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  1. Dennis L. Krebs

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0559

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Krebs, D. L. 2010. Morality. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Simon Fraser University, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Traditionally, psychologists have focused on the moral development of children and have derived their models from psychoanalytic, social learning, and cognitive-developmental theory. Each of these models focuses on a different aspect of moral development—respectively, conscience, moral behavior, and moral judgment—and defines morality in a different way. In contrast to philosophical theories of ethics, which attempt to derive ultimate moral principles, psychological theories attempt to explain why people conform to moral norms and how they develop a subjective sense of morality. In recent years, psychologists have joined with scholars from other disciplines in attending to the evolution of morality in the human species.


  • moral sense;
  • moral judgment;
  • prosocial behavior;
  • socialization;
  • development;
  • human development