Children's Moral Judgments as a Function of Intention, Damage, and an Actor's Physical Harm

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journal abstract

A study was conducted to examine the moral judgments of kindergartners, third graders, and fifth graders with respect to physical harm to the actor. The subjects were exposed to stories varying in terms of intention, damage, and harm to the actor. Younger children rated the hurt actors more negatively than unhurt actors; however, this distinction disappeared by fifth grade. It is suggested that young children's belief in the notion of immanent justice accounted for the obtained results. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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