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Moral Development and RealityBeyond the Theories of Kohlberg, Hoffman, and Haidt$
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John C. Gibbs

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199976171

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199976171.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 August 2021

Moral Development, Moral Identity, and Prosocial Behavior

Moral Development, Moral Identity, and Prosocial Behavior

(p.133) 6 Moral Development, Moral Identity, and Prosocial Behavior
Moral Development and Reality

John C. Gibbs

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines some of the variables that account for individual differences in the likelihood of prosocial behavior. Drawing on the theories of Lawrence Kohlberg, Martin Hoffman, and Jonathan Haidt, it explores the interrelationships between moral development, moral identity, and prosocial behavior. It also considers the complexity of sociomoral behavior in relation to moral motivation. These issues are discussed by presenting a case study from Robert Coles's 1986 book The Moral Life of Children: a White youth's rescue of an African American youth from imminent attack. The chapter suggests how individuals who seem primed to discern and act against unfairness and harm amid the complexities of social conformity, ideology, and distorted thinking in the “field” of human social situations tend to be those for whom morality is central to their sense of self (that is, they tend to be high in “moral identity”).

Keywords:   prosocial behavior, Lawrence Kohlberg, Martin Hoffman, Jonathan Haidt, moral development, moral identity, sociomoral behavior, moral motivation, rescue, morality

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