Moral and Altruistic Development II

The Importance of Socialization and Affect
  • Kevin B. MacDonald
Part of the Perspectives in Developmental Psychology book series (PDPS)


In Chapter 7, the roles of self-interest and cost—benefit analysis in moral decision-making and altruistic behavior were emphasized. Consistent with cognitive-developmental theory, the chapter stressed cognitive processing to the complete exclusion of affective responses to situations and people. In the present chapter, the other side of these issues is emphasized and an attempt is made to integrate these two approaches. No discussion of moral and altruistic behavior and cognition can be complete without a consideration of affect. As described in Chapter 3, the emotions are often important sources of motivation in human behavior. Whereas the previous chapter might give the impression that humans are passionless computers that cold-bloodedly calculate cost and benefit considerations, the present chapter will describe the evolutionary and ecological contexts of altruism and morality. In these contexts, affect must play a central role.


Parental Warmth Altruistic Behavior Resource Flow Temperamental Trait Present Chapter 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin B. MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.California State University-Long BeachLong BeachUSA

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