A research shows that children have the potential to think and make adult-like moral judgements, and their ability has often been substantially underestimated.
The prevailing view in developmental psychology is that when making moral judgements, adults tend to focus on people’s intentions rather than on the outcomes of their actions. While younger children’s moral judgements are mainly based on the outcomes of actions, rather than the intentions of those involved.
The study shows that children can be remarkably adult-like in their thinking. The implication is that even young children, from around the age of 4, can make intention-based moral judgements, just like adults.
For the study, the team involved 138 children aged 4- to 8-years-old and 31 adults.