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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70247 Find in a Library
Title: Cheating and Intention of a Partner as Determinants of Evaluate Decisions Among Juvenile Offenders
Journal: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology  Volume:4  Issue:3  Dated:(1976)  Pages:235-241
Author(s): J C Savitsky; R Muskin; D Czyzewski; J Eckert
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study supports the hypothesis that juvenile delinquents demonstrate inferior or less developed moral reasoning because of a lessened awareness of others' intentions.
Abstract: Male juvenile offenders incarcerated in a large, short-term detention facility were asked to evaluate the work of an experimental partner (confederate) who completed a work task four times. The work partner cheated on two trials and did not cheat on two trials. The subject was to share $.08 with his partner on two of the trials. For the remaining two trials, money earned by the worker, as decided by the subject, would go to charity. Following the trials, subjects were individually questioned about their beliefs concerning the purpose of the study, who their partner worked for, their attitudes toward their partner, and whether or not cheating had occurred. Subjects rated work done on cheating trials lower than work done on noncheating trials. Moreover, subjects shared less reward money on cheating trials relative to noncheating trials. However, the intentions of the confederate, defined as the reward recipient, failed to affect subjects' judgments. Subjects failed to modify their opinions of work trials when the reasons for cheating were either laudable or selfish. Instead, the delinquent boys only made use of the more obvious and concrete norm regarding cheating behavior. These results support previous studies which have indicated that delinquents fail to take account of others' intentions when making moral judgments. These results also suggest that while delinquents may be critical of others' cheating, they may not evalute their own deceptive behaviors in quite the same way. Faced with an aversive situation, delinquents may evaluate the frustration only in terms of its consequences for him on a superficial level and not with regard to the intentions of the frustrator. The lack of awareness disallows modes of conflict resolution which may preclude the necessity of more overt retaliation. Twelve references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency research; Juvenile inmates; Moral development
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