Role-Taking, Empathy, and Resistance to Deviation in Children

Claire Ann Kurtz, Nancy Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Eighty-one third graders who previously had been tested with two role-taking tasks and an empathy questionnaire were administered a standard resistance-to-temptation task after exposure to one of four prohibitions: simple; explicit person-oriented; inexplicit person-oriented; and object-oriented. The explicit person-oriented and simple prohibitions were more effective at reducing deviation than was the object-oriented rationale. Role-taking skills influenced susceptibility to inexplicit person-oriented rationales. Regardless of rationale condition, children who scored high on empathy (p<.05) and role-taking (p<.10) tended to deviate less than the other children. The data are compared with prior research, and implications for the study of moral development are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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