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Morality, Understanding of Intentionality, and Intergroup Attitudes

by khepler Jul 15, 2015
When Apr 04, 2014
from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Where 112 Chambers Building
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Morality, Understanding of Intentionality, and Intergroup Attitudes

Moral judgments involve the understanding of fairness, justice, and equality.  How do these judgments emerge in development?  While new research has revealed the origins of morality, few studies have examined the role of intergroup relationships for formulating notions about fairness. Increasingly, there has been new evidence that the ability to apply morality to the outgroup exists in early development, but it appears to be complex. The challenges associated with applying moral judgments to members of outgroups include understanding group dynamics, the intentions of others who are different from the self, and having the capacity to challenge stereotypic expectations of others who are different from the ingroup. In this talk, I will discuss current findings, guided by theories from ethics as well as developmental and social psychology.  Research with children provides a window into the complexities of moral judgment and raises new questions which are ripe for investigations into the emergence of morality and its developmental trajectory.

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Melanie Killen, Ph.D.

Melanie Killen, Ph.D. is Professor of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, Professor of Psychology (Affiliate), and the Associate Director for the Center for Children, Relationships, and Culture at the University of Maryland.  She is the author ofChildren and Social Exclusion: Morality, Prejudice and Group Identity (2011), co-editor of Social Development in Childhood and Adolescence: A Contemporary Reader (2011), and serves as the Editor of theHandbook on Moral Development (2006, 2014).

Dr. Killen is the Director of the NICHD/NIH Graduate Training Program in Social Development (2003- present), and has received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) for her research on social exclusion, moral reasoning, and intergroup attitudes.  Her research has been profiled at the “NSF Highlights on Research” by the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. She was invited to present her research at the Coalition for National Science Funding in Washington, D.C., with senators and congressional staff on social science research funded projects.  In addition to her published empirical journal articles and book chapters, her book on morality in everyday life won the outstanding book award from the American Educational Research Association.  Dr. Killen serves as Associate Editor for the journal Child Development, and is the former Chair of the Equity and Justice Committee for the Governing Council of theSociety for Research in Child Development.

Commissioned by Anderson Cooper, Dr. Killen conducted a study on children’s racial bias for a set of stories aired on CNN AC360, “Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture” in April, 2012.  Dr. Killen’s research areas of expertise include children’s and adolescents’ social and moral development, peer relationships, social exclusion, prejudice and bias,  morality and theory of mind, children and the media, and the role of school environments on development.

Part of The Richard B. Lippin Lecture Series.

This lecture is SARI@PSU approved for participation credit. This credit is only given to those who attend the live, on-campus lecture in person.


*Registration is not required, but recommended.

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