Relative chronometric dating methods
Most children will deceive in certain situations and not in others.
Lying, cheating, and stealing as measured by the test situations used in these studies are only very loosely related.
Furthermore, the teachers’ and peers’ perceptions of the students’ altruism were in close agreement (r = 0.80).
These latter results indicate a considerable degree of consistency in altruistic behavior. (197) wrote: The correlation between the total service score and the total reputation scores is .61 …
This is because the randomness in any one measure (error and specificity variance) is averaged out over several measures, leaving a clearer view of what a person’s true behavior is like.
Correlations of 0.50 and 0.60 based on aggregated measures support the view that there is cross-situational consistency in altruistic and honest behavior.
The various tests administered to the children are summarized in Table 2.1.Subsequently, Burton (1963) reanalyzed the Hartshorne and May data and found a general factor that accounted for 35-40 percent of common variance.As Eysenck (1970), among others, has repeatedly pointed out, failures to take account of the necessity to average across a number of exemplars in order to see consistency led to the widespread and erroneous view that moral behavior is almost completely situation specific.Any one behavioral test correlated, on average, only 0.20 with any other test.If, however, the measures were aggregated into batteries, then much higher relationships were found either with other combined behavioral measures, with teachers’ ratings of the children, or with the children’s moral knowledge scores.The validity of judgments increases as the number of judges becomes larger.Galton (1908) provided an early demonstration from a cattle exhibition where 800 visitors judged the weight of an ox.This, in turn, led students of moral development to neglect research aimed at discovering the origins of general moral “traits”.The fact that, judging from the aggregated correlational data, moral traits do exist, and, moreover, appear to develop early in life, poses a considerable challenge to developmental research.The main empirical reason that is cited for rejecting rating methods is that judges’ ratings only correlate, on the average, 0.20 to 0.30.However, it is questionable that correlations between two judges’ ratings are stable and representative.