CHILDREN'S DEVELOPING UNDERSTANDING OF CHOICE ACROSS CULTURES
To successfully navigate the world, human beings must identify the choices they can make as well as the constraints on their choices. These perceptions and beliefs about choice can be influenced by multiple factors, some of which originate from the external world (e.g., physical laws, socio-moral norms) and some of which originate from the internal world (e.g., desires, goals, motivations). Large individual and cultural variations exist in people’s perceptions and beliefs about choices. Importantly, these views about choice often guide actions, both the regulation of one’s own actions and the interpretation of others’ actions. This dissertation presents a series of studies that investigate how views about choice develop throughout childhood and across cultures, as well as how these views relate to children’s developmental outcomes — both the regulation of one’s own actions and the evaluations of others’ actions. I will discuss the important implications these studies have on children’s self-regulation and goal-pursuit, as well as their social evaluations and moral judgment.
Cognitive Development; choice; early childhood; social cognition; Self-regulation; Developmental psychology
Wang, Qi; Casasola, Marianella
Ph.D., Human Development
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis