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Experimental Psychology (Russia)

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 2072-7593

ISSN (online): 2311-7036

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/exppsy

Started in 2008

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Dynamics of heart activities during moral dilemmas solving by children 4—11 years old

Sozinova I.M., PhD student, Institute of psychology RAS, Moscow, Russia, eiole@yandex.ru
Bakhchina A.V., Ph.D. in Psychology, Researcher, Institute of Psychology, RAS, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, nastya18-90@mail.ru
Aleksandrov Y.I., Doctor in Psychology, head. the laboratory of the Institute of psychology RAS and head. the Department of psychophysiology State University of Humanitarian Sciences, RAN, Moscow, Russia, yuraalexandrov@yandex.ru
Abstract
The goal of the present research was to investigate psychophysiological bases of moral dilemmas solving by children. We assessed the heart rhythm of Russian children aged 4—11 (N=75) during interview, solving moral dilemmas, and subsequent questionnaires. We compared data of two age group: 4—7 years old and 8—11 years old. The task of moral dilemma was to choose who would take a resource: an in-group member (resource is needed for an optional benefit) or an out-group member (resource is needed for survival). questionnaires. There was a significant decrease of heart rate moral decisions in younger children (4—7 years old). There was no differences of heart rate moral decisions in elder children (8—11 years old). We speculate that younger children have no mismatch during decision making due to scarcity of their new experience. They do not have to activate the adaptation processes during moral dilemmas solving. The results are discussed from the position of the system evolutionary approach and the notions of changes in heart rate variability as an indicator of adaptation processes.

Keywords: moral, in-/ out-group, adaptive processes, heart rhythm, moral dilemma, children 4—11 year-old

Column: Psychophysiology

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/exppsy.2017100307

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