We conducted a scoping review of methods that have been used to measure infants’ (under age 2) moral development. Our aim was to assess the state of knowledge through a thematic overview of the methodologies that have been used and the specific constructs studied. We found that the majority of studies used an experimental methodology, and within this, infants’ actual behavior and their evaluations were the most common sources of information. An evidence map depicting concept delineation between studies and presenting concepts as related to an underlying moral sense, as prosocial (emotion and behavior), and as antisocial components (emotion and behavior) is provided. Just under one third of studies were longitudinal, and a high percentage reported a statistically significant longitudinal relation for moral development. Results highlight a need for measures that can be used longitudinally at different stages of development so that trajectories can be observed and mapped to behavioral outcomes, such as conduct problems.
|Journal||Infant and Child Development|
|Early online date||19 Jan 2022|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 19 Jan 2022|
- moral development
- moral reasoning