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Fostering Moral Development


by Martin L. Hoffman 1980

Since Freud and Durkheim, there has been agreement among social scientists that most people do not go through life viewing society's moral norms (for example, honesty, justice, fair play) as external, coercively imposed pressures. Although initially external and often in conflict with one's desires, the norms eventually become part of one's motive system and guide behavior even in the absence of external authority. The challenge is to find out what experiences foster this internalization. The aim here is to pull together the relevant findings and theories.


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This article originally appeared in NSSE Yearbook Vol. 79, No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 81 Number 5, 1980, p. 161-185
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 19232, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 7:27:38 PM

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About the Author
  • Martin Hoffman
    City University of New York
    E-mail Author
    MARTIN L. HOFFMAN works in the Department of Psychology at the City University of New York's Graduate School.
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