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The age at which young children begin to make moral discriminations about harmful actions committed against themselves or others has been the focus of recent research into the moral development of children. Until recently, child psychologists supported pioneer developmentalist Jean. Piaget in his hypothesis that because of their immaturity, children under age seven do not take into account the intentions of a person committing accidental or deliberate harm, but rather simply assign punishment for transgressions on the basis of the magnitude of the negative consequences caused. According to Piaget, children under age seven occupy the first stage of moral development, which is characterized by moral absolutism (rules made by authorities must be obeyed) and imminent justice (if rules are broken, punishment will be meted (to give out by measure: DOLE usually used with out “mete out punishment”) out). Until young children mature, their moral judgments are based entirely on the effect rather than the cause of a transgression. However, in recent research, Keasey found that six-year-old children not only distinguish between accidental and intentional harm, but also judge intentional harm as naughtier, regardless of the amount of damage produced. Both of these findings seem to indicate that children, at an earlier age than Piaget claimed, advance into the second stage of moral development, moral autonomy, in which they accept social rules but view them as more arbitrary than do children in the first stage.
Keasey’s research raises two key questions for developmental psychologists about children under age seven: do they recognize justifications for harmful actions, and do they make distinctions between harmful acts that are preventable and those acts that have unforeseen harmful consequences? Studies indicate that justifications excusing harmful actions might include public duty, self-defense, and provocation. For example, Nesdale and Rule concluded that children were capable of considering whether or not an aggressor’s action was justified by public duty: five year olds reacted very differently to “Bonnie wrecks Ann’s pretend house” depending on whether Bonnie did it “so somebody won’t fall over it” or because Bonnie wanted “to make Ann feel bad.” Thus, a child of five begins to understand that certain harmful actions, though intentional, can be justified; the constraints of moral absolutism no longer solely guide their judgments.
Psychologists have determined that during kindergarten children learn to make subtle distinctions involving harm. Darley observed that among acts involving unintentional harm, six-year-old children just entering kindergarten could not differentiate between foreseeable, and thus preventable, harm and unforeseeable harm for which the perpetrator cannot be blamed. Seven months later, however, Darley found that these same children could make both distinctions, thus demonstrating that they had become morally autonomous.
当前版本由长颈鹿在哪里呀更新于2019-03-18 22:57:37 感谢由长颈鹿在哪里呀对此题目的解答所做出的贡献。
这道题问的Keasey的观点，Keasey found that six-year-old children not only distinguish between accidental and intentional harm, but also judge intentional harm as naughtier, regardless of the amount of damage produced. 从这句话以及下一段的论述，可以看出Keasey是认为孩子有一定的道德分辨能力的。其他的选项与文中内容不符。
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