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    • Theory
      • Children’s moral judgements about lying/truth telling rely on the extent to which a statement differs from fact and whether or not the lie is punished. The intention isn't considered until age 11 (Piaget)
      • Children are thought to be capable of distinguishing lying and make moral judgements similarly to adults when an intention to deceive is highlighted
      • Sweetser proposed a model of lying, suggesting that it is not simply a construct defined by factuality/ intention and belief. It is also a socio-cultural construct
      • Kohlberg didn't focus on the ‘art of lying’
    • Background
      • Moral judgement was investigated early in develop-mental psych
      • Nearly all research is with children in Western countries, where individualism, self-assertion and competition is emphasised. It was unclear whether these findings could be generalised
    • Research Method
      • Lab experiment with an independent measures design
      • IVs: social/ physical story, prosocial/antisocial stories
      • DVs: rating given to the character’s deed (V, V good-V, V naughty, rating given to the character's verbal statement (V, V good-V, V naughty)
      • Contained elements of repeated measures
    • Sample
      • 120 Chinese children: 40 7 y/o (Mean=7.5 y/o), 40 9 y/o (Mean=9.4 y/o), and 40 11 y/o (Mean=11.3 y/o). Recruited from elementary schools in Hangzhou, a medium city in the PRC. In each group there was 20 males and 20 females
      • 108 Canadian children: 36 7 y/o (Mean= 7.4 years, 20m;16f), 40 9 y/o (Mean= 9.6 y/o, 24m;16f), 32 11 y/o (Mean= 11.5 y/o, 14m;18f). Recruited from elementary schools in Fredericton (population considerably smaller than Hangzhou)
      • Most Canadians were MC
    • Procedure
      • Chinese: half were in the social condition and half were in the physical condition. They were randomly assigned
      • Canadian: 19 7 y/o, 20 9 y/o and 17 11 y/o were randomly assigned to the social condition and the others were in the physical condition 
      • Prosocial Behaviour/Lie-Telling story: Alex’s class had to stay inside at recess because of bad weather, so Alex tidied up. Is what Alex did good or naughty? When the teacher returned she asked Alex, “Do you know who cleaned the classroom?” Alex said “I did not do it.” Is what Alex did good or naughty?
      • Ps' were tested individually
      • Ps' were shown and explained a 7-point rating chart. Very, very good= 3 red stars, neither good nor naughty=blue circle, very, very naughty=3 black crosses. Then their rating was indicated for an action, and the same for a verbal statement
      • The meaning of symbols were repeated every time a question was asked. To control for order effects, orders of the stories were determined using a randomisation table. About half of the participants were read the stories in one order, and the other half were read them in the other order. Participants were then involved in post-experimental discussions
    • Findings
      • Prosocial/ Truth-Telling: 2x2x3 analysis of covariance. The covariate was not significant. Canadian children gave similar ratings at all ages, whereas Chinese children’s ratings became less positive as age increased
      • Prosocial/Lie-Telling Situations: 2x2x3 analysis of covariance. The covariate was significant, kids from the two cultures rated the prosocial behaviours differently. Overall, Canadian's rated lie telling negatively but as age increased their ratings became less negative. Chinese children’s ratings of lie telling changed from negative to positive as age increased
      • Antisocial/ Truth-Telling; 2x2x3 analysis of covariance. The covariate was not significant, children from both cultures rated the behaviours similarly; very positively
      • Covariance: 2x2 (condition) x3 (age)
      • Antisocial/Lie-Telling: 2x2x3 analysis of covariance. The covariate was significant, children of both cultures rated the behaviours differently. Children rated lie telling negatively. Overall, negative ratings increased with age. Younger children rated lie telling less negatively then older children in the conditions
    • Conclusions
      • There is a close relationship between socio-cultural practices and moral judgements
      • Social and cultural norms have an impact on children’s developing moral judgements, which are modified by age and experience
      • Chinese children rate truth telling in prosocial situations less positively and lie telling in the same situations less negatively than Canadian's
      • Chinese and Canadian children show similar moral evaluations related to antisocial behaviours
      • Self-effacement/ modesty in China exerts its impact on children’s moral judgements
      • Development is a highly contextual-ised process and is affected by the culture and/or social environment in which individuals are socialised


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