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The development of moral emotions and the happy victimizer phenomenon: a critical review of theory and applications


Krettenauer, T; Malti, T; Sokol, B (2008). The development of moral emotions and the happy victimizer phenomenon: a critical review of theory and applications. European Journal of Developmental Science, 2(3):221-235.

Abstract

The happy victimizer demarks a phenomenon in which there is a discrepancy between young children's understanding of moral rules and their attribution of positive emotions to wrong-doers. In this paper, we argue why developmental transitions in this aspect of emotion understanding have both theoretical and applied value. First, the research literature on moral emotion expectancies is critically reviewed and methodological constraints of the happy victimizer experimental paradigm are discussed. Second, we elaborate on the connections between moral emotion expectancies and children's understanding of human agency. It is argued that the coordination process involved in making moral emotion attributions and moral judgments is a key element in the evolving moral self. Third, the developmental significance of moral emotion expectancies for children's and adolescent's externalizing symptoms and adaptive behavior is discussed.

Abstract

The happy victimizer demarks a phenomenon in which there is a discrepancy between young children's understanding of moral rules and their attribution of positive emotions to wrong-doers. In this paper, we argue why developmental transitions in this aspect of emotion understanding have both theoretical and applied value. First, the research literature on moral emotion expectancies is critically reviewed and methodological constraints of the happy victimizer experimental paradigm are discussed. Second, we elaborate on the connections between moral emotion expectancies and children's understanding of human agency. It is argued that the coordination process involved in making moral emotion attributions and moral judgments is a key element in the evolving moral self. Third, the developmental significance of moral emotion expectancies for children's and adolescent's externalizing symptoms and adaptive behavior is discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:11 Dec 2008 13:28
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 15:49
Publisher:Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
ISSN:1863-3811
Official URL:http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/vr/ejds/2008/00000002/00000003/art00003
Related URLs:http://www.v-r.de/en/journals/500057/ (Publisher)

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