Moral Disengagement: How People Do Harm and Live with Themselves

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Macmillan Learning, Dec 23, 2015 - Psychology - 544 pages

This insightful textbook asks the question: How do otherwise considerate human beings do cruel things and still live in peace with themselves? Dr. Bandura provides a definitive exposition of the psychosocial mechanism by which people selectively disengage their moral self-sanctions from their harmful conduct. They do so by sanctifying their harmful behaviour as serving worthy causes; absolving themselves of blame; minimizing the harmful effects of their actions; dehumanizing those they maltreat, and blaming them for bringing the suffering on themselves.

Dr. Bandura’s theory of moral disengagement is uniquely broad in scope. Theories of morality focus almost exclusively at the individual level. He insightfully extends the disengagement of morality to the social-system level through which wide-spread inhumanities are perpetrated. This masterwork by one of the most influential psychologists and thinkers of our time is important reading for all Psychology students and is particularly relevant for Social Psychology courses.

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About the author (2015)

Albert Bandura is one of the most eminent psychologists of modern times. He is a renowned scholar whose pioneering research in social cognitive theory has served as a rich resource for academics, practitioners, and policy makers alike across disciplinary lines. His illustrative career includes groundbreaking work across a broad range of areas. His seminal research on social modeling expanded our view of human learning and the growing primacy of this mode of learning in this electronic era. His later research on self-regulatory mechanisms laid the theoretical foundation for his theory of human agency. These diverse programs of research blend his theoretical interests with an abiding concern for the use of psychological knowledge for human enlightenment and betterment. He is the recipient of countless awards for his distinguished lifetime contributions to psychological science and innovative social applications.

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