1986 Vartanian 2000 In the personal fable adolescents have spent so much time

1986 vartanian 2000 in the personal fable adolescents

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(Elkind, 1985; Lapsley et al.,1986; Vartanian, 2000).In the personal fable, adolescents have spent so much time thinking about theirown thoughts and feelings that they become convinced that they are special, one of akind, and that no one else has ever had these thoughts and feelings before them. “Youjust don’t understand me, I’m different from you” is a common feeling of teens. Thepersonal fable is not without a dangerous side. Because they feel unique, teenagers mayfeel that they are somehow protected from the dangers of the world and so do not takethe precautions that they should. This may result in an unwanted pregnancy, severeinjury or death while racing in a car, drinking (or texting) and driving, and drug use, toname a few possibilities. “It can’t happen to me, I’m special” is a risky but commonthought.Theimaginary audienceshows up as extreme self-consciousness in adolescents.They become convinced that everyone is looking at themand that they are always thecenter of everyone else’s world, just as they are the center of their own. This explainsthe intense self-consciousness that many adolescents experience concerning what oth-ers think about how the adolescent looks or behaves.MORAL DEVELOPMENTAnother important aspect in the cognitive advances thatoccur in adolescence concerns the teenager’s understanding of “right” and “wrong.”Harvard University professor Lawrence Kohlberg was a developmental psycholo-gist who, influenced by Piaget and others, outlined a theory of the development ofmoral thinking through looking at how people of various ages responded to storiesabout people caught up in moral dilemmas (see Figure 8.8 for a typical story).Kohlberg (1973) proposed three levels of moral development, or the knowledge ofright and wrong behavior. These levels are summarized in Table 8.5, along with anexample of each type of thinking. Although these stages are associated with certainage-groups, adolescents and adults can be found at all three levels. For example, ajuvenile delinquent tends to be preconventional in moral thinking.Example of a Moral DilemmaA woman in Europe was dying from a rare disease. Her only hope was a drug thata local druggist had discovered. The druggist was charging ten times more than itcost him to make it. Heinz, the husband of the dying woman, had desperatelytried to borrow money to buy the drug, but he could borrow only half of theamount he needed. He went to the druggist, told him that his wife was dying,and asked to let him pay the druggist later or to sell the drug at a lower cost. Thedruggist refused, saying that he had discovered the drug and he was going tomake money from it. Later, Heinz broke into the druggist’s store to steal the drugfor his wife. Should Heinz have done that? Why?
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