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Social Interactions and the Development of Social Concepts in Preschool Children

Larry P. Nucci and Elliot Turiel
Child Development
Vol. 49, No. 2 (Jun., 1978), pp. 400-407
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1128704
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1128704
Page Count: 8
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Social Interactions and the Development of Social Concepts in Preschool Children
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Abstract

Observations were made in 10 preschools of interactions in 2 domains of social events: social conventional and moral. On the basis of criteria defining each domain, observed events could be reliably classified as social conventional or moral. As another aspect of the study, an interview was administered to children from the preschool who had witnessed the same events as the observer. The children's view of the events as social conventional or moral was in agreement with our classifications of the events in 83% of the cases. It was hypothesized that the responses of both children and adults to social conventional events differ from their responses to moral events. Observed behaviors were rated on a standard checklist of response categories. Different types of responses were elicited by the 2 types of events. Almost all responses to social conventional transgressions were initiated by adults. Children and adults responded with equal frequency to moral transgressions. Adults responded to social conventional transgressions differently from the ways they reacted to moral transgressions.

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