Psychology, Department of


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Published in MORAL MOTIVATION THROUGH THE LIFE SPAN: VOLUME 51 OF THE NEBRASKA SYMPOSIUM ON MOTIVATION, ed. Richard Dienstbier, Gustavo Carlo, and Carolyn Pope Edwards. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2005. Copyright 2005 University of Nebraska Press. Used by permission.


Questions of right and wrong, good and bad, lawful and unlawful, have been debated by philosophers, theologians, scholars, and ordinary people since ancient times. The moral domain represents humanity's answers to three questions: What is the right thing to do? How is the best state of affairs achieved? What qualities make for a good person? However, the scientific investigation of the moral life has a much shorter intellectual history than does philosophical and religious reflection; nevertheless, it is not new. Moral development theory and research emerged as a critical topic over 100 years ago, at the beginning of the 20th century. Thus, given this deep background, it may surprise readers to learn that this is the very first time that the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation has served as a forum to reflect on what we know about moral development and motivation and to integrate theory and research with practical implications for schools, communities, and childrearing. This book presents the products of the 51st Nebraska Symposium on Motivation: "Moral Development through the Life Span: Theory, Research, and Applications." The symposium was held in Lincoln, Nebraska, in April 2003.