Moral Psychology

  • Dita ŠamánkováEmail author
  • Marek Preiss
  • Tereza Příhodová


The chapter expounds the rationalist, Kohlbergian, models and measures of moral development, analysing their limited capacity to comprehend contextually defined morality. In contrast, it presents comprehensive concepts of ethical ontogenesis reflecting the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries discoveries of affective neuroscience and sociobiology, which account for the evolutionary role of empathy and moral emotions, as well as cultural and political factors in shaping individual ethos. Freudian and object relation psychoanalytic theories are juxtaposed to the above-mentioned conceptions with the view of possible complementation of the classical, that is, self-report and moral dilemmas based morality assessment instruments with structured psychoanalytic interview. The chapter mentions some reasons of the lesser Continental, and specifically Czech and Slovak, (as opposed to Anglo-Saxon) tradition of morality testing. It reiterates that any of the described psychological “constructs” can capture only partial, contextually non-transferable, aspects of ethics, and calls for the development of methods better suited to estimate psychological phenomena with fuzzy boundaries.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dita Šamánková
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marek Preiss
    • 2
  • Tereza Příhodová
    • 3
  1. 1.The National Institute of Mental HealthKlecanyCzech Republic
  2. 2.The National Institute of Mental HealthKlecanyCzech Republic
  3. 3.The National Institute of Mental HealthKlecanyCzech Republic

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