Article

Moral Development

Cameron Richardson and Melanie Killen

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online January 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0091
Moral Development

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  • Psychology
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  • Educational Psychology
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In the field of moral development, morality is defined as principles for how individuals ought to treat one another, with respect to justice, others’ welfare, and rights (Turiel 1983, cited under Introductory Works and Historical Background). Understanding the acquisition of morality also includes investigating the roles of prosocial behavior, emotions, beliefs, and intentionality to explain how morality is acquired in development, and to provide a full picture of moral development. The field of moral development is broad, focusing on the roles of peers, authority figures, and culture as important influences; conscience and values as self-regulatory mechanisms; perspective taking, empathy and altruism; moral neuroscience and comparative approaches; and positive youth development and civic engagement. Whereas the interest in morality spans many disciplines (e.g., economics, biology, philosophy, and political science) and specializations within psychology (e.g., social, cognitive, and cultural), moral developmental psychology research focuses on questions of origins and changes in morality across the lifespan. While this bibliography cannot cover all of the abovementioned areas, the review will highlight both traditional and current theories to introduce the extant research on moral development.

Article.  9279 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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