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Preaching and Practicing: The Effects of Consistencies and Discrepancies in Tuition and Example on Norm Internalization and Violation NICHD

Rosenhan, David; Frederick, Frank; Burrowes, Anne
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Behavior Standards, Children, Internalization., Pro-social Behavior, Role Models, Self Reward, Socialization


Four simulates of child socialization were obtained by varying the extent to which a model verbally instructed and personally exhibited high or low standards of self-reward. Greatest adherence to a stringent norm occurred among children who were taught and who observed the model practice such a norm. Children who were exposed to a self-indulgent model tended most to violate both stringent and lenient norms and to evidence ambivalent behaviors, while those who were exposed to a child-indulgent model violated the lenient norms least. While percept and precept were both powerfully influential for norm internalization, the latter was clearly the stronger determinant. There appeared to be implicit evidence that affective connotations are embedded in what is preached and practiced and that these may be influential for norm violation. The tendency to violate norms may also be some function of the absolute amount of reward a child obtains and the discrepancy he or she observes between his own rewards and those obtained by others.

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