Schuld und Sühne — Weg in die Anpassung

Die NYTimes berichtet in einem Science-Artikel über Forschung zur Rolle von Schuld in der Sozialisation. Anscheinend ist Schuld zusammen mit Selbstkontrolle eine entscheidende Zutat, um uns das Zusammenleben in engen Gruppen zu ermöglichen. Und die beiden Mechanismen ergänzen sich, können sich teilweise ersetzen. Haarig wird es nur, wenn jemand weder Selbstkontrolle ausüben noch Schuld empfinden kann …

Eine wichtige Unterscheidung ist dabei zwischen Scham und Schuld zu treffen — erstere (laut den Wissenschaftlern das Gefühl, aufgrund schlechten Verhaltens ein schlechter Mensch zu sein) ist verständlicherweise destruktiv, letztere (stärker mit der Handlung als der Person assoziiert) hilft, unser Verhalten in sozialer Weise zu lenken.

Hier ein paar Details des spannenden Experiments mit Kindern, und Ratschläge zur Erziehung:

Die Versuchsanordnung:

Show a toy — a doll, say, or a model boat — to a toddler and explain that it it’s something special you’ve had since you were little. Ask the child to be “very careful” with it. Hand over the toy, which appears to be in fine condition, except that you’ve secretly rigged it to break spectacularly as soon as the child handles it.

When your precious toy falls apart, express regret by mildly saying, “Oh, my.” Then sit still and observe the child.

The point is not to permanently traumatize anyone — the researchers who performed this experiment quickly followed it with a ritual absolving the child of blame. But first, for 60 seconds after the toy broke, the psychologists recorded every reaction as the toddlers squirmed, avoided the experimenter’s gaze, hunched their shoulders, hugged themselves and covered their faces with their hands.

Und die Prognosen für die folgenden fünf Jahre:

In Dr. Kochanska’s latest studies, published in the August issue of The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, she and colleagues found that 2-year-olds who showed more chagrin during the broken-toy experiment went on to have fewer behavioral problems over the next five years. That was true even for the ones who scored low on tests measuring their ability to focus on tasks and suppress strong desires to act impulsively.

“If you have high guilt,” Dr. Kochanska said, “it’s such a rapid response system, and the sensation is so incredibly unpleasant, that effortful control doesn’t much matter.”

But self-control was critical to children in the studies who were low in guilt, because they still behaved well if they had high self-control.

Was bedeutet das für die Erziehung? Außerdem der Weg, die im Experiment aufgewühlten Gefühle zu beruhigen:

“The key element is the difference between shame and guilt,” Dr. Tangney says. Shame, the feeling that you’re a bad person because of bad behavior, has repeatedly been found to be unhealthy, she says, whereas guilty feelings focused on the behavior itself can be productive. But it’s not enough, Dr. Tangney says, for parents just to follow the old admonition to criticize the sin, not the sinner. “Most young children,” Dr. Tangney said, “really don’t hear the distinction between ‘Johnny, you did a bad thing’ versus ‘Johnny, you’re a bad boy.’ They hear ‘bad kid.’ I think a more active, directive approach is needed.”

She recommends focusing not just on the bad deed, but more important, on how to make amends. “Both children and adults can be surprisingly clueless about whether and how to make things right,” Dr. Tangney said. “Little kids are overwhelmed by the spilled mess of milk on the floor. Parents can teach and support them to say ‘I’m sorry’ and to clean it up, maybe leaving the kitchen a little cleaner than it was before.”

That was the same atonement strategy, by the way, followed by the experimenters in Iowa who tricked the children with the broken toy. After the 60 seconds of angst, the children were asked what had happened and then were told that the toy could be easily repaired. The researcher would then leave the room with the broken toy and return in half a minute with an intact replica of it. The experimenter took the blame for having caused the damage, reassuring the children that it wasn’t their fault and that the toy was now as good as new anyway.

Datum: Mittwoch, 26. August 2009 0:14
Trackback: Trackback-URL Themengebiet: Deutsch

Feed zum Beitrag: RSS 2.0 Kommentare und Pings geschlossen.

Ein Kommentar

  1. 1

    Pass ein bisschen mit langen Zitationen (mehr als 1–2 Sätze am Stück) auf, dass mögen Nachrichtenseiten gar nicht.

    Gibt gerade aktuell wieder Abmahnungswellen, v.a. gg. Blogger.