Personality, Identity, and Character: Explorations in Moral Psychology

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Moral notions are foundational questions that have commanded deep reflection since antiquity, reflection that psychological science cannot evade, because the moral formation of children is a central concern of parents, schools, and communities charged with educating the next generation. In this respect there are few domains of study more crucial than moral psychology and few topics of greater importance than the development of moral self-identity, of moral character, and of the moral personality. This edited volume features the expertise of preeminent scholars in moral personality, self, and identity, such as moral philosophers, personality theorists, developmental psychologists, moral personality researchers, social psychologists, and neuroscientists. It brings together cutting-edge work in moral psychology that illustrates an impressive diversity of theoretical perspectives and methodologies and simultaneously points the way toward promising integrative possibilities.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The editors of this book provide a valuable service by pulling together the research on dispositional/personality factors related to morality. The diverse chapters, written by a group of outstanding researchers and theorists, include an overview on what is known about this important topic, delineate various frameworks for conceptualizing the relevant issues, and raise important questions for future work. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in morality and moral development and may convince more personality researchers to study morality.”
– Nancy Eisenberg, Arizona State University

“Moral personality has been largely a moribund topic since the classic 1930s research of Hartshorne and May, and the critique of trait theories provided in the 1960s by Walter Mischel. In this volume, Narvaez and Lapsley, two developmental psychologists, have brought together a rich and current collection of well-written chapters in an effort to reconnect morality with theories of personality, narrative psychology, and social psychology. This book is an excellent read and belongs on the shelf of anyone with a serious interest in moral psychology.”
– Larry Nucci, University of California, Berkeley

"The essays in Personality, Identity, and Character: Explorations in Moral Psychology originated in 2006 and 2008 invited symposia on moral personality at Notre Dame, as part of a continuing effort to find the way forward for the science of moral development in the wake of the Kohlberg paradigm. The contribution by Augusto Blasi at the end of this volume is worth the price of the book—and a must read for anyone working in moral psychology..."
– Don Collins Reed, PsycCRITIQUES

"....a rich resource on a huge range of topics in moral psychology...."
– Bruce Maxwell, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Journal of Moral Education

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521719278
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Darcia Narvaez is an associate professor in psychology, specializing in moral development and character education, at the University of Notre Dame and directs the university's Center for Ethical Education. She is co-editor of Moral Development in the Professions: Psychology and Applied Ethics (with James Rest) and co-author or co-editor of the award-winning books Postconventional Moral Thinking: A Neo-Kohlbergian Approach (with James Rest, Muriel Bebeau, and Stephen Thoma) and Moral Development, Self, and Identity (with Daniel Lapsley). Narvaez was the leader of the design team for the Minnesota Community Voices and Character Education Project. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Educational Psychology and the Journal of Moral Education.

Daniel K. Lapsley is the ACE Collegiate Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author or editor of seven books, including Moral Psychology, and of numerous articles and chapters on various topics in child and adolescent development – particularly in the areas of social cognition, personality development, moral psychology, and moral education. He is co-editor of the award-winning book Moral Development, Self, and Identity (with Darcia Narvaez). He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Educational Psychology and the Journal of Early Adolescence.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Darcia Narvaez and Daniel K. Lapsley; 1. The moral personality Dan P. McAdams; 2. The moral functioning of the person as a whole: on moral psychology and personality science Daniel Cervone and Ritu Tripathi; 3. Moral science? still metaphysical after all these years Owen Flanagan; 4. Pluralism and moral identity David B. Wong; 5. Neuroscience and morality: moral judgments, sentiments and values Jorge Moll, Ricardo de Oliveira-Souza and Roland Zahn; 6. Triune ethics: the neurobiological roots of our multiple moralities Darcia Narvaez; 7. Early foundations: conscience and the development of moral character Ross A. Thompson; 8. The development of the moral personality Daniel K. Lapsley and Patrick L. Hill; 9. Urban neighborhoods as contexts for moral identity development Daniel Hart and M. Kyle Matsuba; 10. Moral personality exemplified Lawrence J. Walker and Jeremy A. Frimer; 11. Greatest of the virtues? Gratitude and the grateful personality Robert A. Emmons; 12. The elusive altruist: the psychological study of the altruistic personality Gustavo Carlo, Lisa M. PytlikZillig, Scott C. Roesch and Richard A. Dienstbier; 13. Growing towards care: a narrative approach to prosocial moral identity and generativity of personality in emerging adulthood Michael Pratt, Mary Louise Arnold and Heather Lawford; 14. Moral identity, integrity, and personal responsibility Barry R. Schlenker, Marisa L. Miller and Ryan M. Johnson; 15. The dynamic moral self: a social psychological perspective Benoit Monin and Alex H. Jordan; 16. The double-edged sword of a moral state of mind Linda J. Skitka and G. Scott Morgan; 17. Moral identity in business situations: a social-cognitive framework for understanding moral functioning Karl Aquino and Dan Freeman; 18. The moral functioning of mature adults and the possibility of fair moral reasoning Augusto Blasi; 19. Moral personality: themes, questions, futures Darcia Narvaez and Daniel K. Lapsley.

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