Broadening the Scope of Moral Developmental Theory

  • Darcia Narvaez


Triune ethics meta-theory (TEM) differs from other theories of moral psychological development, integrating neurobiological, psychological, philosophical, and developmental literatures on moral functioning. TEM grounds itself in an evolutionary systems approach specifically Evolutionary Relational Developmental Systems Meta-Theory. TEM identifies ethical orientations that emerge from global brain states rooted in human brain evolution: self-protectionism, engagement, and imagination, respectively. Each global brain state displays different goals: self-preservation, affiliation, and reflection, respectively. Adult functioning is largely the result of dynamic interactionism during sensitive periods of development, building implicit sociomoral understandings that guide moral behavior. Alternative moral developmental pathways may ensue from psychosocial experience during development.


Early Life Virtue Ethic Moral Development Secure Attachment Moral Sense 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darcia Narvaez
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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