Outcomes and intentions in children's, adolescents', and adults' second- and third-party punishment behavior.
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Theories of morality maintain that punishment supports the emergence and maintenance of moral behavior. This study investigated developmental differences in the role of outcomes and the violator's intentions in second-party punishment (where punishers are victims of a violation) and third-party punishment (where punishers are unaffected observers of a violation). Four hundred and forty-three adults and 8-, 12-, and 15-year-olds made choices in mini-ultimatum games and newly-developed mini-third-party punishment games, which involved actual incentives rather than hypothetical decisions. Adults integrated outcomes and intentions in their second- and third-party punishment, whereas 8-year-olds consistently based their punishment on the outcome of the violation. Adolescents integrated outcomes and intentions in second- but not third-party punishment.
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