Moral Personality and Identity

 How does personality influence moral behavior? How does moral identity influence what you perceive and understand? These are questions my students and I examine.

We also have scales and measures of ethical identity constructs (assessment tools link on my first page) that you can use.

Published Papers and Books

Lapsley, D.K., & Narvaez, D. (Eds.) (2004). Moral development, self and identity: Essays in honor of Augusto Blasi. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Lapsley, D. & Narvaez, D. (2004). A social-cognitive view of moral character. In D. Lapsley & D. Narvaez (Eds.), Moral development: Self and identity (pp. 189-212). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Narvaez, D., &  Lapsley, D. (2005). The psychological foundations of everyday morality and moral expertise. In D. Lapsley & Power, C. (Eds.), Character Psychology and Character Education (pp. 140-165). Notre Dame: IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Lapsley, D., & Narvaez, D. (2005). Moral psychology at the crossroads. In D. Lapsley & Power, C. (Eds.), Character Psychology and Character Education (pp. 18-35). University of Notre Dame Press.

Narvaez, D., Lapsley, D. K., Hagele, S., & Lasky, B. (2006). Moral chronicity and social information processing: Tests of a social cognitive approach to the moral personality.  Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 966–985.

Narvaez, D. (2008). Triune ethics: The neurobiological roots of our multiple moralities.  New Ideas in Psychology, 26, 95-119.

Narvaez, D., & Lapsley, D.K. (2009). Moral identity and the development of moral character.  In D. Medin, L. Skitka, D. Bartels, & C. Bauman (Eds.), Moral cognition and decision making, Vol. 50 of the Psychology of Learning and Motivation series (pp. 237-274). Elsevier.

Narvaez, D., & Lapsley, D.K. (Eds.) (2009). Personality, Identity, and Character: Explorations in Moral Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Narvaez, D. (2009). Triune Ethics Theory and moral personality. In D. Narvaez & D.K. Lapsley (Eds.), Moral Personality, Identity and Character: An Interdisciplinary future (pp. 136-158). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Narvaez, D., & Lapsley, D. K. (2009). Introduction. In D. Narvaez & D.K. Lapsley (Eds.), Moral Personality, Identity and Character: An Interdisciplinary future (pp. 1-10). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Narvaez, D., & Lapsley, D.K. (2009). Moral personality: Themes, questions, futures. In D. Narvaez & D.K. Lapsley (Eds.), Moral Personality, identity and character: An Interdisciplinary future (pp. 441-448). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Narvaez, D. (2010). Moral complexity: The fatal attraction of truthiness and the importance of mature moral functioning. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(2), 163-181.

Narvaez, D. (2010). The embodied dynamism of moral becoming.  Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(2), 185-186.

Narvaez, D. (2010). The emotional foundations of high moral intelligence. In B. Latzko & T. Malti (Eds.). Children’s Moral Emotions and Moral Cognition: Developmental and Educational Perspectives, New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 129, 77-94. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Narvaez, D., Gleason, T., & Mitchell, C. (2010). Moral virtue and practical wisdom: Theme comprehension in children, youth and adults. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 171(4), 1-26.

Narvaez, D. & Hill, P. (2010). The relation of multicultural experiences to moral judgment and mindsets. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 3(1), 43-55

Narvaez, D. (2011). The ethics of neurobiological narratives. Poetics Today, 32(1): 81-106.

Narvaez, D., Radvansky, G.A., Lynchard, N., & Copeland, D. (2011). Are older adults more attuned to morally-charged information? Experimental Aging Research, 37, 1–37.

Narvaez, D. (2012). Moral rationality. Tradition and Discovery, XXXVIII (2), 25-33.

Narvaez, D. (2012). Restoring personal knowledge and virtue: Response to commentary. Tradition and Discovery, XXXVIII (2), 44-47.

Narvaez, D. (2013). Wisdom as mature moral functioning: Insights from developmental psychology and neurobiology. In M. Jones, P. Lewis, & K. Reffitt (Eds.), Character, Practical Wisdom and Professional Formation across the Disciplines (pp. 24-40).  Macon, GA: Mercer University Press.

Narvaez, D. (2013). Neurobiology and moral mindsets. In K. Heinrichs & F. Oser (Eds.), Moral and Immoral Behavior: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Moral Motivation (pp. 289-307). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Narvaez, D. (2013). The 99%–Development and socialization within an evolutionary context: Growing up to become  “A good and useful human being.” In D. Fry (Ed.), War, Peace and Human Nature: The convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views (pp. 643-672).  New York: Oxford University Press.

Narvaez, D. (2013). The individual, relational and social neurobiological development of morality. In M. Riemslagh, R. Burggraeve, J. Corveleyn & A. Liégeois (Eds.), After You. The ethics of the pastoral counselling process (pp. 109-135). Leuven, Belgium: Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium.

Narvaez, D. (2014). Natural Morality, Moral Natures and Human Flourishing. In B. Musschenga & A. van Harskamp (Eds.), Why be moral? On the capacities and conditions for being moral (pp. 239-254). [Springer Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy] Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

Lapsley, D., & Narvaez, D. (2014). The having, doing and being of moral personality. In N. Snow and Franco V. Trivigno (Eds.), The Philosophy and Psychology of Character and Happiness (pp. 133-144).  New York, NY: Routledge.

Narvaez, D., & Bock, T. (2014). Developing ethical expertise and moral personalities. In L. Nucci & D. Narvaez (Eds.), Handbook of Moral and Character Education (2nd ed.) (pp. 140-158). New York, NY: Routledge.

Narvaez, D. & Mrkva, K. (2014). The development of creative moral imagination. In S. Moran, D. H. Cropley & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), The Ethics of Creativity (pp. 25-45). New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Narvaez, D., & Lapsley, D. (2014). Becoming moral: Development of moral agents through social interaction. In. M. Christen, J. Fischer, M. Huppenbauer, C. Tanner, & C. van Schaik (Eds.), Empirically Informed Ethics. Morality between Facts and Norms. 227 Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy 32, [Springer Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy]. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-01369-5_1

Narvaez, D. (2015). The neurobiology of moral sensitivity: Evolution, epigenetics and early experience. In D. Mowrer & P. Vandenberg (Eds.), The art of morality: Developing moral sensitivity across the curriculum (pp. 19-42). New York, NY: Routledge.

Narvaez, D. (2015). The co-construction of virtue: Epigenetics, neurobiology and development. In N. E. Snow (Ed.), Cultivating Virtue (pp. 251-277). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Narvaez, D. (2016). Kohlberg Memorial Lecture 2015: Revitalizing human virtue by restoring organic morality. Journal of Moral Education, 45(3), 223-238.

Narvaez, D. (2016). Reply: Returning to humanity’s moral heritages. Journal of Moral Education, 45(3), 256-260.

Narvaez, D. (2016). Goodness, survival and flourishing. Philosophical News, 12, 56-64.

Narvaez, D. (2016). Baselines for virtue. In J. Annas, D. Narvaez, & N. Snow  (Eds.), Developing the virtues: Integrating perspectives (pp. 14-33). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Narvaez, D. (2017). The ontogenesis of human moral becoming. In A. Fuentes & A. Visala (Eds.), Verbs, bones and brains: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Human Nature (pp. 114-121). Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Narvaez, D. (2017). Are we losing it? Darwin’s moral sense and the importance of early experience. In. R. Joyce (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy (pp. 322-332). London: Routledge.

Narvaez, D. (2017). Evolution, childrearing and compassionate morality.  In Paul Gilbert (Ed.), Compassion: Conceptualisations, Research and Use in Psychotherapy (pp. 78-186). London: Routledge.

Narvaez, D. (2017). Getting back on track to being human. Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies, 4(1), March 2, 2017. Online free: DOI:

Narvaez, D. (2018). The neurobiological bases of human moralities: Civilization’s misguided moral development. In C. Harding (Ed.), Dissecting the Superego: Moralities Under the Psychoanalytic Microscope (pp. 60-75). London: Routledge.

Narvaez, D. (2018). The developmental niche for peace. In P. Verbeek & B. Peters (Eds.), Peace ethology, behavioral processes and systems of peace (pp. 95-112). Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Narvaez, D. (2018). Ethogenesis: Evolution, early experience and moral becoming. In J. Graham & K. Gray (Eds.), The Atlas of Moral Psychology (pp. 451-464). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Narvaez, D. (2019). Reclaiming awe for the right things. In C. Deane-Drummond, T. Stapleford, & D. Narvaez (Eds.), Practicing science: Virtues, values, and the good life (pp. 142-149). Notre Dame, IN: Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing. Available at

Narvaez, D. (2019). Humility in four forms: Intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, and ecological. In J. Wright (Ed.), Humility (pp. 117-145). In book series, Multidisciplinary perspectives on virtues (N. Snow & D. Narvaez, series eds.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Narvaez, D. (2019). Moral development and moral values: Evolutionary and neurobiological influences.  In D. P. McAdams, R. L. Shiner, & J. L. Tackett (Eds.), Handbook of personality (pp. 345-363). New York, NY: Guilford.

Narvaez, D. (2019). In search of baselines: Why psychology needs cognitive archaeology. In T. Henley, M. Rossano & E. Kardas (Eds.), Handbook of Cognitive Archaeology: A Psychological Framework. London: Routledge.

Narvaez, D. (2019). Evolution, childhood and the moral self.  In R. Gipps & M. Lacewing (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of philosophy and psychoanalysis (pp. 637-659). London: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198789703.013.39