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The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology Jonathan Haidt, et al

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The New Synthesis In Moral Psychology - ResearchGate

In this Review, I suggest that the key factor that catalyzed the new synthesis was the “affective revolution” of the 1980s—the increase in research on emotion that followed the “cognitive revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s. I describe three principles, each more than 100 years old, that were revived during the affective revolution. Each principle links together insights from several fields, particularly social psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary theory. I conclude with a fourth principle that I believe will be the next step in the synthesis.

The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology

Susan Pinker is a developmental psychologist whose latest book, , shows how face-to-face contact is crucial for learning, happiness, resilience and longevity. A Canadian, she writes about social science for the daily press. She was educated at McGill University and the University of Waterloo, after which she spent 25 years in clinical practice and teaching psychology, first at Dawson College, then at McGill University. Her newspaper columns appeared weekly in Canada’s national newspaper, from 2002-2012, and her radio columns currently air monthly on the CBC. Her first book about the roots of sex differences in the classroom and the workplace, , was awarded the most prestigious literary prize offered by the American Psychological Association, The William James Book Award. She lives in Montreal, Canada. You can find more information about Susan’s work and listen to her interview .

CiteULike: The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology

The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology - Ethics and Psychology

Pargament, K. I., & Sweeney, P. J. (2011). Building spiritual fitness in the Army: An innovative approach to a vital aspect of human development. , (1), 58–64. doi:10.1037/a0021657 This article describes the development of the spiritual fitness component of the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) program. Spirituality is defined in the human sense as the journey people take to discover and realize their essential selves and higher order aspirations. Several theoretically and empirically based reasons are articulated for why spirituality is a necessary component of the CSF program: Human spirituality is a significant motivating force, spirituality is a vital resource for human development, and spirituality is a source of struggle that can lead to growth or decline. A conceptual model developed by Sweeney, Hannah, and Snider (2007) is used to identify several psychological structures and processes that facilitate the development of the human spirit. From this model, an educational, computer–based program has been developed to promote spiritual resilience. This program consists of three tiers: (a) building awareness of the self and the human spirit, (b) building awareness of resources to cultivate the human spirit, and (c) building awareness of the human spirit of others. Further research will be needed to evaluate the effectiveness of this innovative and potentially important program.

Padesky, C. & Mooney, K. (2012). Strengths-based cognitive-behavioural therapy: A four-step model to build resilience. , 283-90. doi:10.1002/cpp.1795 Padesky and Mooney's four-step Strengths-Based cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) model is designed to help clients build positive qualities. This article shows how it can be used to build and strengthen personal resilience. A structured search for client strengths is central to the approach, and methods designed to bring hidden strengths into client awareness are demonstrated through therapist-client dialogues. Development of positive qualities requires a shift in therapy perspective and different therapy methods from those employed when therapy is designed to ameliorate distress. Required adjustments to classic CBT are highlighted with specific recommendations for clinical modifications designed to support client development of resilience such as a focus on current strengths, the constructive use of imagery and client-generated metaphors. Although the focus of this article is on resilience, this Strengths-Based CBT model offers a template that also can be used to develop other positive human qualities. KEY PRACTITIONER MESSAGE: A four-step strengths-based cognitive-behavioral therapy approach is presented. Therapists help clients identify existing strengths that are used to construct a personal model of resilience. Client-generated imagery and metaphors are particularly potent to help the client remember and creatively employ new positive qualities. Behavioral experiments are designed in which the goal is to stay resilient rather than to achieve problem resolution. Therapists are encouraged to use constructive therapy methods and interview practices including increased use of smiling and silence.

The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology - Science


Froman, L. (2010). Positive psychology in the workplace [Special issue]. , (2), 59–69. doi:10.1007/s10804–009–9080–0. An economy in a downward spiral, rising unemployment, anxieties about future job loss, lack of access to affordable health care, a crisis in the financial industry, and declining consumer confidence are among some of the challenges creating significant stress in the lives of workers and their families. What impact are these stressors having on the day–to–day lives of people in the workplace? What role do concepts of positive psychology have in helping people to not only cope more effectively, but open their hearts and minds to move forward with newfound confidence, resilience, determination, hope, and vision for a better future? How can workers and their organizations create a more positive and proactive workplace that bridges economic and human goals? The purpose of this article is to examine these questions through an integrative analysis of conceptual and empirical approaches to positive organizational behavior and outcomes. Theory and research covering such areas as self–determining behavior patterns, emotional intelligence, psychologic capital, innovation, and workplace change are described, analyzed, and applied to individuals, groups, and the overall organizational system. These themes come together through the concept of a virtuous organization. These organizations have cultures infused with a strong ethical–moral foundation and leaders who bring out the best of their employees. Organizations of virtue strive to do well by doing good and strive to do good by doing well. These organizations succeed by having multiple bottom lines, not just economic ones. As such, they bridge the goals of economic development with human development.

Graham, J., Nosek, B., Haidt, J., Iyer, R., Koleva, S., & Ditto, P. H. (2011). Mapping the moral domain. , (2), 366-385. doi:10.1037/a0021847 The moral domain is broader than the empathy and justice concerns assessed by existing measures of moral competence, and it is not just a subset of the values assessed by value inventories. To fill the need for reliable and theoretically grounded measurement of the full range of moral concerns, we developed the Moral Foundations Questionnaire on the basis of a theoretical model of 5 universally available (but variably developed) sets of moral intuitions: Harm/Care, Fairness/Reciprocity, Ingroup/Loyalty, Authority/Respect, and Purity/Sanctity. We present evidence for the internal and external validity of the scale and the model, and in doing so we present new findings about morality: (a) Comparative model fitting of confirmatory factor analyses provides empirical justification for a 5-factor structure of moral concerns; (b) convergent/discriminant validity evidence suggests that moral concerns predict personality features and social group attitudes not previously considered morally relevant; and (c) we establish pragmatic validity of the measure in providing new knowledge and research opportunities concerning demographic and cultural differences in moral intuitions. These analyses provide evidence for the usefulness of Moral Foundations Theory in simultaneously increasing the scope and sharpening the resolution of psychological views of morality.

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  • 01/04/2014 · The new synthesis in moral psychology

    The new synthesis in moral psychology.

  • cultural-developmental theory of moral psychology: A new synthesis.

    The apparent “new synthesis” in moral psychology that emerges ..

  • People are selfish, yet morally motivated

    Morality is universal, yet culturally variable

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20/12/2017 · The New Synthesis In..

"In this paper, we propose that attaining authentic happiness is linked to the way we relate to the notion of a self, and more particularly to its nature. We defend the idea that the perception of a structured self in the form of a seemingly solid, permanent and independent entity, favors a self–centered psychological functioning, which is the source of unstable, fluctuating happiness. In opposition to this, we propose that selfless psychological functioning emerges from the perception of the self as being flexible (i.e., a dynamic experience) and that this constitutes a source of authentic and durable happiness" (Dambrun & Ricard, 2011, p. 138).

| People are selfish, yet morally motivated

"The abundant psychological research into the self—its trajectory and oscillations—that blossomed in the 1980s happened to be research exclusively into the self as viewed from a particular historically situated conceptual perspective, a perspective in which the self is understood as a unique self–contained unit of being and study, immersed in inner space. Positive psychology has quietly taken over this Western/liberal/individualist) self–concept, as distinct from the (Eastern/traditional/holistic) self–concept, and carried it to its logical extreme" (Kristjansson, 2010, p. 298).

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Comment: this article is not under the positive psychology umbrella per se. But it's interesting and pertains to Dabrowski. "Two commonly held assumptions of research into personality development are that personality has "set like plaster" (James, as cited in Costa & McCrae, 1994, p. 21) and will not change much after the age of 30 and that adolescence is a period in which personality matures and becomes more stable" (Meeus, Van de Schoot, Klimstra, & Branje, 2011, p. 1181).
[resilients (R) characterized by high levels of ego–resiliency and moderate levels of ego–control and are able to adapt their levels of ego–control to environmental demands. Overcontrollers (O) and undercontrollers (U) have low levels of ego–resiliency and differ markedly on egocontrol. Overcontrollers maintain relatively inflexible levels of high ego–control, whereas undercontrollers have relatively inflexible levels of low ego–control.]
"The primary goal of Study 1 was to evaluate whether personality types are stable or whether there is a systematic personality change in the direction of resiliency during adolescence" (p. 1183). "we observed change of personality types in the direction of resiliency" (p. 1191).
"We also found substantial stability of personality, with 73.5% of the adolescents remaining in the same personality type between Waves 1 and 5. This finding shows that personality types are already quite stable in adolescence" (p. 1191).
"the resilient type indexes the most well–adjusted personality profile and is consistent with the findings of Study 2 showing that resilients are the least anxious and most capable of forming intimate relationships" (p. 1191). "the analyses of the personality type trajectories revealed that the majority of adolescents who change personality type across 5 years make only one transition. This makes clear that personality type changes tend to be decisive in adolescence and that probabilities of additional personality type changes are low" (p. 1192).
"We replicated the well–known finding that male adolescents more often tend to be undercontrollers, and female adolescents overcontrollers" (p. 1192).
"Stable resilients (R>R) were less anxious over time than were stable overcontrollers (O>O), and change from O>R was accompanied by a decrease in anxiety, whereas change from R>O was accompanied by an increase in anxiety" (p. 1192).
"these findings imply that overcontrol goes together with anxiety and an inability to enter into the world of social relationships. Additionally, moving out of overcontrol means leaving anxiety behind and being more able to grow into the social world" (p. 1192).
"The main conclusion of the research is that personality types mature in the direction of resiliency. This means that research into adolescent personality development has come full circle. Adolescent personality matures not only in terms of mean levels and stability of personality traits but also in terms of personality organization" (p. 1192).

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