The Roots Of Morality
A researcher finds universal concerns, not culture, shape morals:
“It’s remarkable how little cultural variation we have found in developmental patterns of moral reasoning,” says Helwig, who presented his results in Park City, Utah, at the recent annual meeting of the Jean Piaget Society. Helwig and like-minded researchers don’t assume that kids’ universal responses spring from a biologically innate moral-reasoning capacity. Instead, they say, children gradually devise ways of evaluating core family relationships in different situations. Kids judge the fairness and effectiveness of their parents’ approaches to punishing misbehavior, for example. These kinds of relationship issues are much the same across all cultures, from Helwig’s perspective.