Moral reasoning refers to the processes involved in how individuals think about right and wrong and in how they acquire and apply moral rules and guidelines. The psychological study of morality in general is often referred to as the study of moral reasoning, [Page 591]although moral psychology is now understood as encompassing more than just the reasoning process.
Many of the topics that social psychologists were originally interested in (such as obedience and conformity) had to do in one way or another with questions of moral judgment and behavior. Despite this early interest in morality, the study of moral reasoning specifically had its beginnings in the work of moral philosophers and developmental psychologists rather than in social psychology.
Although morality was originally the domain of religion and ...