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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: 27 October 2021

Understanding Antisocial Behavior

Understanding Antisocial Behavior

Chapter:
(p.152) 7 Understanding Antisocial Behavior
Source:
Moral Development and Reality
Author(s):

John C. Gibbs

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199976171.003.0007

This chapter examines the moral aspects of antisocial behavior. Drawing on the developmental theories of Lawrence Kohlberg and Martin Hoffman, it explores self-centration and other limitations characteristic of young people with antisocial behavior problems, taking into account the background factors of nature and nurture. Three limitations are discussed: developmental delay in moral judgment, self-serving cognitive distortions, and deficiencies in social skills. The chapter presents the case of a notoriously antisocial individual, Timothy McVeigh, with particular emphasis on his erroneous “moral” convictions and pseudo-justifications. It argues that McVeigh illustrates how cognitive distortions can preempt or neutralize social perspective-taking, moral understanding, and veridical empathy.

Keywords:   antisocial behavior, Lawrence Kohlberg, Martin Hoffman, self-centration, moral judgment, cognitive distortions, social skills, Timothy McVeigh, moral convictions, social perspective-taking

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