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Job Talk - Promoting Moral Development in Adolescence through Educational Interventions

There is an intensifying necessity for focusing on moral education in order to address pressing issues among adolescents such as civic and moral engagement and bullying behavior. Stories of morally great people are one of the most frequently utilized tools for moral education. Moral educators draw from these stories in order to provide models or exemplars for adolescents to emulate. However, previous social psychological studies have demonstrated that the mere presentation of moral stories may backfire, particularly when the stories present extraordinary moral exemplars. My research develops and tests effective moral education methods using stories of moral exemplars that maximize moral developmental outcomes while minimizing the possibility of negative repercussions based on developmental and social psychology and neuroscience. First, I conducted neuroimaging studies in order to identify which psychological processes are involved in moral inspiration induced by moral stories. This included a meta-analysis of previously published neuroimaging studies of human morality and a functional neuroimaging experiment focusing on the neural correlates of moral affection and moral motivation. Second, I performed psychological interventions targeting and tweaking the psychological processes identified by the previous neuroimaging studies. The purpose was to examine which type of moral stories effectively promoted the development of students’ moral motivation to engage in moral behavior. I conducted both a lab-level and classroom-level intervention experiment to test whether the intervention model could effectively promote students’ moral development in school settings.
When Jan 21, 2016
from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Where 127 Moore Building, University Park, PA 16802
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There is an intensifying necessity for focusing on moral education in order to address pressing issues among adolescents such as civic and moral engagement and bullying behavior. Stories of morally great people are one of the most frequently utilized tools for moral education. Moral educators draw from these stories in order to provide models or exemplars for adolescents to emulate. However, previous social psychological studies have demonstrated that the mere presentation of moral stories may backfire, particularly when the stories present extraordinary moral exemplars. My research develops and tests effective moral education methods using stories of moral exemplars that maximize moral developmental outcomes while minimizing the possibility of negative repercussions based on developmental and social psychology and neuroscience. First, I conducted neuroimaging studies in order to identify which psychological processes are involved in moral inspiration induced by moral stories. This included a meta-analysis of previously published neuroimaging studies of human morality and a functional neuroimaging experiment focusing on the neural correlates of moral affection and moral motivation. Second, I performed psychological interventions targeting and tweaking the psychological processes identified by the previous neuroimaging studies. The purpose was to examine which type of moral stories effectively promoted the development of students’ moral motivation to engage in moral behavior. I conducted both a lab-level and classroom-level intervention experiment to test whether the intervention model could effectively promote students’ moral development in school settings.

About the Speaker

Hyemin Han headshotHyemin Han is a PhD candidate in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He is interested in promoting moral development in adolescence by using interdisciplinary methods in developmental, social and educational psychology, and neuroscience.