Making lists of material they do vs. don’t know well Problem-Solving and Reasoning o Children use heuristics (rules of thumb), whereas adolescents are analytical and logical o Example: “Erica wants to go to a baseball game to try to catch a fly ball. She calls the main office and learns that almost all fly balls have been caught in section 43. Just before she chooses her seats, she learns that her friend Jimmy caught two fly balls last week sitting in section 10. Which section is most likely to give Erica the best chance to catch a fly ball?” o Adolescents are skilled at finding weaknesses in arguments or flaws in reasoning Example: hazards of generalizing from a small sample o Like adults, they sometimes use heuristics to find a “good enough,” effortless solution o Also like adults, their beliefs sometimes interfere with analytical, logical thought o Belief bias, belief perseverance 15
Reasoning about Moral Issues o Children and adults have very different moral reasoning o Major developments in moral thinking occur during adolescence o Main theory: Kohlberg’s stages Presented moral dilemmas to measure reasoning at different stages o Heinz dilemma: should he steal the drug to save his wife? Kohlberg’s Theory: Levels 1 and 2 o Level 1 – preconventional: punishment & reward Stage 1: obedience to authority Stage 2: nice behavior in exchange for future favors o Level 2 – conventional: social norms Stage 3: live up to others’ expectations Stage 4: follow rules to maintain social order o Potential reasoning by stage Stage 1: Heinz should not steal the drug because a police officer says he shouldn’t. Stage 2: Heinz should steal the drug because his wife will do something nice for him in return. Stage 3: What others think is what matters – so either he should steal the drug because people will think he is bad for not saving his wife, or he shouldn’t because people will think he’s a thief. Stage 4: Laws exist to maintain order – so either he should steal it because of his marriage vows, or he shouldn’t because no one is above the law. Kohlberg’s Theory: Level 3 o Level 3 – postconventional: moral codes Stage 5: adhere to a social contract when it is valid Stage 6: personal moral system based on abstract principles o Individuals purportedly move progressively through the six stages In sequential order only Cannot skip stages o Level 3 – no longer based on external forces like reward, punishment, or social roles. o Potential reasoning by stage Stage 5: He should steal because social rules no longer benefit individuals’ welfare OR he shouldn’t because it would create social anarchy. Stage 6: Abstract principles like justice, compassion, equality dominate reasoning.
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