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Research on University Students’ Deonitc Reasoning

Author: WeiKaiJun
Tutor: GaoHua
School: Fujian Normal University
Course: Developmental and Educational Psychology
Keywords: Students Moral reasoning Conditional Allows the modal Obligations mode state
CLC: B841
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 4
Quote: 0
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Abstract


Deontic norms are social rules that define what a person may do, must not do, must do, or need not do under certain conditions. Deontic reasoning is thinking about whether actions are forbidden or allowed, obligatory or not obligatory. To know the exactly meaning of these deontic norms and do reasoning according the norms is an important ability for the people. Such rules, which are often formulated as conditional statements, affect our behavior in many different fields. If we use the other form of sentence to formulate deontic rules, are there anything different form the deontic conditional inference? And how the deontic norms influence people’s deontic reasoning? Which are few researchers have studied on both from domestic and overseas.This study researches on different forms of deontic norms how to affect people’s deontic reasoning.Experiment one explores individual’s reasoning results by paper-pencil test, and the deontic norms were formulated as conditional statements. Experiment uses 2 (deontic modality:permission and obligation)×3 (scenario:single scenario, disjunction scenario and conjunction scenario)×4 (reasoning forms:MP, MT, DA and AC) three-factor within-subjects design. The scenario, the reasoning forms and the deontic modality as within-subjects factors, and the people’s reasoning results as dependent variable.Experiment two explores individual’s reasoning when the deontic norms were formulated as declarative statements, and compare the results with experiment one. Experiment uses2 (deontic modality:permission and obligation)×3 (scenario:single scenario, disjunction scenario and conjunction scenario)×4 (reasoning forms:MP, MT, DA and AC) three-factor within-subjects design. The scenario, the reasoning forms and the deontic modality as within-subjects factors, and the people’s reasoning results as dependent variable.Through the research we draw the following several conclusions:(1) The different forms of deontic norms have influence people’s deontic reasoning, the result of which the deontic norms were formulated as declarative statements deontic reasoning is better than that in deontic conditional reasoning.(2) Different modalities have different influences on people’s deontic reasoning. When the deontic norms formulated with conditional sentences and when we use the declarative sentences to formulated deontic rules, we can both find the strong scenario effect:the result on permission modality is better than that on obligation modality.(3) Different scenarios have different influences on people’s deontic reasoning. When the deontic norms formulated with conditional sentences, we can find the strong scenario effect:the works people do in disjunction scenario is better than that in only scenario and in conjunction scenario, and the works in only scenario is better than in conjunction scenario; but when we use the declarative sentences to formulated deontic rules, we can not any scenario effect.(4) As a whole, the result of deontic reasoning which people get when the deontic norms were formulated as declarative statements is better than that when the deontic norms were formulated as declarative statements.

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