Socialization and the development of adult respect


Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5


An experiment is reported designed to re-examine Piaget's (1932) claim that an increasing solidarity and mutual respect among peers liberates the child from a unilateral respect for adult-imposed constraints. Children aged 5–11 were asked to compare identical moral acts (e.g. helping, lying) involving a grown-up or a friend. Contrary to Piaget, there was no evidence of an increasing solidarity among peers to the extent that, e.g. children think that to lie to a friend is worse than to lie to a grown-up.