Chapter 5 Development of Patterns of Explanations of Behaviour: Study II

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1 Chapter 5 Development of Patterns of Explanations of Behaviour: Study II To recapitulate, study 1 was designed to understand the different ways of explanations of that emerged during the mother child interaction. For this mother child conversation was recorded and transcribed for evaluation. The results obtained indicated various genres of talk between them that catered to school activities, meals, storytelling etc. The mothers used different strategies during their interaction with the children that led to generation of various types of explanation of such as: mental state, deontic, situation and trait explanations. It was concluded from study I that mother-child interaction provides an important context for the development of explanations of in children. The review of research suggested that there are various ways to explain and there exists a developmental difference in explanations of. The developmental trajectory suggested that children around 4 years give mental state explanations and children around 7 years give trait explanations. Considering the findings of previous research and the findings of study I, it was important to design another study that would help in examining the use of various ways of explanations of (generated between mother- children discourses in study 1) by children of different age groups in their daily interaction. Thus the primary objective of the second study was to explore the preferred pattern of development of explanation of among children from the age group of 5years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years. 5.1 Method: Participants The Participants were children from the age group of 5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years. A total of 100 children were taken with 20 children from each age group with equal number of boys and girls. A demographic data schedule was filled up to get 102

2 information about their socio-economic background. All the children were matched in terms of their school education, parent s socio- economic status and educational background Task description A comprehensive pilot study (Appendix- A) was done on adults to develop the task for the present study. A total of 75 adults, 40 females and 35 males within the age group of years (M=23.33 years) were taken. They were required to name some positive and negative which they observe in their daily life. Only two positive behaviors - helping and sharing and two negative s - hitting and jealousy (having highest frequency) were chosen for the final study. Taking into consideration the negative and positive s developed from pilot study and following the basic procedures of Miller s (1986) and Lillard s et al. (2001) research (for e.g. an attorney general who left the accident scene he had caused.), sixteen situational leads (only intentional were taken) were developed for the present study. Out of the sixteen situational leads, 8 contained contexts where self is an actor and the remaining 8 contained context where other is an actor. These 8 contexts were further divided equally into positive and negative. Examples of the situational leads developed were as follows (the 16 situational leads are given in Appendix B): 1. The situational lead developed for self as actor in negative was: You hit that person on his back because. 2. The situation lead developed for other as actor in negative was: That person hit you on your back because Design Considering the eight situational leads with self vs. other as actor and positive vs. negative, a group of hundred children from 5 years to 13 years were studied. The study followed a three way factorial design where the three factors were age, actor and 103

3 situation. Thus the study followed a 5 age groups (5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years old) 2 actors (self as actor and other as actor) 2 (positive and negative) factorial design Procedure A school from Delhi was approached for their approval. Informed consent was taken from the school and the parents before starting the research. The task was administered individually to each participants in a room allocated to the researcher by the principal of the school. Before administering the task, an informal discussion with the child was done to establish rapport. Afterwards the researcher said, I m going to give you some situations and you have to give me an explanation as to why the actions in these situations were performed. Following the situational leads the researcher asked why the actor in the situation performed the action? The situational leads were given one by one and with a slow pace to allow the child to comprehend the meaning of the statements. As far as possible, the same procedure was adopted for all the children. Fifty percent of the children in each age group were given situational leads related to self as an actor in positive and negative and the rest fifty percent were given situational leads related to other as an actor in positive and negative. The order of assigning situations to each child was done randomly Coding All the situation leads were administered in Hindi language and were recorded. The audio- recorded data was transcribed, analyzed and coded on the basis of inter- rater consensus. The coded explanations fall into four major categories. The four categories of explanations were: 1. Mental state understandings: The explanations that referred to one s wishes, desires or intentions were grouped under this domain. Two types of mental state explanations that were observed in the responses given by children were desire 104

4 explanations ( he kept my toy because he wanted to play with it ) and belief and emotions ( he hit me because he might be angry. ) 2. Traits: The explanations that were associated to one s personality characteristics or dispositions were grouped under this category. For e.g. He hit me because he is a bad person. 3. Situation: The explanations where reasons were associated with events not under the control of the person were grouped under this category. For e.g. He hit me by mistake. 4. Norms: The Explanations which determined the resulting from societal norms or obligations were grouped under this category. Two types of norm explanations that were observed in the responses given by children were rule explanations ( He shared toffees with me because he is my best friend ) and reciprocity explanations ( he hit me because I also hit him earlier.) Besides these four categories of explanations, participants also gave irrelevant explanations and no explanations. These explanations were not evaluated and were not considered for analysis. The various explanations of related to the different categories given by children of all the age groups for different context (self as actor in positive and negative and other as actor in positive and negative ) are given in table 1 to table

5 Table 1 Examples of Explanations of Behaviour given by 5 years old Children for Different Context Mental state Trait Situation Norm Self as actor Positive Negative Aapne uske saath apni icecream share ki kyunki mujhe ice-cream acchi nahin lagti hai Aapne uska new toy apne paas rakh liya kyunki kyunki wo us se khelia nahin hai Aapne uski books uthane mein help ki kyunki kyunki books bhaari hoti hai Aapne ball se uski peeth par maara kyunki main to nahin maarti Aapne ball se uski peeth par maara kyunki khel rahe the to lag gayi Aapne uske saath apni toffees share ki kyunki kyunki wo bhi mere ko deta tha Aapne uski new watch apne paas rakhli kyunki kyunki usne meri cheez le li thi Other as actor Positive Negative usne apni ice cream aapke saath share ki kyunki main accha hoonga use lagta Usne aapki new watch apne paas rakh li kyunki time dekhne ke liye usne apni ice cream aapke saath share ki kyunki kyunki wo accha bacha ho gaya hai Usne aapki new watch apne paas rakh li kyunki kyunki wo ganda baccha tha usne apki books uthane mein help ki kyunki kyunki saari thi bahut kitabein Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki koi khel raha ho to maar deta hai usne apki books uthane mein help ki kyunki kyunki wo mera dost hai Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki kyunki maine maara to isliye usne mujhe maara 106

6 Table 2 Examples of Explanations of Behaviour given by 7 years old Children for Different Context Mental state Trait Situation Norm Self as actor Positive Negative Aapne apni ice cream uske saath share ki kyunki kyunki usko chahiye thi Aapne ball se uski peeth par maara kyunki kyunki mujhe gussa aya Aapne apni ice cream uske saath share ki kyunki main hamesha share karti hoon Aapne uski books uthane mein help ki kyunki kyunki uski kitaab gir gayi thi Aapne ball se uski peeth par maara kyunki galti se lag gayi hogi Aapne uski books uthane mein help ki kyunki hamein help karni chahiye Aapne ball se uski peeth par maara kyunki kyunki wo mujhe tang karta hoga Positive usne apni icecream aapke saath share ki kyunki mujhe ice- cream acchi lagti hai usne apni ice-cream aapke saath share ki kyunki wo acchi bacchi hai usne apki books uthane mein help ki kyunki kyunki bahut saari kitabein thi usne apni toffees aapke share ki kyunki friend tha Other As actor Negative Usne aapki new watch apne paas rakh li kyunki usko wo bahut sunder lag rahi hogi to usne rakhli Usne aapki new watch apne paas rakh li kyunki kyunki wo gandi bacchi hai aur kisi ko apni cheez nahin deti hai aur apne paas rakh leti hai saari cheezein Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki hum khelte hai to maarta hai, khelne mein lag jaati hai Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki kyunki maine usko maara hoga pehle 107

7 Table 3 Examples of Explanations of Behaviour given by 9 years old Children for Different Context Mental state Trait Situation Norm Self as actor Positive Negative aapne apni pencil uske saath share ki kyunki uske paas nahin thi, wo pencil laana bhul gayee thi, main share karti hoon aur main nahin lati to wo share karti hai Aapne ball se uski peeth par maara kyunki wo shararatein kar raha tha to mujhko accha nahin laga to maine uski peeth par maar diya aapne apni toffees uske saath share ki kyunki kyunki mujhe share karna accha lagta hai aapne apni toffees uske saath share ki kyunki mera birthday tha aapne uska new toy apne paas rah liya kyunki usne mere ko apne birthday par gift kiya tha aapne apni pencil dekar uski help ki kyunki kyunki wo mera best friend hoga Aapne ball se uski peeth par maara kyunki because wo mujhe peeche se hit karti hai Other as actor Positive Negative usne apki books uthane mein help ki kyunki kyunki wo books use bhi padni thi Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki use gussa aa raha tha usne apki books uthane mein help ki kyunki she is good that s why Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki kyunki wo subko maarta rehta hai usne apki books uthane mein help ki kyunki kyunki books bahut bhaari thi isliye Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki hum khel rahe hthe to wo peeche mud gayee to usko lag gayee usne apni toffees apke saath share ki kyunki wo mera best friend hai Usne aapki new watch apne paas rakh li kyunki kyunki maine uski watch rakhi thi 108

8 Table 4 Examples of Explanations of Behaviour given by 11 years old Children for Different Context Mental state Trait Situation Norm Self as actor Positive Negative Aapne apni ice cream uske saath share ki kyunki wo mujhe accha lagta hai aapne uska new toy apne paas rah liya kyunki maine socha ke main usko khelkar de doonga Aapne apni ice cream uske saath share ki kyunki aapne uska new toy apne paas rah liya kyunki usne mujhe khelne ke liye di thi Usne bhi kaafi cheezein mere saath share ki aapne uska new toy apne paas rah liya kyunki Usne kabhi mera khilona liya hoga to Other as cator Positive Negative usne aapki books uthane mein help ki kyunki Mujhe koi dikkat hofi isliye usne meri madad ki Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki jaanmuchkar maara hoga usne apni pencil dekar aapki help ki kynki kyunki wo helpful hoga usne aapko aapki peeth par dhakka diya kyunki shararati ladka hai usne apni pencil dekar aapki help ki kynki main school main nahin laaya honga uske paas do hongi usne aapko aapki peeth par dhakka diya kyunki marram pitti khel rahen honge aur galti se meri peeth par lag gayi hogi usne apni pencil dekar aapki help ki kynki sharing karte hain taaki apna kaam ban jaaye aur best friend ka yahi kaam hai usne aapko aapki peeth par dhakka diya kyunki maine bhi maara tha kyunki wo mujhse baat nahin kar raha tha 109

9 Table 5 Examples of Explanations of given by 13 years old Children for Different Context Mental state Trait Situation Norm Self as actor Positive Negative aapne apni toffees uske saath share ki kyunki Uski cheez leli to usko manane ke liye humne apni toffees uske saath share kar li Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki wo irritate kar raha hai aapne apni toffees uske saath share ki kyunki I love sharing aapne apni toffees uske saath share ki kyunki uske paas nahin thi Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki ladaai hui ho aapne apni toffees uske saath share ki kyunki because he always share the things Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki pehle usne faltu bola hoga, ya hamare best friend ke bare mein bola hoga, badla lene ke liye Other as actor Positive Negative usne apni icecream aapke saath share ki kyunki person thinks that I m his best friend, because friends hain Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki mujhe kuch batane ke liye ke maine koi galti ki hai usne apni ice- cream aapke saath share ki kyunki mera friend hoga, relative hoga, usko akele khana accha nahin lagta hoga Usne aapko ball se aapki peeth par maara kyunki galti se lag sakta hai usne apni ice- cream aapke saath share ki kyunki maine maanga, mere paas nahin hoga usne apni icecream aapke saath share ki kyunki apni best friend maanti hai, show karti hai usne aapko peeth par dhakka maara kyunki badla lene ke liye 110

10 5.1.6 Scoring As cited above, the transcribed data was analysed and each explanation given by the child was categorised under four groups- mental state, traits, situation and norms. The scoring for the obtained explanations was done in the following way: each child was given 8 context for which they provided 8 explanations. Irrespective of the type of explanation provided by the child, each explanation was given a score of 1. If the child gave mental state explanation for a particular context then he was given a score of 1 under mental state category and if that child gave mental state explanations to all the eight contexts then his total score was 8 in mental state category. Consequently for each child the score for mental state category ranged from 0-8. Likewise for other categories, the same scoring method was adopted. Thus the score for other categories also ranged from 0-8. The scores for irrelevant explanation and no explanation were not considered for further assessment. 5.2 Results Patterns of explanations of As already mentioned, the objective of the present study was to investigate the preferred pattern of explanation of among children of different age groups. To assess the preferred pattern of explanations of among children of all age groups, the total explanations given under each category -mental state explanations, trait explanations, norm explanations and situation explanations were considered. To get an impression of the overall preferred pattern of explanation of across all the age groups (5, 7,9,11 and 13 years) and contexts (self as actor in positive and negative and other as actor in positive and negative ), a summary of the total scores and their corresponding mean for the four categories is given in Table

11 Table 6 The Total Scores and Mean Scores for the Four Categories of Explanations Category Total scores Mean Mental state explanations Traits explanations Norm explanations Situation explanation Total explanations = 697 explanations The total explanations given by children were 697 out of 800 explanations. The rest 103 explanations was irrelevant or children had given no explanations and therefore they were not included for final analyses. As evident from table 6, children gave maximum preference to norm explanations (M= 0.37), followed by mental state explanations (M= 0.27) and then situation explanations (M= 0.19). The least preferred explanations were given under trait category (M= 0.06). The overall picture shows that norm explanations were mostly preferred in children in all the age groups. To find out a significant difference between the four categories of explanations (mental state, trait, situation and norms) a one way ANOVA was adopted. The summary of ANOVA is given in table 7. Table 7 ANOVA Summary Table for Four Categories of Explanations of Behaviour Source of variation SS df MS F Between group * Within group Total * p<.01 There was a significant difference between the four categories of explanations of [F (3, 396) = 67.66, p<.01] (table 7). The bar diagram (ffigure 3) also depicts the 112

12 difference between the four categories of explanation. It shows that children have preferred to give norm explanations followed by mental state explanations, situation explanations and trait explanations. Figure 3 Mean Explanation Score on Different Categories of Explanations of Behaviour Further analysis was required to determine the effect of age, actor and on the total explanations given by children from the five age groups. For this, the mean and standard deviation for the different context (self and other as actor in positive and negative ) with respect to different age groups were computed. The mean scores for 5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years were 5.45, 7.1, 7, 7.65 and 7.6 respectively (table 8). The mean scores were analysed by a 5 age group (5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years old) 2 actors ( self as actor and other as actor) 2 ( positive and negative) ANOVA with third factor repeated (table 9). The analysis of the mean scores indicated a significant effect of age [F (4, 90) = 6.579, p<.01]. The graph (figure 4) also indicates a gradual increase in understanding of explanations of with age. The mean scores for positive and negative for all the children taken together were 7.16 and 6.94 respectively. The analysis of the mean scores indicated a significant effect of [F (7, 90) = , p<.01] indicating a 113

13 difference in children s explanation for positive (helping, sharing) and negative (hitting, pushing) (figure 5). Further a significant interaction effect of age and was also indicated [F (28, 90) = 2.161, p<.01]. The graph (figure 6) also reflects a difference in explanations provided for positive and negative by 5 years, 7years, 9 years,11 and 13 years. Thus, the findings suggested that there is an increase in children s explanation of with an increase in age. Irrespective of self as actor or other as actor children s responses vary for positive and negative. It was observed that 5years, 7years, 9years and 11 years old children responded differently from 13 years old children in the contexts of positive vs. negative. Table 8 Mean and SD s of Scores on Explanations of Behaviour in Different Context by Age Age in years Positive Self as actor Other as actor Mean of total scores (age wise) Negative Positive Negative M SD M SD M SD M SD Mean of total scores (context wise)

14 Table 9 ANOVA (age actor) Summary Table on Total Explanation Scores Source SS df M S F Age * Actor Behaviour * Age Actor Age Behaviour * Actor Behaviour Age Actor Behaviour * p<.01 In the following section a detailed description of the mean scores obtained by children from the five age groups in the context of self and other as actor in positive and negative is discussed. Some examples of explanations given by all the age groups are given in table 1 to table 5. In the context of self as actor in positive the mean score for explanations of for 5 years, 7years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years were 2.5, 3.7, 3.5, 4 and 3.8 respectively (table 8). An age wise increase in explanations of was indicated from 5years to 11 years with an exception for 13 years. For the context of self as actor in negative the mean score for explanations of for the five age groups were 2.3, 3.4, 3.1, 3.6 and 3.8 respectively (table 8). An age wise increase in explanations of was indicated from 5 years to 13 years with an exception for 9 years old. For self as actor the mean score for positive (3.5) was more than the mean score of negative (3.24). In the context of other as actor in positive the mean score for explanations of for 5 years, 7years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years were 3.2, 3.7, 3.7, 4 and 3.7 respectively (table 8). An age wise increase in explanations of was indicated from 5years to 11 years with an exception for 13 years. For the context of other as actor in negative the mean score for explanations of for the five age groups were 115

15 3.6, 3.5, 3.7, 3.7 and 3.9 respectively (table 8). An age wise increase in explanations of was indicated from 7 years to 13 years with an exception by 7 years. For other as actor children could give more explanations for negative (M= 3.7) than positive (M= 3.66). The total mean scores (age wise) for the five age groups were 5.45, 7.1, 7, 7.65 and 7.6 respectively. It indicates an age wise increase in explanations of. Figure 4 Mean Scores of Explanations of Behaviour by Age Figure 5 Mean Scores of Total Explanations for Positive and Negative Behaviour. 116

16 Figure 6 Mean Scores of Total Explanations for Positive and Negative Behaviours by Age Effect of age, actor and on different categories of explanations The study found that children in the age group of 5 years to 13 years have given four categories of explanations- mental state, trait, situation and norms and there was a significant difference between the four categories of explanations of (table 7). Therefore, there was a need to look at the effect of age, actor and on each category of explanation. The following is a detailed discussion of the result under each category. Mental states explanations. The category of mental state explanations analysed those explanations where the children referred to self or other s mental state (desires, beliefs) like I/he/she likes/ wants to explain. The mean and standard deviation for mental state explanations given by children in different context are given in table 10. The mean score in the category of mental state explanations were analysed by a 5 age group (5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years old) x 2 actors ( self as actor and other as actor) x 2 ( positive and negative) ANOVA with third factor repeated. The summary of ANOVA is given in table

17 The mean scores for 5years, 7years, 9years, 11 years and 13 years were 0.68, 0.85, 1.33, 1.20 and 1.28 respectively (table 10). The analysis of the mean scores indicated a significant age effect [F (4, 180) = 3.138, p<.01]. This signifies that explanations of gradually increase with age (figure 7). The figure indicates that there is gradual increase in mental state explanations from 5 years to 9 years. Whereas it could be observed that there is more or less stability in mental state explanations from 9 years to 13 years. A significant interaction effect of age, actor and was also indicated [F (4, 90) = 5.698, p<.01]. This reflected that children preferred to give mental state explanations differently for different context i.e. for self or other as actor in positive and negative (figure 8). Thus the findings suggested that there is an increase in mental state explanations given by children from 5 years to 9 years. It was also observed that 5years, 7years, 9years and 11 years and 13 years old children responded differently to different context. Table 10 Means and SDs of Scores on Mental State Explanations in Different Context by Age Actor Behaviour 5 years 7 years 9 years 11 years 13 years Mean of total scores (context wise) M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD Self as actor Positive Negative Other as actor Positive Negative Mean of total scores (age wise)

18 Table 11 ANOVA (age actor) Summary Table on the Scores of Mental State Explanations Source SS df MS F Age ** Actor Behaviour Age x Actor Age x Behaviour Actor x Behaviour Age x Actor x Behaviour ** Post Hoc Comparison (Tuckey's HSD) Age Difference 5 year vs. 9 year * * p<.05, ** p<.01 In the following section a detailed description of the mean scores on mental state explanations obtained by children from the five age groups in the context of self and other as actor in positive and negative is discussed. In the context of self as actor in positive, the mean scores of 5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years old were 0.9, 0.3, 1.4, 1.5 and 1 respectively (table 10). There was a gradual increase in mental state explanations for this context from 7 years to 11 years. In the context of self as actor in negative the mean scores for 5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years old were 0.3, 1.4, 1.2, 1 and 1.5 respectively (table 10). There was a gradual increase in explanations from 5 years to 13 years except for 7 years and 11 years. For self as actor, mental state explanations were given more for negative (M=1.08) as compared to positive (M=1.02). This indicated that children referred to their mental states while explaining positive than while explaining negative. 119

19 In the context of other as actor in positive the mean score obtained by all the age groups were 0.9, 1.2, 0.7, 0.6 and 1 respectively (table 10). There was a gradual increase in mental state explanations from 5 years to 7 years. The mean scores obtained by 9 and 11 years were less as compared to the other age groups. For other as actor in negative, the mean score for five age groups were 0.6, 0.5, 2, 1.7 and 1.6 respectively (table 10). The highest score was obtained by 9 years in this context (table 10). In other as actor, mental state explanations were given more for negative (M=1.28) as compared to positive (M=0.88). The total mean score (age wise) for 5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years were 0.68, 0.85, 1.33, 1.20 and 1.28 respectively. The total mean scores (age wise) demonstrated an age wise increase in mental state explanations from 5 years till 9 years that gets stabilized after that (figure 7). Figure 7 Mean Score on Mental State Explanations by Age 120

20 Figure 8 Mean Score on Mental State Explanation in Different Context by Age Trait explanations. Trait explanations were preferred by children when they referred to disposition or personality characteristics like I/he/she am/is a good/nice boy/girl while explaining self or other s. The mean and standard deviation for trait explanations by children in different context are given in table 12. The mean score in the category of trait explanations were analysed by a 5 age group (5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years old) 2 actors ( self as actor and other as actor) 2 ( positive and negative) ANOVA with third factor repeated. The summary of ANOVA is given in table 13. For trait explanations there was no significant effect of age, actor and situation. A significant interaction effect of age and was indicated [F (4, 90) = 4.031, p<.01]. The figure 9 shows that 5 years, 9 years and 11 years had given less trait explanations in positive as compared to 7 years and 13 years. The difference in trait explanations for positive by the different age groups needs to be further investigated. It was also interesting to note a gradual decline in trait explanations for negative. 121

21 Table 12 Means and SDs of Scores on Trait Explanations in Different Context by Age Actor Behaviour 5 years 7 years 9 years 11 years 13 years Mean of total scores (context wise) M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD Self as actor Positive Negative Other as actor Positive Negative Mean of total scores (age wise) Table 13 ANOVA (age actor) Summary Table on the Scores of Trait Explanations Source SS df MS F Age Actor Behaviour Age x Actor Age x Behaviour * Actor x Behaviour Age x Actor x Behaviour * p<.01 In the following section a detailed description of the mean scores for the trait explanations obtained by children from the five age groups in the context of self and other as actor in positive and negative is discussed. 122

22 In the context of self as actor in positive the mean score for 5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years were 0.1, 0.7, 0.1, 0 and 0.3 respectively (table 12). There is a gradual decline in trait explanations from 7 years to 11 years. In the context of self as actor in negative the mean scores for the five age groups were 0.3, 0.5, 0, 0 and 0 respectively (table 12). The maximum score was obtained by 7 years. No trait explanations were given by 9 years, 11 years and 13 years. For the context of self as actor children gave more trait explanations for positive (M=0.24) as compared to negative (M=0.16). It indicates that children preferred to give trait explanations for positive when self is an actor. For the context of other as actor in positive the mean scores obtained by five age groups were 0.1, 0.4, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5 respectively (table 12). An age wise increase in trait explanations was indicated from 9 years to 13 years. In the context of other as actor in negative the mean scores for the five age groups were 0.6, 0, 0.1, 0.2 and 0 respectively (table 12). For this context the maximum explanations were given by 5 years old. For other as actor, more trait explanations were given for positive (M=0.3) than negative (M=0.18). The total mean scores (age wise) were 0.26, 0.4, 0.1, 0.13 and 0.4. The scores indicated that the maximum trait explanations were given by 7 years and 13 years as compared to the other age groups. Figure 9 Mean Scores on Trait Explanations for Positive and Negative Behaviour by Age 123

23 Situation explanations. Situation explanations were those explanations where children referred to external factors that were not under anybody s control like I/ he/ she did it by mistake while explaining self or other s. The mean and standard deviation for situation explanations by children in different context are given in table 14. The mean score in the category of situation explanations were analysed by a 5 age group (5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years old) 2 actors ( self as actor and other as actor) 2 situations ( positive and negative) ANOVA with third factor repeated. The summary of ANOVA is given in table 15. The mean scores for positive and negative for all the children taken together were 0.92 and 2.04 respectively. The analysis of the mean scores indicated a significant effect of [F (1, 90) = , p<.01] (table 15). The figure 10 depicts that situation explanations were given more for negative as compared to positive. This could be understood in the light of fundamental attribution error where a person thinks that negative is done out of situations. It was also indicated that there was no significant effect of age and actor on situation explanations. Thus the findings suggested that there is a difference in situation explanations given by children from all the age groups for positive and negative. Table 14 Means and SDs of Scores on Situation Explanations in Different Context by Age Actor Behaviour 5 years 7 years 9 years 11 years 13 years Total mean age (context wise) M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD Self as actor Positive Negative Other as actor Positive Negative Mean of total scores (age wise)

24 Table 15 ANOVA (age actor) Summary Table on the Scores of Situation Explanations Source SS df MS F Age Actor Behavior ** Age x Actor Age x Behaviour Actor x Age x Actor x Behaviour ** p<.01 In the following section a detailed description of the mean scores on situation explanations given by children from the five age groups in the context of self and other as actor in positive and negative is discussed. In the context of self as actor in positive, the mean scores for 5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years were 0.4, 0.8, 0.4, 0 and 0.7 respectively (table 14). The maximum situation explanations for this context were given by 7 years (table 14). For the context of self as actor in negative, the mean scores were 0.7, 0.5, 0.7, 1.4 and 1.5 for 5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years respectively (table 14) indicating a gradual age wise increase except for 7 years old. For self as actor children referred more to situation explanations for negative (M=0.96) as compared to positive (M=0.46). For the context of other as actor in positive the mean scores for the five age groups were 1.1, 0.8, 0.5, 0.5 and 0.4 respectively (table 14). The scores indicated a gradual decline in situation explanations for this context. For the context of other as actor in negative the mean score for the five age groups were 1.1, 1.3, 0.4, 0.9 and 1.4 respectively (table 14). A gradual increase in situation explanations was observed from 9 years to 13 years. For other as actor children referred more to situation explanations for negative (M=1.02) as compared to positive (M=0.66). 125

25 The total mean scores (age wise) were 0.65, 0.8, 0.5, 1.15 and 1. The total means scores indicated a gradual increase in situation explanations from 9 years to 11 years. Figure 10 Mean Scores on Situation Explanations for Positive and Negative Behaviour Norm explanations. Norm explanations were those when children referred to rules or obligations like I am/ he/ she is a best friend or I/he/she must help/share to explain self or others. The mean and standard deviation for five age groups in different contexts pertaining to norm explanations are given in table 16. The mean score in this category were analysed by a 5 age group (5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years old) 2 actors ( self as actor and other as actor) 2 situations ( positive and negative) ANOVA (table 17) with third factor repeated. The mean scores for positive and negative for all the children taken together were 3.66 and 2.36 respectively, which was found to be significant [F (1, 90) = , p<.01]. The figure 11 indicated that children gave more norm explanations for positive as compared to negative. There was also an interaction effect of age and [F (4, 90) = 3.078, p <.05]. This reflects a difference in norm explanations for 126

26 positive and negative across different age groups (figure 12). While the 5 yr olds provided norm explanations equally to positive and negative, the rest of the age groups provided norm explanations differently to positive and negative Thus it can be concluded that 7years, 9years 11 years and 13 years old children responded differently from 5 years old children in the contexts of positive vs. negative. Table 16 Means and SDs of Scores on Norm Explanations in Different Context by Age Actor Behaviour 5 years 7 years 9 years 11 years 13 years Mean of total scores (context wise) M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD Self as actor Positive Negative Other as actor Positive Negative Mean of Total scores (age wise) Table 17 ANOVA (age actor) Summary Table on the Scores of Norm Explanations Source SS df MS F Age Actor Behaviour ** Age x Actor Age x Behaviour * Actor x Behaviour Age x Actor x Behaviour * p<.05, ** p<

27 In the following section a detailed description of the mean scores on norm explanations by children from the five age groups in the context of self and other as actor in positive and negative is discussed. For the context of self as actor in positive mean scores of 5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years were 1.1, 1.9, 1.6, 2.5, 1.8 respectively (table 16). There was a gradual increase in norm explanations from 5 years to 11 years with an exception made by 13 years. In the context of self as actor in negative the mean scores for the five age groups were 1, 0.7, 1.2, 1.2 and 0.8 respectively (table 16). The maximum norm explanations were given by 9 years and 11 years old. In the context of self as actor the children gave more norm explanation in positive (M=1.78) as compared to negative (M=0.98). For the context of other as actor in positive the mean scores for the five age groups were 1.1, 1.6, 2.3, 2.6 and 1.8 respectively (table 16). A developmental change in norm explanations was indicated from 5 years to 11 years with an exception made by 13 years. In the context of other as actors in negative, the mean score obtained by the five age groups were 1.3, 1.7, 2.3, 0.9 and 0.9 respectively (table 16). A gradual increase in norm explanations was indicated from 5 years to 9 years of age. For the context of other as actor children gave more norm explanations for positive (M=1.88) than negative (M=1.42). The total mean score for five age groups were 1.13, 1.48, 1.58, 1.8 and 1.46 respectively. Here, it was indicated that there was an age wise increase in norm explanations from 5 years to 11 years. 128

28 Figure 11 Mean Scores on Norm Explanations for Positive and Negative Behaviour Figure 12 Mean Scores on Norm Explanations for Positive and Negative Behaviour by Age A summary of the major findings is given below: 1. Children gave maximum preference to norm explanations followed by mental state and situation explanations when the total response under each category was 129

29 considered. The least preference was given to trait explanations. A significant difference was also found between the four categories of explanations i.e. mental state, trait, situation and norm explanations. 2. A significant effect of age (of 5 years, 7 years, 9 years and 11 years) and was found when the total response under each category was considered. A significant interaction effect was also indicated between age and. 3. For mental state explanations a significant effect of age and a significant interaction of age, actor and were also observed. 4. For trait explanations a significant interaction effect was found between age and. 5. For situation explanations a significant effect of (positive and Negative) was indicated. 6. For norm explanations a significant effect of and a significant interaction effect of age and were found. 5.3 Discussion a) The aim of study II was to find out the development of explanation of in children from 5 years to 13 years of age in the context of self as an actor in positive and negative and other as an actor in positive and negative. Content analyses of the responses given by the children resulted in four categories of explanations mental states, trait, and situation and norm explanations. Mental state explanations pertained to the understanding of desires and beliefs in self and others. Studies on Theory of mind (Wellman, 1990) have discussed this variable in the field of explanation of. The mean obtained under this category was 0.27 (table 1). b) Trait explanations have been an important variable in the study of attribution theories. Previous researches have found a significant impact of traits in explanations of. In the present study the mean obtained for trait explanations was 0.06 (table 1). 130

30 c) Situation explanations is equivalent to the variable of situation (external causes) discussed under attribution theories. The mean obtained for situation explanations was 0.19 (table 1). d) Norm explanations have been discussed under deontic reasoning (Wellman and Miller, 2008). The mean obtained for norm explanations was 0.37 (table 1). The scores obtained under each category were analyzed to find the preferred way of explanations of. In the present study, there is evidence of all the categories of explanations in children s responses. It could be suggested that children explain depending on the context to which they are exposed (Sinha & Tripathi, 1994) and do not ponder over one type of explanation as discussed in previous studies (Hofstede, 1980; Miller, 1984). Thus, there are many ways to explain and all ways could be used by children when they explain of self and others for different context. The explanation of given by a person depends on the context or the situation for which an explanation is needed. It was also observed that though children have given different patterns of explanations they preferred to give norm explanations in most of the situational leads followed by mental state explanations, situation explanations and trait explanations. The preference given by children for norm explanations is supported by earlier research. Studies that have been done on cultural differences have found that culture affects explanations of. Studies revealed that European American give desire/ trait related explanations of and African Asian gives situation/ norm related explanation of (Oyserman, Coon & Kemmelmeier, 2002). India being an Asian country is generally perceived as a collectivistic society and hence it is assumed that people in India give more situation or norm based explanations to. In the study done by Miller (1984), she found that when children in India were asked for an explanation of, they gave more norm or situation based explanations. 131

31 Thus, it could be suggested that children uses different ways of explanations of but the maximum preference is given to norm explanations. The above findings could be due to the fact that Indians are considered as a part of collectivistic society that prefers to ascribe to societal norms and rules. Another important finding of this study is deontic reasoning, which refers to as the way one acknowledges norms, duties, obligations and permissions while explaining the s of self and others. According to Wellman and Miller (2008) deontic reasoning and theory of mind develop early and rules, obligations start affecting ones explanations at a very tender age. In the present study, among the total explanations in each category, maximum mean score was obtained for norm explanations (M=0.37) (Table 1). The obtained results could be discussed as follows: 1. The finding that children even at the age of 5 years have given norm explanations is supported by a number of earlier researches. In moral development research have demonstrated that even young children have a quite sophisticated understanding of different sorts of rules (Turiel, 1983). Preschoolers can identify conditions of conformity with rules and readily identify violations (Cummins, 1996; Harris & Nunez, 1996). Clement, Bernard and Kaufman (2011) found that three years old children became better in assessing of others when some alterations were made to the false belief tasks that are when they included norms. Children around the age of four years appreciate the role of norms, they realize that a person must know a norm and must follow it (e.g.: rule of games) and identify the consequences of changes for s (Kalish, Weissman & Bernstein, 2000). Uttich and Lombrozo (2010) stated that theory of mind is important in the understanding and predictions of but the intentional actions of others could also be understood in the light of norms. Norms have the capacity to evaluate and judge the actions performed by others. One can explain the not affected by ones desires, wants or beliefs but because one has to act according to some rules and obligations. Thus not only mental state understanding increases with age but in the present study norm understanding for positive has also increased with age. 132

32 This shows that norm explanations starts early in life and increases as a result of understanding emerging out of social interaction. 2. Two types of norm explanations were found in the present study- (i) rule explanations and (ii) reciprocity explanations. The first type of explanation included those s where rules of were already established for e.g.: when a child was asked why he/ she helped the other person to carry the books, he replied that it was because he/ she is my best friend. Here the rule followed was: you should help your friend. However, in such situations where rules are not readily available, probably, children would build a norm reference of reciprocity to explain, for e.g.: a child when asked why did you hit him/ her on back the child replied that it was because he also hit me earlier. Such an explanation could also be studied under the norm concept of reciprocity. Burger et al. (2009) found that an increase in prosocial s in children is affected by the norm of reciprocity. This suggests that rules play a central role in the social cognition of young children and may not involve mind reading. The results that were obtained in their study suggested that kindergarten children and adults accept reciprocity norms and that they use a similar process of interpreting and evaluating reciprocal interactions. Researchers have identified two explanations to indicate these findings. First, individuals may return favors out of a concern for what the other person will think of them. According to this self-presentation account the reciprocity norm is widely understood, and people who violate the norm may be seen as ungrateful or as freeloaders (Cialdini, 2001). Here, we can assume that children do not want themselves to be violating the norm and be considered as norm breakers. The second explanation for returning favors points to internal standards of (Perugini, Gallucci, Presaghi & Ercolani, 2003). The children wanted that they are considered wise and are appreciated by others for their deeds. Further, the result from the present study indicated a gradual increase in mental state explanations from 5 years to 9 years (the mean scores of 5 years, 7 years, 9 years, 11 years and 13 years were 0.68, 0.85, 1.33, 1.20 and 1.28 respectively). Mental states beliefs and desires plays an integral part in children s understanding of explanation of. This 133

33 developmental trend is supported by studies (Perner, Leekham & Wimmer, 1987; Wimmer & Perner, 1983) stating that mental state reasoning develops with age. However the age group of 11 years and 13 years had given less of mental state explanations as compared to other age groups suggesting that they refer less to mental states of self and others while explaining the and probably prefer other ways of explanations like norm explanation. A significant difference was also found between explanations for positive and negative especially in situation and norm explanations. In situation explanations the mean score obtained for positive was 0.92 and for negative it was The obtained scores indicate less number of situation explanations in case of positive than in negative. It could be explained in the light of self serving bias. It is a tendency to attribute our negative outcomes to external factors (Brown & Rogers, 1991; Miller & Ross, 1975). Similarly, it seems that the positive actions of others are due to external factors and negative actions are due to internal factors. In the present study children, irrespective of whether self is the actor or other is the actor, gave more situational explanations to negative. Curtis and Schildhaus (1980) found that self- other difference in attribution is less referred when the situation could be controlled by children. Keeping this finding in mind it is likely that children knew that they had full control over the situation in the context of the present research and hence referred more to situations while explaining negative. In the present study children gave more norm explanations to positive (M= 3.6) as compared to negative (M= 2.4). It suggests that children rely on rule and reciprocity explanations when they or others perform a positive compared to when they or others perform a negative. The findings could be discussed in the light of actor- observer effect and role of prosocial. The actor observer effect is a tendency where one attributes their own to situational cause and that of others mainly to internal causes (Jones & Nisbett, 1971). This happens because one is aware of the factors causing one s own action but not that of the others. Children in the present study gave norm explanations to positive irrespective of whether self was the actor or the other was the actor. This shows that children refer to rules or reciprocity when self or 134

34 other exhibits of sharing and helping. This could be due to the fact that they are aware of norms of relationship that exists in the society. They know that positive s like helping and sharing are appreciated by societal norms whereas negative like hitting and pushing are not. People generally attribute their positive to outside influences than to internal influences and they also attribute their prosocial acts to environmental influences. 135

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