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Zaikin V.A. (2017). Moral functioning: socio-psychological approach. Social intuitionist theory of John Haidt. National Psychological Journal. 1, 32-38.


The paper studies the methodological aspect of developing social intuitionist approach to moral psychology. The paper reveals the possibility of applying this approach to the study of morality and moral functioning today, emphasizes the representation of issues in moral psychology methodological origins of social psychology, both in Russia and abroad. Social and psychological foundations of social intuitionist approach are described in detail. The research results show that the child perceiving the concept of fairness and variability in the framework of a specific group membership is culturally determined. The matter of special consideration is the theory of the American social psychologist George Haidt. The results of his work and his colleagues’ works are presented herein describing the concept of cultural variable moral intuitions, the findings of empirical studies carried out in the framework of this approach are summarized. The paper reveals the fundamental provisions of the social and intuitionistic theory. The comparative analysis of the social intuitionistic and cognitive approaches in moral psychology is presented. The conclusion that the relativistic understanding of morality is not an obstacle to its study, and the presence of various determinants of moral functioning should be based on further empirical research.

The authors conceptualized the current state of social intuitionistic theory of moral functioning, which describes the theoretical and methodological sources of this area (Rawls, 2010; Freud, 2005; Hume, 1996; Hare’s, 1981). As justification for this approach the paper considers the phenomena studied in psychology, social cognition, and those that create the possibility of developing this area, namely affective motivation (Zajonc, 1980), fair-world hypothesis (Lerner, 1965), the objectivity of the illusion (Perkins, Allen, & Hafner , 1983), the phenomenon of «naive realism» (Griffin, & Ross, 1991), group interaction in a situation of regulatory uncertainty (Zimbardo, Lyayppe, 2011).

Received: 09/01/2015
Accepted: 06/17/2016
Pages: 32-38
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2017.0104

Sections: Social Psychology;


Keywords: psychology of morality; social psychology; moral functioning; social intuitionistic theory;

Available Online 30.03.2017


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For citing this article:

Zaikin V.A. (2017). Moral functioning: socio-psychological approach. Social intuitionist theory of John Haidt. National Psychological Journal. 1, 32-38.

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