Tidig moralutveckling: från prosociala preferenser hos spädbarn till samarbete med jämnåriga hos förskolebarn

Tidsperiod: 2012-01-01 till 2014-12-31

Projektledare: Benjamin Kenward

Medarbetare: Gunilla Bohlin, Gustaf Gredebäck

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 2 700 000 SEK

Developmental moral psychology has recently been revolutionised by findings that infants and preschoolers are capable of social evaluations and moral behaviours previously thought beyond them. For example, 6-month-olds prefer to play with puppets who have helped other puppets, and 14-month-olds spontaneously help adults in need. These children are probably not capable of moral reasoning but parallel studies have shown that even in adults unconscious intuitions can determine moral judgements without the need for reasoning. The current project will build on these results, breaking new ground in two areas. First, through laboratory experiments in infants we will link the fields of action understanding and moral evaluation. Action understanding refers to the diverse processes by which individuals interpret the goals of others? actions. Moral judgement depends upon such understanding, but how action understanding feeds into moral evaluation of actions is completely unknown. Second, we will build on our laboratory observations of indirect reciprocity in preschoolers (they behave prosocially towards those who are themselves prosocial) by investigating how cooperative networks emerge in preschoolers. Through field studies in preschools we will explore the developing balance between the drives to compete and cooperate. This will not only lead to valuable theoretical knowledge but will also lead to pedagogical tools for fostering a healthy balance between cooperation and competition.