Reasoning, Moral and Social

N. S. Jampol, C. B. Richardson, M. Killen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Significant changes occur from early childhood through adolescence in the ways that individuals engage in social and moral reasoning. Moral reasoning refers to considerations of justice, others' welfare, and rights. Social reasoning includes social-conventional reasoning about customs, conventions, etiquette, as well as psychological reasoning about autonomy, individuality, and personal choice. The historical background of moral and social reasoning is described, including short descriptions of the stage-oriented research by Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg, followed by current domain-specific approach to reasoning, the work of Elliot Turiel, Judith Smetana, Melanie Killen, and Larry Nucci. Current research reveals how children and adolescents evaluate social issues using moral and social reasoning. Furthermore, the cross-cultural findings of research based on current social and moral reasoning have established patterns that are common and different across a wide range of cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Education, Third Edition
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080448947
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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