Safety need resolution and cognitive ability as interwoven antecedents to moral development

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Logan Green
Cite this article:  Green, L. (1981). Safety need resolution and cognitive ability as interwoven antecedents to moral development. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 9(2), 139-146.


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Develops and tests the argument that moral development is a non-additive, interactive function of both recognized cognitive abilities and interpersonal security (i.e., resolved safety needs). Uneven emphasis during preservice teacher education on either the cognitive or the affective and conative realms will impede personal moral progression. The 139 preservice teachers (sophomores and juniors) had a mean moral development score of about the national norm. However, there were great divergences from this mean within the various conative and achievement groups. Principled reasoning scores that matched or exceeded the national norms for persons of their age and educational status were produced by (1) high achievers, provided that a relatively moderate level of safety need satisfaction was reached, and (2) average achievers with resolved safety needs. Thus, for the large majority of persons, whose academic success history is "average", culturally high levels of safety need satisfaction is an important antece
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