Moral behavior functions of morality evolutionary

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Moral Behavior: Functions of Morality – Evolutionary Theory Evolutionary theorists argue that humans have an evolved genetic makeup that predisposes them not only to behave antisocially but also to empathize with their fellow humans and to behave prosocially and morally
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Learning Objectives How can parents provide their infants and children with moral socialization? What child characteristics determine how morally trainable a child is likely to be? How do current researchers evaluate Piaget’s and Kohlberg’s views on infants’ and children’s moral reasoning?
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The Infant – Early Moral Training Infants are predisposed to be empathic, prosocial beings and learn many important moral lessons during their first 2 years of life Infants begin to learn that their actions have consequences, to associate negative emotions with violating rules, and to exert self-control when they are tempted to violate rules
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The Infant – Early Moral Training According to Kochanska and colleagues (2009), moral socialization is based upon A secure parent-infant attachment Development of a mutually responsive orientation A close, emotionally positive, and cooperative relationship in which child and caregiver care about each other and are sensitive to each other’s needs Parents also can foster early moral development by discussing their toddlers’ behavior in an open way, expressing their feelings, and evaluating their children’s acts as good or bad
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The Infant – Empathy and Prosocial Behavior There is evidence that empathy and prosocial behavior are part of human evolutionary heritage Newborns display a primitive form of empathy when they are distressed by the cries of other newborns From the ages of 1 to 2, infants develop a form of empathy that motivates helping, such as when a toddler tries to comfort someone in distress Prosocial behaviors (helping, sharing, comforting) become increasingly common from age 1 to age 2
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The Child Both Piaget and Kohlberg underestimated children’s abilities to engage in moral reasoning Nelson’s (1980) study showed that young children can base their moral judgments on both a person’s intentions and the consequences of his act
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The Child – Understanding Rules Turiel (1978, 1983, 2006) observed that children distinguish between different kinds of rules Moral rules: standards that focus on the welfare and basic rights of individuals Rules against hitting, stealing, lying, and otherwise harming others or violating their rights Social-conventional rules: standards determined by social consensus that tell us what is appropriate in particular social settings Rules of social etiquette, including the rules of games and school rules for behavior From their preschool years, children understand that moral rules are more compelling and unalterable than social-conventional rules
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The Child – Applying Theory of Mind Once they develop a theory of mind, children’s moral thinking becomes more sophisticated
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  • Fall '17
  • MarciaGuilliams
  • Lawrence Kohlberg, Kohlberg's stages of moral development

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