Guest Lecture: "The infantile origins of human morality"

On Friday, February 24th, 2017, a guest lecture will take place at the new LFE-Kolloquium.

Dr. Kiley Hamlin (Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver) will talk about:

“The infantile origins of human morality: studies with preverbal infants and toddlers”

How do humans come to have a “moral sense”? Are adults’ conceptions of which actions are right and which are wrong, of who is good and who is bad, who deserves praise and who deserves blame wholly the result of experiences like observing and interacting with others in one’s cultural environment and explicit teaching from parents, teachers, and religious leaders? Do all of the complexities in adults’ moral judgments reflect hard-won developmental change coupled with the emergence of advanced reasoning skills? This talk will explore evidence that, on the contrary, infants’ and toddlers’ social behaviors and social preferences map surprisingly well onto adults’ moral ones. Within the first year of life, infants prefer those who help versus harm third parties, those who reward prosocial individuals and punish wrongdoers, and even focus on the intentions that drive others’ actions rather than the outcomes that result from them. In the second year of life, toddlers are motivated to engage in both prosocial and antisocial behaviors toward third parties; these behaviors are informed by those third parties’ past prosocial and antisocial acts. These results suggest that the human moral sense is supported, at least in part, by extremely early-developing mechanisms for social evaluation and action.

Further information about the referent:

When? Friday, 24. February 2017 | 11:15 am – 01:45 pm
Where? Leipzig University, Erziehungswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Marschnerstraße 31, Haus 3, Raum 301 („Turmzimmer”), D-04109 Leipzig

Madlen Bartholmeß
Phone +49 (0) 341 97 31 870