
pose or not? Show me on here (puts down AI scale). Up here if
she didn't mean to do it at all or down here if she meant to
do it a whole lot or somewhere in the middle, whatever you
think.

Moral Judgment. Now, I want you to tell me if you think the
little girl was good or bad and tell me how much. Good or bad
or neither? (E v:aited for answer and placed either the smiling
or frowning faces in front of the subject). Tell me how much.
Down here if you think she was okay, not good and not bad or
up here if you think she was very, very (good/bad) or in the
middle for medium (good/bad), whatever you think.

Attribution of Responsibility_. Now, I want you to tell me how
responsible the little girl was. Do you know what responsible
means? It means how much we might praise or blame the little
girl for what happened. Show we on here. Up here is you think
we might praise or blame her a whole lot or down here for less
or way down here for don't praise or blame her at all, whatever
you think.

If Before Story or After AR/MJ. Now, I want you to think about
whether the little girl did it by accident or whether she meant
to do it. Do you know what an accident is (if after AR/MJ)?
Okay, did she do it on purpose or not? Now, show me on here
(E put down Al scale). Up here if she meant to do it a whole
lot and down here if she didn't mean to do it at all or some-
where in the middle, whatever you think.

Finally, in order to check that the subject had accurately per-

ceived the outcomes depicted in the episode, each subject was asked

whether the actor had fixed or broken the clock. Subjects who failed



1 All subjects did know what an accident was. Children were encouraged
to give an explanation in order to satisfy E that they did understand
this concept and virtually all offered an acceptable definition or used
the concept in one or more sentences, such as "'An accident is when you
drop it and break it but you didn't mean to," or "It just happens and
it's an accident 'cause you didn't think it would."









to answer correctly were replaced and their dat: were excluded iroli

the analyses (four 6-year-old, zero lO-ye2r-old, zero adult partici-

pants).

Okay, thank you a lot (child's name). You can go back to you-.
classroom now. Don't talk about it with the other kids, okay?
I want to ask them myself. Good bye now.














CHAPTER III



Tw-elve subjects from each age group, one from each cell of the

design, were randomly selected (with the restriction that half of each

group i.'ere female) to be retested three weeks after the initial test-

ing. Correlations between the first and second judgments were com-

puted atid are reported in Table I. Although the stability of these

jud4e~s was generally quite high, Especially considering the small

number of o on which these reliability estimates were computed,

the moral (9ood. b.) judgments mate by adulLs were somewhat less reli-

able, as vere responsibility judgments made by 10-year-olds. This

iidicates that these particular judgments may change from one time of

testing to ano.her., therefore, results involvirg aduiLs' moral judq-

ments and 10-year-old children's responsibility judgments should be

viewed with some caution. It has been suggested, however, (Nice-

wander and Price, 1978), that when the dependent variable in an experi-

ment h3s a low reliability, one is not necessarily analyzing random

noise, as is commonly inferred. To the contrary, the power of a

statistical test can be at a maximum when the reliability of the depen-

dent variable is one or zero. Thus, power and reliability are not

necessarily related.

A 3 (age) x 3 (prompt position) x 2 intentionalityy) x 2 (con-

s 'lrc) x 2 "sex of subject) multivariate analysis of variance was









performed using subjects' three judgments (int nationality, responsi.

bility, and moral judgments) as depen;eit variables. Pillar i's Trace

was employed as the multivariate cril.e;'ion (Olson, 1976). Since the

pattern of multivariate results p~ra*leleJ the pattern of results

based on three separate 3 x 3 x 2 x 2 x 2 analyses of variance (Table

2) with fixed effects, only the results of the univarit analyses arc

reported below. Discussion of mean differences is based on hier-,

archical simple effects tests and Du-ican's pairwise comparison proce-

dure for comparisons of means following significant interactions and

main effects, respectively.

Attribution of Intentionality (AI)

As expected from the inten.ionality constructed in the episodes,

greater intention was attributed for intentional (Y = 4.1) than for

accidental (= 1.5) actions, F (1, 144) = 276.12, p <.05. This of-

fers come support for the validity of the portrayal of the accidental

and intentional actions in the episodes. Greater intention was attrib-

uted when the action resulted in bad outcomes (Y = 2.9) than in good

outcomes (X = 2.6); F (1, 144) = 5.01, p <-.05. Greater intention was

attributed by all subjects who were prompted before viewing the action -

(X= 3.1) than when asked either to consider the actor's intentions

after viewing the action but before making other judgments, or when

not reminded about the actor's intentions (Ks =- 2.5 and 2.7, respec-

tively); F (2, 144) = 5.90, p < .05. Thus, subjects perceive greater

intention in an action when they are induced to view the action in

terms of the actor's intentions than when they are not.

An interaction between the position of the intentionality ques-

tion and the consequences of the action was obtained such that when








asked to consider the intentions of the actor immediately prior to

answering further questions about the episode (before AR/iMJ) and when

consequences were positive slibjects attributed less intention to the

actor than under any other circumstances (Table 3). All other mvens

were equal (all simple Fs significant at p <.05). That is, less

intention was attributed to actors who conlMitted actions with good

outcomes thDn with bad outcomes and this was true only in the before

AR/MJ condition.

No main effects or interactions with age were found in subjects'

judgments of the actor's i'ntentions. Thus, prompts to consi"Ir the

actor's intentions were not differentially effective for children and

adults. Children made the same judgments about an actor's intentions

as did adults, regardless of whether or not they had been prompted to

consider intentions.

Attribution of Responsibility

Main effects of intentionality (F (1, 144) = 94.48, p <.05),

age (F (2,144) = 60.12, p <.05) and consequences (F (1,144) = 8.56,

p <.05) were observed on the attribution of responsibility. Subjects

attributed greater responsibility for intentional actions (N = 3.7)

than for accidental actions (X= 3.0). Six-year-old children attributed

more responsibility overall (X= 4.0) than did older children (>= 3.4),

who, in turn, attributed more responsibility than did adults (X= 2.8).

Thus, younger children tend to generally hold an actor more respon-

sible for all behaviors than do adults. Finally, all subjects attrib-

uted more responsibility for actions which resulted in bad (X= 3.6)

consequences than in good (X= 3.2) consequences.









Intention interacted with consequences; F (I, 144) = 10.23,
S.05; such that subjects attributed greater responsibility only for

intentional actions which resulted in negative consequences (Y 4.1).

Less responsibility was attributed ior ii.tentional actions with pos-

iLive consequences (X = 3.3) and for accidental actions with either

good (*-= 3.1) or bad (X = 3.0) consequences. Thus, overall, oiily

actors who acted from a bad motive (that is, intentionally produced

damage) %,ere held especially responsible for their actions (Figure 1).

The position of the intentionality question (prompt) interacted

with th sex of the subject in the attribution of responsibility, F

(2, 144) = 19.18, p_ < .05. Only females were influenced by the inten-

tionality prompt, attributing more responsibility when asked after

viewing the action but before making any other judgments of the action.

Iwo clear developmental trends were found in the assignment of

responsibility for another's actions (means and simple effects are

shown in Table 5). First, age interacted with the consequences of

the action; F (2, 144) = 13.40, p < .05; such that the youngest sub-

jects did not base their attributions of responsibility on the conse-

quences of the action, while older children and adults did. Both

10-year-old children and adults attributed greater responsibility when

an action resulted in bad outcomes than i.n good outcomes. The 6-year-

old children attributed uniformly high responsibility regardless of

consequences. Six-year-old children attributed greater responsibility

for good outcomes than either 10-year-old children or adults (Xs =

4.2, 3.0, 2.4, respectively). When the actor's actions resulted in

bad consequences, both 6-year-old and 10-year-old children attributed

greater responsibility then did adults (Xs 3.9, 3.8, 3.1,









respectively). Thus, it appears tha: with age there is a selective

reduction in the amount of responsibility attributed for actions un-

der certain circumstances and that reduced responsibility for actions

with negative consequences appears later than reduced responsibility

for positive outcomes. Negative outcomes continue to be influential

when positive outcomes no longer are (see Figure 2).

A similar developmental trend was found in the assignment of

responsibility for intentional versus accidental actions, F (2, 144)

12.40, pi < .05. Only adult subjects varied their attributions of

responsibility according to intentionality, assigning significantly

less responsibility for accidental actions (Y = 2.0) than for inten-

tional actions (Y 3.2). Six-year-old children assigned uniformly

high responsibility regardless of whether the action was accidental

(T= 3.9) or intentional (X = 4.2). Ten-year-old subjects fell in-

termediate in the amount of responsibility attributed, but did not

vary their attributions of responsibility according to whether the

actions were accidental (X 3.2) or intentional (Y = 3.5; see

Figure 3).

Finally, a three-way interaction between age, consequences, and

sex was obtained in attributions of responsibility. Although this

interaction lacked theoretical import for. this study, the form of

the interaction was such that while both sexes generally showed sig-

nificant decreases in the amount of responsibility attributed as they

became older, regardless of consequences, the specific age-related

pattern was different for males -and females; F (2, 144) = 4.02,

p < .05. Six-year-old males attributed the same high level of respon-

sibility for all actions (Figure 4). However, 10-year-old males








attributed- significantly less responsibility for actions with good

outcomes UK 2.6) than for had outcove;. (I-= 4.2) and less than

females at the same age atti buted for actions with good (Y = 3.4)

or bad (7= 3.3) outcomes. Females sho, ed this same tendency to

attribute less responsibility for good (Kz 2.2) than for bad (-X'

3.2) consequences later (as adults). Adult males reduced the amount

of responsibility they attributed for bad outcomes as adults (YX=

3.0) such that they fell to the level of responsibility attributed

by females at all ages (X6_years =4.1, X10-years = 3.3, Xaduti =

3.2). Thus, while fernales never really showed the tendency to

uniformly attribute less responsibility to actors whose actions had

negative consequences, males showed a tendency to uniformly attribute

less responsibility to actors whose actions had positive consequences

somewhat earlier than did females (see Figure 4).

Moral Judgments

Younger children tended to be more punitive than older subjects.

The moral judgments of 6-year-old children were generally more neg-

ative (K= 5.1) than the judgments of adults (X= 6.0). Judgments

made by 10-year-old children fell intermediate (7 = 5.4) and did not

differ from either of the other age groups; F (2, 144) = 33.04, < .05.

Accidental actions were judged more positively (X = 5.9) than in-

tentional (X= 5.1) actions; F (l, 144) = 32.67, p <.05. This was
due to the fact that intentionally-produced damages were considered

very bad while intentionally-produced positive consequences did not

produce corresponding increases in goodness judgments. That is, in-

tentions interacted with consequences; F (1, 144) = 64.46, p_< .05;
such that intentional actions with bad outcomes were judged most








harshly (X= 3.1) and all actions with good outcomes were judged

moderately positively ( = 6.7), regardless of the actor's intenvions

(Table 6). Accidental actions with bad consequences fell intermediate

(Y = 5.0) and differed significantly from all other means. This

pattern of irens paralleled a consequence x intentionality interaction
obtained on attributions of responsibility (see Figures la and Ib).

The consequences of the action interacted with the sex of the

subject in influencing moral judgments; F (1, 144) = 25.35, p < .05.

It can be seen in Figure 5 that while males and females did not differ

in their moral judMents of actions with positive consequen es ( :s

7.1 and 6.6, respectively), males considered actions which resulted

in negative outcomes to be more bad (X-= 3.6) than did females (7 =

4.5; simple F significant at p < .05). However, regardless of sex,

all subjects showed significantly lower evaluations of actors who

produced negative than positive consequences; F (1, 144) = 422.24,

p <.05. Mean moral judgments for actions resulting in positive con-

sequences was 6.9 as compared to a mean evaluation of 4.1 for actors

who produced negative consequences.

A developmental trend in moral judgments was obtained such that

6-year-old subjects were more influenced by the consequences of the

action than were older subjects; F (2, 144) = 152.93, p <.05. Six-

year-olds judged the actor to be more good when the action resulted

in good outcomes (X= 7.4) than did adults (X = 6.2), while judgments

made by l0-year-olds fell intermediate (X = 7.0) and differed from

neither older or younger subjects (Table 6). When consequences were

negative, 6-year-olds judged the actor to be Piore bad (7 2.8) than

did l0-year-olds (X= 3.8). Adults' moral judgments were least








influenced by the negative consequences r.f action (Y, 5.7). Six--

year-olds' moral judgments wore significantly lcwer when consequences

were bad than good (). 2.8 and 7.4, respectively) as were the moral

judgments of l0-year-olds (Xs 3.8 and 1.0, respectively). Adults

did not vary their moral judgments reliably with the consequences of

the action (see Figure 2b).

suporti ___Evidnce

The youngest children in this study averaged less than 6 years of

age and they ranged in age from approximately 5 to 7 years old. It

would be in-forimative to split this youngest group of children into

two groups-- the very young children and the slightly older children.

If it were the case that this group of kindergarten children was too

old to observe certain developmental differences of interest (e.g., a

failure to correctly infer the actor's intentions), perhpas looking

at the older and younger halves of the group may reveal those dif-

ferences. Thus, the group of kindergarten children was split into

two groups at the median, 5 years and 10 months, and a 2 x 2 x 2 x 3

(age x intention x consequences x prompt position) analysis of var-

iance was performed. Results showed that the younger children's

inferences about the intentions of the actor were no different than

those of the slightly older children (all F <1). Responsibility

judgments were essentially the same for all ages. No interactions with

age were obtained. The only significant difference found between the

younger and older kindergarten children was that good-bad ratings were

somewhat less influenced by bad consequences; F (1, 49) = 11.86,

p <.05; for the very young children (X= 4.7) than for those a little




41



older (Y= 3.4). This occurred primarily for intentionally bad

(bed motive) actors. Oe, all the very young kindergarten children

showd judgments very similar to those nmade by their slightly older

cl assmates.















P Il S C USS I J N

e > ', ,I tJi I r,.;' h2 )e l ; -Fe r s Iv ir- Z '


J ,, i i E 1iF ta to Y f I aVC, j -t s o

C l t I ;, t': .: si i i: ("!" a I I tihIeSeC re SulIts d Sc i



of a io ii' s L -: i jI po i t !Io de ve o 'n e n al r' ce es .! t ,

explaili e e re1;.ted nchings in these at ri uti ; ,
rQe: 1 i~ K di] y awl ,i a .l J u-'ghv-'i:.

Looking fist at soie overall characteristics of subject!

mii;js i L cn !.e sec th it judg,s general ly considered the actor's ill--

tentis cOd the conseences thbL result when -making both respon-

sib iiiy c r, Afral 3udcI2Ivs Fi-'wres la and lb show that the s t-

uation in Vie actor intentionally caused negative consequent ces

(thus, hi,.d a lV d motive) evoked the highest assignments of respon-

sibility alid the most negative moral judgments. In fact, only i;n tho

episoc!e in which the actor intentionally caused some damage was the

responsih'1 ihi-i1 of the act-or for the outcome increased. Both the two

accidental ei:,*sedes and the intentionally good outcome (good motive)

episodes evoked similar, moderate attributions of responsibilitv.

The actor is not held responsible for accidental actions but neither

dries th' ?Cui' receive "credit" for intentionally doing L uood ded.

It r c tc ,,hen the actor appears to have intentionally done a









O',Ud K. the Cc"alc e', "i cb ity (n .. ..' ion. a factor cx c In l
to tIj~e crt.',, is ,j: .e Ce res '&,,ibl I? or h;? a :i r's hQL,.
therefore hevs 1esc; purson l credit for hving done e;

good thinr (e 195. ; J.n(!, P-Ovis cnd Cermen and11 5) Only k.hen

the a&.Lior viol .o:-, 1,; riiitive prC Scr ;ptions for cohiducl (te inofel

tioe J .. m; r ) is {i e actor considered personally r,)o sRL-e .

Subj .: IS' 10o al j !'. mcnnts follo1-A!d I si Y ev," n in tLha

actors wr, co',; itted sole .ood result were all judged equai I-

tively recyrdless of whether the good result was inten"lcd or icci-

dental. The actor who intentionally caused a bad result w,.s jldned,

most L;e.si iy. However, the actor who accidentally committee some

dmage was judged significantly more negatively thEan actors who causec

no damage. Whenever an actor produced a bad outcome, s/he was ccni-

sidered to be "more naught," regardless of whether the result was ern

accident or riot. Thus, while subjects considered only the actor who

, intentionally caused some damage to be more responsible than others,

their moral judgments considered even the actor who unintentionally

caused damage to be somewhat bad. However, one can see in Tables 2

and 3 by comparing the responses of the three age groups, that these

overall effects are strongly influenced by age differences between

the judgments of younger and older subjects which contribute to the

results. Therefore, looking at the judgments made at each age will

clarify the findings.

The youngest group of participants appeared to be relatively

undifferentiated with respect to responsibility, attributing high

responsibility for all actions (Figures 2a and 3). They did tend

to make some allowance for accidentally-caused damage, however









(Tabi Oldei 2) 0 r !h Jrir, asked th ,;r Lrio's of rCSpais ibiiy

on tlhe actor's g0o, cr bud i n".entiotis, holding ucors vfith bad rotive's

(who a niten4.A o:-al ly cowJt ted a bad duel) more responsible aind actors

with good iotives loss responit)le Wor the effects of their, &c.ion.

Thus, IO--year-olds bLsd tK i ttiutiu ions of responsibility on motiio,

whether the actor had mcu-t iC produce good or. bad rCsuIlts. Adults

simply considered a p-I sonlIs_ responsible for accident than for

intentionally--produced effiecL. "hus, the mature response v;,as bascd

on intentionality, ;wheLher the act was intentional or accidental.

The moral ju.ieaonts of both younger and older children were more

irflueod by Corscqu\nces than were moral judgments of adults. While

adults did not regularly consider the consequences of an action in de--

ciding whether an actor was good or bad, children did, although younger

children were even more influenced by outcomes than were older children

(see Figure 2b). Not only did children consider consequences when

, adults did not, but consequences influenced their judgments more than

did the actor's intentions. Very young children made moral judgi;lents

mainly on the basis of consequences. The child who did a good deed

was good and the child who damaged something was bad, regardless of

whether the actor intentionally or accidentally caused the result.

Adults, on the other hand, based their moral judgments mainly on in-

tentions, making a distinction only between the actor who had good

motives and the one who had bad motives. An action must be intentional

in order to influence an adult's evaluation, the actor's good or bad

motive determining the direction of the influence. The benignly

motivated actor (who intentionally produced good outcomes) was rated

most positively and the maliciously motivated actor (who intentionally









Produce l bad co 'seueic.C ,) -,'s ratel.i roYt. necGti',ely. Adults cor-

sidercd all accidc: iltci act( ,rs to be oque ly gc ,d ard raLed the, inter-

mediate bQc ;en actors -it gci )d and the e with b'd rotiv es. 01 lr

children ndo judgments more adult-like than did younger chiloi'en but

which still showed an irii ature, cxaggerazLed concern for cons queiices.

Ten-yec. -olds distinciuished the differ erantly :rotivat,-J actors but

were still more influenced by consequences than adults in that they

rated the actor Who accidentally produced a bad outcome rr negatively

than if the accidental consequences had been good. Thus, actors who

produced bad outcorres were judged relatively "bad" regardless! of

whether the actor intended to cause the result. Once again, very

youvg children relied almost totally on consequences in deciding

whether an actor might be good or bad.

A comparison of subjects' moral and responsibility judginents

shows that subjects at each age did distinguish between these two

\' judgments and did utilize somewhat different bases for these judg-

ments. Mature moral judgments were based on the actor's motives, a

certain combination of intent and consequence information. Mature

attributions of responsibility, on the other hand, were based solely

on intentionality, a distinction between accidental and intentional

actions. Ten-year-old children based responsibility attributions on

motive but their moral evaluations considered motive and (negative)

consequences. The moral judgments of very young children were based

only on consequences. Young children's responsibility judgments did

make some allowance for accidents but only when the consequences were

bad, that is, only in a limited way. Very young children were aviare

of the actor's intentions and they did consider intentions in circum-









scribed CI(di ti IS, a general overreli on AI uc .lC I'.C C
thoir Jug,,,en'.s. Whilc vo,j children considered only cons s~c'nces

in their moral evaluatiorns their responsiblity judgmeits reflccted

consequences K.,!;d intentions. This is interesting fiar several re Sons

First, it suc wets that young children may be capa hle o ccsiderl

two diriensions simultaneously in the ir judgments of ct K licr

Second, it indicates that to a considerable extent, the irvo> tier

we procure about children's judgment processes and the factors that

enter into them rlay be specific to the particular judgment we elicit
fror th. child. Even yong children appear to be COcniant of nor

tive standards specifying different criteria for rendering different,

although quite similar, judgments about another's behavior.

Perhaps the most significant finding of this study is that,

while age-relatd changes were observed in attributions of respon-

sibility and in moral judgments, there were no such differences in

judgments about the intentions of the actor. The first result is

consistent with a host of data showing that young children differ

from adults in their moral judgments of an actor (Buchanan and

Thompson, 1973; Gutkin, 1972; Hebble, 1971; Johnson, 1962; Medinnus,

1962, Rule and Decker, 1973; Turiel, 1966; Whiteman, 1967) and in

their attributions of responsibility (Harris, 1977; Sedlak, 1974;

Shaw and Sulzer, 1964). In this study, as in those, the moral judg-

ments of young children tended to be more influenced by the conse-

quences of an action than did adultL' mcral judgments. However, the
present study found that all participants, regardless of age, made

similar judg'ments about the actor's intentions. Even the youngest

group of child:-,, (who had a median age of 5 years and 10 months)








respotd -d n f l i K:'i did a, ir t.Ii r j0.i a n

actor's inlenrtioii ., llhis result is furthier strengthened by th %Fct

that cve~~ your c children Cr: hichl, re able judg2;P, nts bCut tI

intentions of the zctor.

None of the prorpts to consider .heth',r the actor behaved. in-

tentionally differentially irrFluenc cd children and (dults. Judges

of all &res believeL the i tht, intentions episo(;es met nt

to cause the cons quen( s: thot lc resulted and that actors in accid. .nt1l

episodes did not rfle&n to cause tiose consequences. Young children

produced ifreifcOces abc ut the actor s intentions even without being

pro, iptod to do so. Furt ii-'ore, young children saw the same degree

of intentionality ("Ho-w much did she mean to do it?") as did adults.

regardless of prompting. Neither did prompts to consider the actor's

intentions differentially influence the moral and responsibility attri-

butions made by children and adults. That is, instructing judges to

, consider intentions before making moral judgments did not produce

moral judgments that differed from those made by subjects who were

not prompted. These data suggest that both children and adults pro-

duced intentionality information spontaneously, without being prompted

to do so.

Thus, the results of this study are consistent with other data

showing that children tend to make objectively-based moral judgments

and responsibility attributions (e.g. based on consequences or punish-

ments). However, the findings of this study do not support the con-

clusion that children's objective judgments stem from the inability

of the young child to make adult-like inferences about subjective

states (e.g. intentions or motives) of others. On the contrary, even








chiIdre yonr t&n ( y-'s of ahe b,5 surprin i, ly 1'21i le

adult t-i ke jud,,,rts of i nteIti UIr I ty

These fi ldi ngs sUi';J'h. a J- 2i '-i i! .l def ici ency exil ar-;Ati for

chi ldren' s mi nii1 use of i-e n1ionui I ty in the i r mordI and rcstjonsi-

bility 3 diT-h;ts. Childve.,- eve n youn g children, made the sae infer

encs about an actor's inteni ions as did the adults. Clearly, tK2

young chil1ren made adult-like in tentionality infererces, eveoi thc'ri.

being proirpted to, yet these failed to mediate their moral jUdHents

and attributions cf responsibility in an adult-like t, ay. Ev,,! when

the children were instructed to produce intentionality inferences

before they morad a col judgments, intentions did not influence their

subsequent judgerts. Young children's judgments showed excessive

reliance on the consequences of action, often at the expense of con-

sidering the actor's intentions. It appears, then, that what has

often been labeled a lack of ability of the young child to make

inferences about internal states of others may really be a difference

in criteria for making judgments of morality and responsibility.

Children appear to have intentionality information available, but

simply consider it less than do adults. Children consider conse-

quences to be an important basis upon which to decide if an actor

was, perhaps, good or bad or responsible. The young children in this

study did produce the appropriate mediating response, yet it failed

to mediate their judgments of responsibility or goodness.

Others (Costanzo et al., 1973; Farrill, 1974; Imamoglu, 1975)

have suggested that young children's heavy reliance on consequences

as a criterion for making moral judgments stems from the child's

socialization in outcome-based moral judgment. In early childhood









parental responses o- displ evaure or aner L:y he frequently focusi.'

on darmge even though the p rcnt my iio2 regard the act itself a, a

morzl fatl t. Children oftt ei receive noativw feedback, either

directly or in('irectly, from ociali2.ine' agents when they produ :.-

negative outcofres, regardless o the child 's i ntev IiIs Evelif

parents do carclully discrimi nate ,ntitions when labeli, ag The child ,

motives or retin g out punishmats their unpleasant and fea;-inspirinq

emotional arousal when dama-ge occurs may be extremely salient to the

child. Costanzo et al. (1973) havc suggested that negative outcome

encounters are often marked by a high level of affect v arousal in

the parent that evokes fear arid avoidance responses in the ch IId.

Based on these experiences, the child probably develops an understanding

that it is wrong to break or hurt things and that the magnitude of the

parents' reaction may be roughly proportionate to the amount of damage

done. Piaget (1932) makes the same point when he notes that to the

extent that parents react in proportion to the amount of damage done,

the child will adopt this way of looking at things and will apply

similar standards. Likewise, Shaw and Schneider (1969) suggest that

the variables one considers in attributing responsibility depend upon

the degree to which one has learned the norms of the culture. If so,

when we ask a child to decide whether another child is good or bad,

we are testing not only the child's understanding and interpretation

of the actions the child sees, but also the child's beliefs about what

goodness and badness are. The child must have access to subjective

information but also must believe that the information is relevant

to moral judgments, that is, the child must have moral judgment criteria

that specify inclusion of the inforfmation in the decision process.








The above discussici, -1iould nOr Le tak,I to ri.an that chi

of all ages have as coV-i t and (copl ox an understanding; of 'o ives

and intentions as do adults. The jJThc ft situations in this sLudy

were constructed to be simile and clear-cut enough that young cloildreli

could undcvtand them. Evidence shows that children do geL jrressively

better at judgii g the internal states of others. 1,Vhat is suggested,

rather, is that there ray be more than one source of developi:iental

change in children's judgment processes that may account for objectively-

based moral judgments. What has previously often been interpreted

as a lack of cognitive skill may be the joint result bC!fh (earlier)

cognitive limitations and (later) differences in moral judg!ient cri-

teria. While both may tend to produce objectively-based judgments,

they are distinct and independent processes which happen to produce

a similar result in our moral judgient test situations. At some point

in development there may be a lag between the acquisition of a parti-
cular cognitive ability arid learning the appropriate circumstances

for invoking its application (Maratsos, 1973). It is during this lag

that a mediational deficiency explanation may be appropriate. In

other words, the contention that a mediational failure exists in

children's judgments at one age does not preclude the possibility

that either a lack of cognitive skill or production deficiencies may

exist at some earlier age. What may be an appropriate explanation for

some phenomenon at one particular age may not be the cause of that same

phenomenon at a later age. This study indicates that, at least in

5- and 6-year-old children (and, to some extent, older children as well)

a mediational deficiency may account for the tendency to base moral

judgments on observable, objective features of the environment.









Participants of all ages attribut c more inteitio to actors

who produced bad outcomes The teneocy to viea: actions wiich reIult

in negativC consequences as being more international is consistoert with

both devel ormntal and nondeveloprveltal research on attributions

(Co.tanzo et al,, 1973; Chaikin and Dariey, 1973; Harvey, Hunt and

Barnes, 1975; Pharos and ilson, 1972; Shaw and Reitan, 1969; Shaw:

and SulIzer, 1954; Walster, 1966); however, discrepant results hve

been reported (Shaver, 1970; Shaw and Skolnick, 1971). Moreover, it

may h.ave heen that in th s stuc'y negative outcomes were more plausible

than were positive outcomes. When one repeatedly slams a clock down

on a table, it is more likely that one intends to destroy the clock

than to repair it.

All participants believed that the action was more intentional

when they were prompted to consider intentions before viewing the

action. Perhaps this is the result of demand characteristics of

the prompt. Recall, however, that this prompt was the same question

asked of all subjects, although at different points in the judgment

task. This suggests that asking the intentionality question at that

particular point influenced subjects' attributions of intentionality.

It may be that when subjects are instructed as to what to look for in

an episode they are about to view, they look at the action in terms

of that instruction. It appears, furthermore, that in some way the

same information was not found in subjects who did not receive this

prompt before viewing the action. This suggests that either those

(before story) subjects scrutinized the actions they observed and

found greater intention differences or that actions, once encoded in

terms of the intentions of the actor, are not influenced by prompts

to consider intent.









Some differences br twien male anI fm2mle su jeoLs ;ere for n .

First, mi Ics' moral judent s %'ere cr.:. i1 !-i ced by bad consequence:

than wtere females (see Fi gure 4). This may b? the result ol the fact

that all subjects viewed a female sector It has been shoin (Feshbach

and Roe, 196,S) that boys ate n-oe emupathetic with boy actors and girls

are more empathetic with other females. BeccWsL female participaitrs

watched and made jUdgihents aboit a saive-sex actor' Z:nd amles judged an

opposite-sex actor, the females' judgments of how "bad" an actress

was who caused damage may have been moderated.

It was also found thac females' attributions of responsibility

were higher 'when they had rated the actor's intentions just before

making moral and responsibility judgments. No clear explanation for

this finding is available, but perhaps future research may shed some

light on this puzzling result.

In summar,, the findings of this study support a mediational

deficiency explanation of children's moral judgments and attributions

of responsibility. Even young children made the same inferences about

the intentions of an actor as did adults, without being prompted to

do so. However, these inferences failed to mediate their attributions

of responsibility and morality in an adult-like way. Children were

more influenced by consequences than by intentions. This suggests

that children may employ different criteria than do adults for deciding

moral and responsibility judgments. Finally, although the number of

stimulus situations was limited in this study, it appeared that all

participants did distinguish between responsibility and naughtiness

and based their judgments of responsibility and morality on somewhat

different criteria.









Because the nuh.ber of stimulus sit. tions and actors v< -S So

limited in this study, these results should be vie;ed With cut ioll;

confidence in these findings and inuerpr titions can come only a after

extension to a variety of cther testing procedures and stimulus

materials. Furthermore, future research should Le dirccLed tov:rd

attempts to directly influence children's consideration of subjective

information in their moral and other judnmants. It is an erIpirical

question whether intentions zind other subjective inforic tion can

effectively mediate young children's judgments, and, if so, at what

ages this can be done. The important qualification to ugrie is

that there is more than one possible deterinant of ohjectively-k1b,-te

moral judgments and that these causes should be clearly distinguished

within our research if we are to construct a comprehensive account

of the development of children's judgments about the behavior of

others.













APPENDIX I

TABLES AND FIGURES




Table I Test-retest reliability coefficients by age


Kindergarten


.45*


Fourth grade


Adult


.97**


Note. n = 12.


p< .05.
* p< .15.






Multivariate and Univariate F Statistics for All ffects


Mul ti vari ate


Source

Age group
Prompt nosition
Intent
ConseQuences

AexPrOrmnt pos
Aq oi nt.e n t
AcexConsequences
Ao c-,Sex
Prc;pt rosxintent
Proc ),!t posxConsecuences
:ftt n txCc; s;c uen ces
rrtxSx'

2e::c l cesxcex
...-I t n
c rc'nt )Osxlnte t
A,_,-'rort posxConscquences
A-oxPromt DosxSex
AqexmntentxCcnsequences
AqexlrtentxSex
PQexConsenuencesxSex
Promot DOSxlntentxConsequences
Pr rt oosxlnten txSex
Prompt oosxConsequencesxScx
IntentxConsequencesxSex
AqexPromnt posxintentxConsequences
AqexPromot oosxlntentxSex
AgexPromnt cosxConsequencesxSex
AqexlntentxConseauencesxSex
Prorinmt- posx'ntentxConsequencesxSex
AcexPromot nosxlntentxConseoucncesxSex


DF


3 .42
3,1 2

12 ,32
6,286
r,286
6.286
6,22,6
6,286
6 ,286
3, 1a2
3.142
12 .432

12 ,/I 2
12432
C' 2 "
6,206
6,286
6 ,286
G ,286
6,286

3,142
12,432
12,.j32
12,432

6,286
12,432


AT
6SS C
2. 26 ,


q


R


F D
6.7,6*2
2.17* 2
9 4.4'<> i
37.1i* 1,
0.23 1
! .23 6-
2 .07* 2
r. 63* '2
1.87 12
0.45
2. 03** 2

7.5g
o. 9 I

2.72* H


n. 91 '
n,60 "4



1.14 ,
0.62 E 2h
1.41 i2
0 .-^


0.14 2
01.0 '3
O. 77 V'!


* <,405*
** 5


Table 2


377
7


3.11

'-7 or9'
7
0.75
7.0n


(7

-. ,:,-.


1 .37
".03

2.62
r.67
4.77
2.94
5. 9
n.74
13.10
2. 5


. *










5 5
r





,).


17]0




O 'C~-'


t2 r



0.47


17 3
7-, SS'' r~ '~
9.! 7.
'.7 n,-7 -








2./
'1 .} ( I )

''2 'R Ca q ,







-' ij7
,3. 2. 0 0.1.9




2 :r2 i.7.
i:2 2.7: 0,7


*1 "I6 .7*' .


74,
S 2.7 2.2"

:2 o 43 O. ]
.2 -. 2q ,


,i


i F!,_
i DF SS




1 LP22. ]01


- ,4.3


,2 15.59


-7H




S ', .1


!2 -~ 9;

I 3.73
bi r: ?
.3r,:


/ t !;


'.7 '-*.7

7"

I.'''
- ('7
'.7 1*
o
7,
C


F





7.70

I .0'-O









TahIe 3 Atpbuttons of 1 ntoni es a unction of





CoilSooQuoci cs


Pronpt
Posi ti on

Before story



Aefor AR/N1J


Aiter Ah/MJ


Good


2.0


2.6


Note. Judgmnts range from 1 5, n = 36.




Simple Effects


MS


F (l, 44)


Prompt position (P)


P at
P at


10.62
1.19


C
good
C oad


Consequences (C)
C at Pbef.st.
C at P bef. AR
C at Pater


0.01
14.22
0.35


7.97*
0.90


0.01
10.67*
0. 26


* p < .05.














Ta 1e 4 !',can Intentionality Jud ....-s




Si" Years Ten Years Ad L
Intentional i ty


Conse- Int en- Ac ci Total Inter-
Quences tional denim a! tional

G b
Good 3,9 KY7 3.4a


Bad 4.1 a C


3.0


4.6a 1.4b


lotal 4.0 1.8 4.0


Note. Judgments range from 1 5 with 5

Note-. Vieans with different superscripts


Acci-
dental
1,b


Total Inten-
ti onal

2.3 U


3.0


Acc i-
dental


1 .2b


Total


4.2 a 1.6b


4.2


= greater intention.

are significantly different at p < .05.









Table 5 k1ean. Resoonsibility Attrit ui~eniC



Six Years Ten Years Adul t

.. ..T ri n in a t y -[;

Conse- Inten.- Acci- Total Inter Acci- Total Inten- Acci- Total
qu.e ncs tlional dental tional deritai tiondl dentiLal


Good 4.1

Bad 4.4


4.3

3.4


4.2 2.8

3.9 4.2


3.2

3.3


3.0 3.1

3.8 3.8


Total 4.2

Note.


3.9 3.5 3.2 3.4 2.1

Judgments range from 1 5 with 5 = greater responsibility


Age group (A)
A atgood
A at Cbad
A at Iintent
A atI accid
Intentionality (I)
I at C
good
I at Cbad
I at A6 yrs
I at A10 yrs
I at Aadult
Consequences (C)
C at Iintent
Cat I accid
C at A6 yrs
C at Alo yrs
C at A adult


Simple Effects
MS


30.56
6.19
7.06
29.19

1.33
32.23
2.35
1.39
32.00

18.75
0.04
1.68
10.89
9.39


17.33*
3.51*
4.01 *
16.56*

0.76
16.56*
1.33
0.79
18.14*

10.63*
0.02
0.95
6.17*
5.32*


*-p. < .05.


2.4


(1,14/1)








Table (e 6 4leXi ,o :


..Six \_!_! c r T AYc ,d uIt


Inrti- A,'ci Total Ion Cn- Ace rt-1 Inten-A I -
tio nal den Lal tionll (I c.n tal tional dental Totl


Good 7.2

Bad 2.3


7.4 7.1

2.8 2.2


7.0 6.7

3.8 5.0


Total 4.8 5.4 4.6 6.1 5.9 6.1

ote. range from I 9 with I = very bad, 9 := very good,
F;nd 5 = neitli good nor bad.





Simple Effects
I'ls F)


Age group (A)
A at Cgood 12.1
A at Cbad 82.0.1
Consequences (C)
C at A6 yrs 382.74
C at A10 yrs 186.8J

C at Aadult 4.5(
C at Iintent 400.5
C at laccid 78.31
Intent (I)
I at Cgood 2.0
I at Cbad 94.4!


2.90
19.54*.

91.15*
44.51*

1.07
95.40*
18.66*

0.50
22.49*


* p. <.05


Conse-
quences,,


5.7
6. 4


6.3

5.7











































good


bad


Consc quc nces



iur l Reos.psibi'lity and moral judgments as a -unction of
consequences and intentional itv
























I t(J A ~


aood


Consequences


Fioure 1 (con-L-inued)


bad




















s;. ~


V


good


Consequences


FiOurL 2 Responsibility and moral judqPnts as a function of age
and consequences





63


























22

C / bd

Coseuece


FqLc2 (continued~)





















I (


1 ~


I ntenti onal


Accidental


In tenti on al i ty




Fiqcure 3 Attributions of responsibility for accidental and intentional
actions as a function of age



















I (


.~
x -


C ~, (~





K


adult


Age of Juldge (in years)


Sex and age differences in attributions of responsibility
for actions with good and bad consequences


Figure 4























* Kr Jr


'~N
N


cood


bad


Conseouences


Fi ure 5 Sex differences in moral judgments for actions with qood
and bad consequences











APPENDIX 1


SALES,






Attribution of Intentionality





68















Attribution of Responsibility














W E-









Moral Judqment


e@O0














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BI "f .0i I CAL SKETCfI

Tnd ra Ann Wa Iden "Teddi to her fri ends was born in Y1l ami

Floricdi on February 14, 1952. She is the daughter of Jack and

%iar1-r U, i. Wn End she has once brother, Scott. Teddi sent her school

v ars rnatiiH' n Or'lando ), orida, where she qraduated front Coloni. l

liq'Ic S ,hool ir 1070. She then mjved to Gainesville, Florida v'2ee ;he

atte~l:Oed thVe *La vet-sity of Florida wntil completing her docl rate in

AuOust, 197 .














I certifv 1,at I have read this studY and that in my opinion it
conforis to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is Fui]>,
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.


Marvit~ nhaCh a irman

Professor of Psychology




I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly Dresentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the decree of
Doctor of Philosophy.



Scott A.fl-ler
Associate Professor of Psychology




I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in score and oualitv, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.



'Lawrence J. Every
Associate Professor of Psychology













I certify that have read this study and that iir. my ooion it
conforiis to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation aid isi
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the deIrcQ of
Doctor of Philosop~hy.




Assistant Professor of Psycholoq;



I certify that I have read this study and that in mv opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the decree of
Doctor of Philosophy.



WIi lliam -B. W ar e
Professor of Education





This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of th Deoartment
of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate
Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for
the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.


August 1978


Dean, Graduate School




Full Text

PAGE 1

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