GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: CHP

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.

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.

Question List: 1 2

According to the passage, Piaget and Keasey would not have agreed on which of the following points?

  • A The kinds of excuses children give for harmful acts they commit
  • B The age at which children begin to discriminate between intentional and unintentional harm
  • C The intentions children have in perpetrating harm
  • D The circumstances under which children punish harmful acts
  • E The justifications children recognize for mitigating punishment for harmful acts

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