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Eisenberg conducted a longitudinal study which allowed her to see if responses
changed with age. Every 2 years, kids were told the dilemma (birthday party
dilemma) from when they were aged 4 to 12 years old, and their responses were
recorded and scored on a scoring system from 4-16.
The results show that younger children based their answers on selfish reasons as
they didn't want to miss the party. Whereas older children reasoned more
empathetically and based on ethical principles, which suggest this develops with
From this, they created the MODEL OF PRO-SOCIAL REASONING:
· HEDONISTIC(Lowest Level)-Reasoning based on own interest
· NEEDS ORIENTATED-Reasoning based on recognition of another needs without
sympathy or reference to moral values.
· APPROVAL ORIENTAL-Reasoning based on whats expected or what is
· EMPATHETIC/ SELF REFLECTIVE-Reasoning based on sympathy and role
· STRONGLY INTERNALISED-Reasoning based on clear values, dignity and rights.
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· Her model shows a general shift from self orientated reasoning towards concern
for others is similar to that of Kohlberg's. However, unlike Kohlberg's theory, this
model is more flexible so individuals can shift from different stages depending on
· Beck criticised the model saying that the PSR is more about reasoning than
wrongdoing. This can be seen because only the hedonistic level is about helping
the girl, and the others are ranked on the reasons for helping her.…read more