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Children as young as 4 can make moral judgments just like adults

LONDON. Rem young child can make moral-adult trials as the age of four years, according to a new study that suggests that often capacity has been underestimated in small
children Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, conducted the study involving 138 children aged between four and eight years old and 31 adults
to make moral judgments, adults tend to focus on the intentions of the people, not the results of their actions -. hurt someone intentionally is much worse than them accidental damage.
However, the prevailing view in developmental psychology is that moral judgments younger children are mainly based on the results of actions, rather than the intentions of those involved. Despite decades of research there is still disagreement over whether this statement is correct
To address this, researchers led by Gavin Nobes of the UEA School of Psychology looked at the reasons for the results of two of the most influential and frequently cited studies. – Published in 1996 and 2001 -. both of which provide strong evidence that moral judgments young children are mainly based on the results
These studies also assessed the adults, allowing researchers to establish the mature response against which children different ages can be compared.
Many also made based on the results trials, which led researchers to question the methods used.
In the original studies were asked the children if the action was good or bad. In the new study, the question was rephrased and participants were asked about the person who acted. to
asked children about couple of stories where accidents. In an intention it was good and the result wrong, and the other the intention was bad, but good results.
When was the original question, the results were similar to previous studies.
However, when the question was rephrased, judgments, that of four or five years were also influenced by the intent and outcome, and five to six years, which were mainly based intent.
were invested primarily in older children and adult trials, almost exclusively in response to the original question, which almost exclusively based on the results intention based, when he was asked to recast the question.
“the longstanding claim has been that young children judged according to the result of an event, rather than the intention. If that’s the case, then the moral judgments of children are fundamentally different from adults “Nobes said.
“However, our results indicate that for methodological reasons, the ability of children to make similar judgments based on the intention has been underestimated,” he said.
“demonstrated that they can be remarkably like an adult in your thinking. The implication is that even young children, about four years old, can make moral judgments based on the intention, like adults” he added.

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Study: University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK,

Principal Investigator: Gavin Nobes of the School of Psychology at the University of East Anglia

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