Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Fall 2015


Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2015


Copyright @ 2015 Whitney Drahota


The current study investigates how preschool children judge behaviors that harm the environment as compared to moral transgressions, social-conventional transgressions, and personal choices. Forty-five preschool children (45% male) attending urban and rural preschool programs in Nebraska participated. An assessment tool was designed for this study and was comprised of a moveable balance scale on a game board. Pictures depicting different types of transgressions were attached to each end of the balance scale with Velcro and children judged which transgression was worse, or if both were equally bad. The results indicate that overall, children tended to judge socio-moral transgressions as worse than social-conventional transgressions or transgressions against the environment or animals.