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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Moral deeds often require sacrificing time, effort, and resources, yet we are still motivated to engage in such behaviors. What drives us to enact these positive, prosocial behaviors and to leave our selfish desires behind? Developmental scientists consider emotions in contexts of morality (i.e., moral emotions) important drivers behind other-oriented, fair, and responsible behaviors. In this chapter, the authors outline the core moral emotions, how they develop, and how they link to prosocial and antisocial behaviors across development. They begin by discussing their integrative theoretical framework for conceptualizing moral emotions. Afterwards, they introduce a taxonomy that distinguishes four key moral emotions based on two dimensions: valence (positive and negative) and orientation (self and other). Next, current cross-cultural research on the development of these emotions is discussed, followed by a review of research on how the four emotions are associated with prosocial and antisocial behaviors from infancy to adolescence. The authors then outline the fundamental components that are involved in emotional experiences and conclude by highlighting promising future directions for developmental research.

Keywords: social-emotional development, moral emotions, guilt, empathy/sympathy, pride, respect, prosocial behavior, aggressive behavior

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