Returning to roots: on social information processing and moral development

Child Dev. 2004 Jul-Aug;75(4):1003-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00721.x.


Social information processing theory has been posited as a description of how mental operations affect behavioral responding in social situations. Arsenio and Lemerise (this issue) proposed that consideration of concepts and methods from moral domain models could enhance this description. This paper agrees with their proposition, although it suggests that numerous additional concepts about the nature of latent mental structures (e.g., working models, schemas, scripts, object relations, classical conditioning) provide equally compelling refinements to processing theory. Furthermore, theoretical and methodological challenges in integrating latent mental structures into processing theory remain.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Morals*
  • Personality Development*
  • Psychological Theory
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Perception*