A cognitive approach to the 'happy victimiser'

Journal of Moral Education 41 (4):491-508 (2012)

Abstract
The happy victimiser phenomenon has puzzled many researchers in the field of moral development. After having learnt and internalised what is morally right and wrong, young children tend to attribute positive feelings to observed models of their age who explicitly harm other children. This has been mainly explained as a lack of moral motivation or an insufficiently developed moral self. On both accounts, happy victimising is seen as an educational problem and understood in terms of a gap between moral judgement and moral action. Against this view an alternative interpretation is suggested, namely to understand the happy victimiser as a particular form of moral reasoning, to the effect that there is no gap (at least not between moral judgement and moral motivation). From an educational point of view this relativises the whole HV problem. Consequences concerning the proper role of a ?moral self? as well as educational implications are discussed
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DOI 10.1080/03057240.2012.700893
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References found in this work BETA

Beyond Moral Reasoning.Dan Freeman - 2008 - Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (4):513-540.
Compassion and Beyond.Roger Crisp - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):233-246.

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