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The Relation of Role Taking to the Development of Moral Judgment in Children

Robert L. Selman
Child Development
Vol. 42, No. 1 (Mar., 1971), pp. 79-91
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1127066
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1127066
Page Count: 13
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The Relation of Role Taking to the Development of Moral Judgment in Children
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Abstract

In order to explore the relationship in middle childhood between two social-cognitive processes, role-taking ability and moral reasoning, 60 middle-class children (10 boys and 10 girls each at ages 8, 9, and 10) were administered Kohlberg's (1963) moral-judgment measure, two role-taking tasks, and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, a conventional measure of intelligence. Results indicated that at this age range, with intelligence controlled, the development of reciprocal role-taking skills related to the development of conventional moral judgment. Results of a reexamination 1 year later of 10 subjects whose role-taking and moral-judgment levels were low in the original study supported the hypothesis that the development of the ability to understand the reciprocal nature of interpersonal relations is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the development of conventional moral thought.

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