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Reconciling the self and morality: an empirical model of moral centrality development.
Dev Psychol. 2009 Nov; 45(6):1669-81.DP

Abstract

Self-interest and moral sensibilities generally compete with one another, but for moral exemplars, this tension appears to not be in play. This study advances the reconciliation model, which explains this anomaly within a developmental framework by positing that the relationship between the self's interests and moral concerns ideally transforms from one of mutual competition to one of synergy. The degree to which morality is central to an individual's identity-or moral centrality-was operationalized in terms of values advanced implicitly in self-understanding narratives; a measure was developed and then validated. Participants were 97 university students who responded to a self-understanding interview and to several measures of morally relevant behaviors. Results indicated that communal values (centered on concerns for others) positively predicted and agentic (self-interested) values negatively predicted moral behavior. At the same time, the tendency to coordinate both agentic and communal values within narrative thought segments positively predicted moral behavior, indicating that the 2 motives can be adaptively reconciled. Moral centrality holds considerable promise in explaining moral motivation and its development.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada. jeremyfrimer@gmail.comNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19899923

Citation

Frimer, Jeremy A., and Lawrence J. Walker. "Reconciling the Self and Morality: an Empirical Model of Moral Centrality Development." Developmental Psychology, vol. 45, no. 6, 2009, pp. 1669-81.
Frimer JA, Walker LJ. Reconciling the self and morality: an empirical model of moral centrality development. Dev Psychol. 2009;45(6):1669-81.
Frimer, J. A., & Walker, L. J. (2009). Reconciling the self and morality: an empirical model of moral centrality development. Developmental Psychology, 45(6), 1669-81. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017418
Frimer JA, Walker LJ. Reconciling the Self and Morality: an Empirical Model of Moral Centrality Development. Dev Psychol. 2009;45(6):1669-81. PubMed PMID: 19899923.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Reconciling the self and morality: an empirical model of moral centrality development. AU - Frimer,Jeremy A, AU - Walker,Lawrence J, PY - 2009/11/11/entrez PY - 2009/11/11/pubmed PY - 2010/1/27/medline SP - 1669 EP - 81 JF - Developmental psychology JO - Dev Psychol VL - 45 IS - 6 N2 - Self-interest and moral sensibilities generally compete with one another, but for moral exemplars, this tension appears to not be in play. This study advances the reconciliation model, which explains this anomaly within a developmental framework by positing that the relationship between the self's interests and moral concerns ideally transforms from one of mutual competition to one of synergy. The degree to which morality is central to an individual's identity-or moral centrality-was operationalized in terms of values advanced implicitly in self-understanding narratives; a measure was developed and then validated. Participants were 97 university students who responded to a self-understanding interview and to several measures of morally relevant behaviors. Results indicated that communal values (centered on concerns for others) positively predicted and agentic (self-interested) values negatively predicted moral behavior. At the same time, the tendency to coordinate both agentic and communal values within narrative thought segments positively predicted moral behavior, indicating that the 2 motives can be adaptively reconciled. Moral centrality holds considerable promise in explaining moral motivation and its development. SN - 1939-0599 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19899923/Reconciling_the_self_and_morality:_an_empirical_model_of_moral_centrality_development_ L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/dev/45/6/1669 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -