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date: 17 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Where does human moral sensitivity come from? In this chapter, the authors review research on the development of moral sensitivity in the first 2 years of life. Specifically, they present empirical evidence showing that infants are sensitive to third-party sociomoral interactions in the harm and fairness domains, and they examine the impact of sociomoral evaluations on infants’ social preferences, social interactions, and social expectations. They further discuss mechanisms and factors shaping sociomoral development, alternative interpretations of infants’ responses to sociomoral scenarios, and individual differences in sociomoral sensitivity and morally relevant behaviors. Future research should adopt a multicultural perspective and explore the implications of infants’ sociomoral evaluations across the life span.

Keywords: sociomoral evaluation, infancy, social interaction, social expectation, moral behavior

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