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Análise Psicológica

Print version ISSN 0870-8231


LOURENCO, Orlando. A força do pensamento deôntico: O vitimizador feliz na atribuição de emoções na criança. Aná. Psicológica [online]. 2000, vol.18, n.1, pp.71-85. ISSN 0870-8231.

This study examines children's attributions of positive and negative emotions to victimizers in an «is» or factual, and in an «ought» or deontic condition, and relates such emotions with a measure of children's prosocial behavior in an opportunity-to-donate situation. Fifty-four children from two age levels (i.e., 5- to 6-year-olds, and 8- to 9-year-olds) were presented with three moral transgressions, and asked to attribute positive or negative emotions to the victimizer in such conditions. They were then given an opportunity-to-donate situation in which they might donate some of the goods they had received for their participation in the study. The results show that (1) the number of happy victimizers was much lower in the deontic than the factual condition; (2) this difference was greater among the older than the younger children; and (3) there was no significant relationship between children's pattern of emotion-attribution (i.e., positive or negative) and their prosocial behavior. These findings have important implications for a better understanding of (a) children's conceptions of moral emotions; (b) some of the contradictory findings in this area of research; and (c) the somehow different claims of pre-sent-day theories of development as far as the child's moral competence is concerned.

Keywords : Moral emotions; happy victimizers; development; children.

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