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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


LOOS, Helga; FERREIRA, Sandra P. A  and  VASCONCELOS, Fabíola C.. Moral judgement: a comparison of guilt feeling between children of orphanage and low income background . Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 1999, vol.12, n.1, pp.47-70. ISSN 0102-7972.

Guilt, an important affective aspect of moral development, has been used as one of its principal measures. In children, guilt perfects gradually being influenced by morality models and disciplinary methods to which are exposed (Harris, 1989). This study tried to verify possible differences in the emergence of guilt feeling among 32 male children (6-12 years old) coming from distinct groups, which 16 are from low income background and 16 from an institution that takes care of children under risk and abandoned children. We used tasks of emotion recognizement checking, judgement of character in case of intentional and accidental damage, description of personal episode involving guilt and also exploratory interview of morality models to which they are exposed. Different conceptions of guilt were found and classified in the following levels: "to be pointed as guilty", "to be guilty" and "to feel guilt". The age seems to determine such conceptions. The source groups, however, does not seem to influence significantly, maybe because the two groups share several features.

Keywords : Moral judgement; guilt feeling; morality models; affective link.

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