EFFECTS OF MODELING AND AFFECTIVE ROLE-TAKING ON CHILDREN'S COOPERATIVE GAME BEHAVIOR (MORAL, PROSOCIAL)

BURT MANDEL, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine predicted differential effects of treatments incorporating modeling or affective role-taking strategies on cooperation in two contexts.^ Subjects for the investigation were 72 third grade boys from regular public school classes in a large urban area. They were randomly assigned to one of the following treatments: no-intervention control, attention control, modeling with verbal rationale, or affective role-taking.^ No-intervention subjects were placed on a waiting list while attention control subjects received a 13-week placebo academic program. Modeling subjects received the same placebo program, but finally viewed a film showing models cooperating on a game and heard the explanation that prizes could only be won by cooperating. The affective role-taking subjects participated in 13 experimenter-led lessons focusing on awareness of feelings, the importance of friendship, and mutual respect as the cornerstone of ethical and democratic interactions. Upon conclusion of treatments all subjects were tested in dyads by the experimenter on two measures of cooperation.^ Results indicated that the experimental treatments produced differential effects; the modeling treatment produced significantly higher levels of cooperation on the facilitation measure than the control treatments, and the role-taking treatment produced significantly higher levels of cooperation on the generalization measure than the modeling and control treatments.^ These findings were interpreted as lending support to Piaget's hypothesis that cooperation may be related to experiences in taking the roles of others and to the values of fairness and friendship. The presence or absence of viable competitive alternatives, and specific task requirements such as turn-taking, also emerged as important dimensions of cooperation.^ Results also reaffirmed the effectiveness of modeling strategies. They provided information about how to take turns, and facilitated cooperation when competition was not viable because it could be blocked by the other player. However, only role-taking strategies were associated with higher levels of cooperation when competitive alternatives could not be directly blocked. Practical and ethical analogues of these contexts are offered. The importance of the differential relationship between the treatments and the task structures is discussed in terms of teaching children to cooperate. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

MANDEL, BURT, "EFFECTS OF MODELING AND AFFECTIVE ROLE-TAKING ON CHILDREN'S COOPERATIVE GAME BEHAVIOR (MORAL, PROSOCIAL)" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8600092.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8600092

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