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Values Expressed in Judgments of the Behavior Of Others

Diederich, Paul B.; Ekstrom, Ruth B.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Age Differences, Childhood Attitudes, Moral Values, Peer Evaluation, Sex Differences, Student Behavior, Values


Three hundred students at each of four levels (grades, 4, 7, 10, 13) were asked to "tell about something a person did that made you like him better," and about "something a person did that made you like him less." The values expressed in these incidents were classified under six major headings, positive and negative, and each incident was assigned to one of these headings. The percentage of times each value was expressed was then tabulated by grade level, location (type of environment), sex, educational level of father, occupation of father, several measures of social adjustment and acceptance, frequency of church attendance, liking for church attendance, and verbal ability. The dominant impression left by these tables is that relatively few of these background variables made any significant difference. Within the limitations of the present study, the picture that emerges is that children of widely different background, social class, social acceptance, religious background, and the like judge the behavior of their peers by a remarkably uniform set of values.

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