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. According to Piaget, children under age seven occupy the first stage of moral development, which is characterized by moral absolutism (rules made by authorities must be obeyed) and imminent justice (if rules are broken, punishment will be meted out). Until young children mature, their moral judgments are based entirely on the effect rather than the cause of a transgression. 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.
Keasey’s research raises two key questions for developmental psychologists about children under age seven: do they recognize justifications for harmful actions, and do they make distinctions between harmful acts that are preventable and those acts that have unforeseen harmful consequences? Studies indicate that justifications excusing harmful actions might include public duty, self-defense, and provocation. For example, Nesdale and Rule concluded that children were capable of considering whether or not an aggressor’s action was justified by public duty: five year olds reacted very differently to “Bonnie wrecks Ann’s pretend house” depending on whether Bonnie did it “so somebody won’t fall over it” or because Bonnie wanted “to make Ann feel bad.” Thus, a child of five begins to understand that certain harmful actions, though intentional, can be justified; the constraints of moral absolutism no longer solely guide their judgments.
Psychologists have determined that during kindergarten children learn to make subtle distinctions involving harm. Darley observed that among acts involving unintentional harm, six-year-old children just entering kindergarten could not differentiate between foreseeable, and thus preventable, harm and unforeseeable harm for which the perpetrator cannot be blamed. Seven months later, however, Darley found that these same children could make both distinctions, thus demonstrating that they had become morally autonomous.
21. Which of the following best describes the passage as a whole?
(A) An outline for future research
(B) An expanded definition of commonly misunderstood terms
(C) An analysis of a dispute between two theorists
(D) A discussion of research findings in an ongoing inquiry
(E) A confirmation of an established authority’s theory
26. It can be inferred from the passage that Piaget would be likely to agree with which of the following statements about the punishment that children under seven assign to wrongdoing?
(A) The severity of the assigned punishment is determined by the perceived magnitude of negative consequences more than by any other factor.
(B) The punishment is to be administered immediately following the transgression.
(C) The children assign punishment less arbitrarily than they do when they reach the age of moral autonomy.
(D) The punishment for acts of unintentional harm is less severe than it is for acts involving accidental harm.
(E) The more developmentally immature a child, the more severe the punishment that the child will assign.
My point in respect of this question is that why not B. my line of reasoning is
Quote from the text of the RC
According to Piaget, children under age seven occupy the first stage of moral development, which characterized by moral absolutism (rules made by authorities must be obeyed) and imminent justice (if rules are broken, punishment will be meted out)
The word imminent in the above lines, does it not indicate that B
The world is continuous, but the mind is discrete