Damon- Moral Development

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Model of distributive justice

Level 1: Simple self interest

  • Reasoning about sharing based on purely what the child will get out of it (toy sharing example- child lets their friends use their toys so that they can use their friends)

Level 2: Self interest with arbitary justification

  • Similar to level 1, but child uses non-relavant reasoning e.g. oldest should get the toy

Level 3: Strict Equality

  • The belief that clear rules about distribution exist and are inflexible (Piaget moral realism)

Level 4: Distributive calculations

  • Distribution is made in terms of who worked the hardest/made the biggest contribution

Level 5: Benevolence/needs

  • Some individuals should have special consideration due to a disadvantage
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  • Children's real life moral reasoning, is often about whether something is fair. This most commonly occurs when the subject is something that they desire. Ideas about how this should be done best is referred to, by Damon, as DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE
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AO2- Kruger, Gearon and Enright et al

  • Although our parents influence our understanding of the concept of fairness/ sharing/ distributive justice, KRUGER points out that the real life 'give and take' of peer interaction is more influential. (Link to predictive validity of the painting sale dilemma)
  • Gearon (real life vs hypothetical)
    Method- Children were put into groups of 4 that ranged in levels and productivity, and tasked with a craft activity. Each group was given 10 candy bars to share out between members. They were interviewed individually about how they thought the candy should be share out.
    Results- 50% consistent reasoning, 10% gave more sophistcated reasoning in real life, 40% gave more sophistcated reasoning when interviewed.
    Conclusion- Suggests that real life reasoning is less sophisticated than hypothetical reasoning, therefore hypothetical reasoning lacks predictive validity. (Damon's study)
  • Enright et al: Contructed the Distributive Justice Scale (DJS), which unlike Damon's method of clinical interviews, invloved using exactky the same procedure with all children. Children were presented with a dilemma about sharing and then had to pick which of two pictures best described the best way to share something. The results matched Damon's levels, and the same occured in samples from USA, Sweden and Zaire. Increases validity of Damon and as well as providing cross cultural validity.
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AO2- Mc Gillicuddy-De Lisa

  • Aim: To test the prediction that younger children are more rigid when applying the rules of ditributive justice and that girls are more likely to distribute rewards equally
  • Method: Kindergartners, 3rd graders and 6th graders were presented two stories. In both stories a group of children made artwork and then sold. One member was the oldest, the other was the most productive and another was the poorest. In one story the group was friends and in the other they were not. The children were then asked to distribute 9 dollars between the three characters.
  • Results: Kindergartner's allocations did not vary with the relationship between the characters or their neediness. Older children allocated more money to needy friends than needy strangers and more to productive strangers than productive friends. Equality was the most important factor at all ages and no gender differences were found.
  • Conclusion: The age differences support Damon's theory of distributive justice. The lack of differences between ages suggest that at least this aspect of moral thinking is similar. Benevolence is more important with friends, merit is more important with strangers.

(More recently Mc Gillicuddy-De Lisa used a similar method to investigate distributive justice in relation to white and black characters. Younger cildren did not discriminate, however, the older children showed evidence of unacknowledged racism.)

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Further AO2

  • Turiel
  • Comparisons to other thoerists
  • Methodology (cognitive load ect.)
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Essay Plan

  • Define distributive justice  AO1
  • Describe the 5 levels of the model- drawing links to Piaget and Kohlberg  AO1/2
  • Painting Sale dilemma AO1/2
  • Kruger  AO2
  • McGillicuddy-De Lisa  AO1/2
  • Cross cultural validity  AO2
  • Enright et al  AO2
  • Gearon  AO1/2
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