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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Moral self-awareness concerns how people perceive themselves as moral actors in the world. Its developmental origins begin early with the growth of empathy and emotion understanding and young children’s sensitivity to the effects of people’s actions on another’s feelings, goals, and intentions. Moral self-awareness continues to unfold with the development of conscience, moral emotions such as shame and guilt, and the emergence of the “moral self” in the preschool years. This chapter discusses these achievements, their developmental origins in parent–child relationships and in the growth of psychological understanding, and their connections to later advances in moral self-awareness, including moral identity in adolescence.

Keywords: moral self-awareness, conscience, theory of mind, premoral sensibility, empathy, moral identity, moral self, parent–child conversation

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