Emotion regulation is one of the major foci of study in the fields of emotion and emotional development. This article proposes that to properly study emotion regulation, one must consider not only an intrapersonal view of emotion, but a relational one as well. Defining properties of intrapersonal and relational approaches are spelled out, and implications drawn for how emotion regulation is conceptualized, how studies are designed, how findings are interpreted, and how generalizations are drawn. Most research to date has been (...) conducted from an intrapersonal perspective, and the shortcomings of this approach for understanding emotion regulation are highlighted. The article emphasizes major conceptual and methodological steps required for a fuller description of the process of emotion regulation. (shrink)
Academic cheating, a common and consequential form of dishonesty, has puzzled moral psychologists and educators for decades. The present research examined a new theoretical approach to the perceptions, evaluations, and motivations that shape students’ decisions to cheat. We tested key predictions of this approach by systematically examining students’ accounts of their own cheating. In two studies, we interviewed undergraduates in psychology (n = 68) and engineering (n = 123) classes about their past experiences with plagiarism or other cheating. Interviews assessed (...) students’ perceptions of whether they were cheating, their evaluations of whether their actions were okay, and their motivations for doing what they did. Most students did not initially recognize their acts as cheating. While students generally thought cheating was wrong, they often judged the exceptional cases in which they cheated to be acceptable, citing concerns such as assignment goals and task feasibility. The findings suggest that perceptions, evaluations, and competing motivations play a key role in students’ decisions to cheat. (shrink)
If rationalization were ubiquitous, it would undermine a fundamental premise of human discourse. A review of key evidence indicates that rationalization is rare and confined to choices among comparable options. In contrast, reasoning is pervasive in human decision making. Within the constraints of reasoning, rationalization may operate in ambiguous situations. Studying these processes requires careful definitions and operationalizations.
Nearly all students believe academic cheating is wrong, yet few students say they would report witnessed acts of cheating. To explain this apparent tension, the present research examined college students’ reasoning about whether to report plagiarism or other forms of cheating. Study 1 examined students’ conflicts when deciding whether to report cheating. Most students gave reasons against reporting a peer (e.g., social and physical consequences, a lack of responsibility to report) as well as reasons in favor of reporting (e.g., concerns (...) about welfare, justice, and fairness). Study 2 provided experimental confirmation that the contextual factors referenced by Study 1 participants in fact influenced decisions about whether to report cheating. Overall, the findings indicate that students often decide against reporting peers’ acts of cheating, though not due to a lack of concern about integrity. Rather, students may refrain from reporting because of conflicting concerns, lack of information about school policy, and perceived better alternatives to reporting. (shrink)
Emotional action and communication are integral to the development of morality, here conceptualized as our concerns for the well-being of other people and the ability to act on those concerns. Focusing on the second year of life, this article suggests a number of ways in which young children’s emotions and caregivers’ emotional communication contribute to early forms of helping, empathy, and learning about prohibitions. We argue for distinguishing between moral issues and other normative issues also in the study of early (...) moral development, for considering a wider range of emotional phenomena than the “moral emotions” most commonly studied, and for paying more attention to how specific characteristics of early emotional interactions facilitate children’s development of a concern for others. (shrink)
Attempts to explain emotion typically emphasize the interaction of evolutionary and socialization processes. However, in describing this interplay the role of the person is typically underemphasized or unaccounted for. This paper lays out empirical and theoretical rationale for considering the person as a major contributor to emotion generation and development.
While we share many of the views on emotion research put forth in Kagan’s article “Once More into the Breach,” our commentary focuses on two points of disagreement. First, we argue for the importance of a priori principles. In particular, emotions cannot be understood without reference to final and formal cause, and the related principles of equifinality and equipotentiality. Secondly, although we agree the term “basic emotions” is misleading, we maintain that the emotions traditionally called “basic” should still be seen (...) as a distinct set of emotions by virtue of their being constitutive for other, derived emotions. In conclusion we argue for moving beyond the strict empiricist approach proposed by Kagan and many thinkers before him. (shrink)
Morality has two key features: moral judgments are not solely determined by what your group thinks, and moral judgments are often applied to members of other groups as well as your own group. Cooperative motives do not explain how young children reject unfairness, and assert moral obligations, both inside and outside their groups. Resistance and experience with conflicts, alongside cooperation, is key to the emergence and development of moral obligation.