A moral vocabulary? Exploring the link between moral emotion label knowledge and moral judgment in preschool-aged children

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Description: This study serves as an initial step in investigating the link between moral emotion labels (e.g., guilt and shame) and moral judgment/conscience development in preschool-aged children. Sixty 4-year-olds (31 male; average age= 57.6 months) completed measures of general vocabulary knowledge, basic emotion label knowledge, moral emotion label knowledge, and moral judgment. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that moral emotion label knowledge was a marginally significant predictor of overall conscience (β = .24, p = .06). More tellingly, knowledge of moral emotion label antecedents predicted overall conscience (β = .28, p = .03). General vocabulary knowledge did not predict performance on conscience measures (β = .96, p = .35), but knowledge of basic emotion labels did (β = .34, p = .01). Overall, the data support the study's hypothesis that acquiring specific types of vocabulary knowledge (e.g., knowledge of emotion labels, both basic and moral) can be a critical factor in children's conscience development.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work