Among the types of mediated depictions that have the ability to affect moral growth (e.g., sex, stereotypes, profanity, social relationships), the topic of violence has been the central focus of research. Despite this focus, there have been few studies looking specifically at developmental processes. Moreover, the theoretical frameworks used to study the effects of violence on moral development do not explain how the underlying emotional and intuitive components of moral judgment might change over time. Rather, theory tends to focus on social learning or cognitive-developmental moderators that do not identify moral judgment’s basic motivational origins. Traditional theory on ethical development conceives of morality as the product of rational processes, in which an individual consciously weighs evidence and infers culpability. By contrast, newer approaches in ...

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