Four-, 7- and 11-year-olds (n=120) listened to vignettes featuring characters who wanted to do actions that conflicted with parental rules. Desires included behaviour associated with the personal domain: toy activity, creative activity and clothing choice. Scenarios involving moral rules served as a comparison. Chinese children predicted and explained characters' actions and emotions. The preliminary results showed significant increases with age in defending personal choice; especially when the character identified very strongly with the activity choice. Children tended to state that the characters should not break the moral rules to fulfil her/his desires. Children predicted the character would be unhappy if s/he had to give up her/his desire to comply with the rule of the mother. Older children tended to justify the characters' violation of the authority's rules by referring to the personal rights of the character. Findings are discussed in relation to the development of self and personal control.
|Publication status||Published - 2011|