International Journal of Developmental Science - Volume 2, issue 3
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Individual human development is influenced by a multitude of systems, ranging from cultural processes, genetic and physiological incidents up to social interactions. How do these systems cooperate and interact during the course of human development? One of the main goals of Developmental Science is finding an answer to this question.
Since it exceeds the means of researchers from individual scientific disciplines to investigate the simultaneous biopsychosocial changes of systems and how they jointly contribute to the social and adaptive functions of human individuals, a new scientific approach is necessary that links the various traditional scientific disciplines under a biopsychosocial approach to describe individual human development: Developmental Science.
Developmental Science combines concepts and insights from scientific disciplines which hitherto used to independently tackle the research of human and non-human development. As an interdisciplinary approach it examines individuals across the lifespan with the objective of comprehending the development of individuals with different cultural and ethnic as well as biological background, different economic and cognitive potentials and under diverse living conditions. To facilitate the understanding of developmental processes it is also necessary to overcome the disadvantageous separation of “normal” from “abnormal” human development. Thus, the interdisciplinary field of Developmental Science comprises a holistic approach to understanding how different systems interact and influence development throughout life from genetic and physiological processes to social interactions and cultural processes.
International Journal of Developmental Science is especially devoted to research from the fields of Psychology, Genetics, Neuroscience and Biology and provides an interdisciplinary and international forum for basic research and professional application in the field of Developmental Science. The reader will find original empirical or theoretical contributions, methodological and review papers, giving a systematic overview or evaluation of research and theories of Developmental Science and dealing with typical human development and developmental psychopathology during infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. All manuscripts pass through a multilevel peer-review process.
In 2007-2010 (Vol. 1-4) this journal was named
European Journal of Developmental Science. In 2011 its name was changed to
International Journal of Developmental Science.
Abstract: Recently, experimental economists have become increasingly interested in behaviors relating to morality, and one of the main tools for examining these issues has been game theory. Even though developmental psychologists have investigated similar topics for decades, this research has found little resonance. Similarly, economists have only recently started to become interested in moral developmental psychology. In this article, we explore the implications of an interconnection of these two disciplines. Adopting a game theoretical perspective promises to open novel avenues to investigate the moral development of children using a different theoretical and methodological point of view. Developmental psychologists can contribute their…knowledge about the ontogenesis of moral abilities and competencies to economic research. We will give examples of recent applications of economic game theory in the field of (moral) developmental psychology by particularly focusing on developmental processes, moral cognitions, and moral emotions.
Keywords: Economics, game theory, moral development, moral emotions
Abstract: The happy victimizer demarks a phenomenon in which there is a discrepancy between young children's understanding of moral rules and their attribution of positive emotions to wrongdoers. In this paper, we argue why developmental transitions in this aspect of emotion understanding have both theoretical and applied value. First, the research literature on moral emotion expectancies is critically reviewed and methodological constraints of the happy victimizer experimental paradigm are discussed. Second, we elaborate on the connections between moral emotion expectancies and children's understanding of human agency. It is argued that the coordination process involved in making moral emotion attributions and moral…judgments is a key element in the evolving moral self. Third, the developmental significance of moral emotion expectancies for children's and adolescent's externalizing symptoms and adaptive behavior is discussed.
Keywords: Moral emotion expectancy, happy victimizer phenomenon, theory of agency, moral self, social adaptation
Abstract: Major psychological theories of morality and motivation make the assumption that an inverse relationship exists between guilt and satisfaction. To the extent that feelings of guilt are linked to a particular motivational or moral stance, it is assumed that feelings of satisfaction are unlikely also be linked to that stance. Empirical findings in the areas of motivation and morality indicate that in collectivist cultural settings that assume less opposition as existing between the individual and the social order, these emotions do not tend to be viewed as opposed in regard to prosocial behavior. Rather, there is a greater tendency for…individuals to associate duty and guilt with satisfaction in the context of being responsive to the needs of family and friends. Attention is also given to how these contrasting motivational and moral outlooks develop and influence outlooks on dissent, with conclusions drawn for ways to conduct more culturally sensitive research.
Abstract: The text focuses on the structure of moral motivation, i.e. the way different types of concerns motivating norm conformity are anchored in the personality. It claims a socio-historic change: Older generations tend to submit to the dictates of a super-ego or follow a deeply ingrained need disposition for conformity. In contrast, the moral motivation of younger generations is more ego-syntonic, i.e. a willingly affirmed commitment to act as one judges to be morally right. This claim is supported by data from representative samples, a longitudinal analysis of about 200 children and an intergenerational comparison involving almost 400 participants. The change…in moral motivation is related to changes in cognitive moral understanding and mediated by changes in socialization styles.
Keywords: Moral motivation, sociohistoric changes in moral understanding, super ego, happy victimizer, ethics of responsibility
Abstract: We propose that social psychological findings on the intuitive bases of moral judgment have broad implications for moral education. The “five foundations theory of intuitive ethics” is applied to explain a longstanding rift in moral education as an ideological disagreement about which moral intuitions should be endorsed and cultivated. The Kohlbergian moral reasoning side has sought to limit the domain of moral education to Harm and Fairness-related moral concerns, whereas character education approaches have tried also to cultivate intuitions concerning the Ingroup, Authority and Purity foundations. Recent attempts to merge the two lines of moral education have not fully addressed…this ideological rift, for example by delineating how a single approach could reconcile opposing group- and individual-focused conceptions of moral education. We conclude that psychological research on moral intuition offers a descriptive account of human morality that reveals problems with attempts to create a normative basis for moral education from either side of the ideological divide.
Keywords: Moral education, moral intuition, ideology, character education
Abstract: The Social Intuitionist Model (SIM) of moral reasoning proposed by Jon Haidt and colleagues (Haidt, 2001; Haidt & Bjorklund, 2006) is criticized on the grounds that (1) its conclusions concerning moral reasoning are unwarranted by research reporting ‘dumbfounded’ responses by subjects whose initial judgments are challenged and judgments elicited from hypnotized subjects; (2) its account of moral change in the individual ignores a crucial temporal and developmental element of that change; 3) its hypothesis that moral change is primarily non-rational ignores the many cases of rational persuasion that conduce to such change as well as the rational resolution of internal…but conflicting moral intuitions within the same individual; (4) it presents no evidence for its view that the universality of certain moral attitudes and dispositions betokens a genetic foundation (forged by evolutionary processes) for those attitudes and disposition; (5) in positing moral modules as the genetic basis for moral response, it fails to distinguish between those human responses that are rightly to be characterized as ‘moral’ and those that are social but non-moral; and finally, (6) it undermines the scientific nature of its thesis by what appears to be an inuring of it against empirical disconfirmation.
Keywords: Moral reasoning, intuitionism, moral psychology, morality, social intuitionist model
Abstract: This paper selectively reviews the literature on the moral emotions (empathy, guilt, shame and embarrassment) and moral reasoning from the perspective of affective cognitive neuroscience. Simulation based accounts of emotional empathy based on the human mirror neuron system appear inadequate. Instead, emotional empathy may be better considered as another emotional response to a stimulus; we become fearful to objects associated with threat whether they are weapons or the frightened faces of other individuals. There appear to be two interrelated neurocognitive components to the moral emotions of guilt, embarrassment and shame. The first involves dorsomedial and inferior frontal cortex activations and…may relate to restitution and appeasement related behavior associated with these emotions. The second involves ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a region critical for representing emotional information. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, are consistently implicated in human neuroimaging studies investigating moral reasoning, stressing the importance of emotion in moral reasoning.
Keywords: Moral emotion, moral reasoning, moral neuroscience
Abstract: Longstanding debates about whether morality is best defined in terms of emotions or judgments have been recently rekindled. In this essay, we review recent approaches from social psychology and moral neuroscience that have emphasized emotions and intuitions as central to morality. We assert that the results of developmental science research on judgments and reasoning informs these approaches and provides an integrative view, drawing on judgments and emotions to explain the acquisition of morality in ontogenesis. We discuss developmental research that supports a theory of morality in which judgments are central and children use emotions to interpret morally relevant situations. Drawing…on extensive empirical findings, we conclude that defining morality as the principled treatment of others based on fairness, justice, and others' welfare remains the fundamental basis of morality in humans.
Keywords: Moral emotion, moral judgement, moral neuroscience