Selective Exercise of Moral Agency

  • Albert Bandura
Part of the Issues in Children’s and Families’ Lives book series (IICL, volume 5)


In a recent book titled Everybody Does It!, Gabor (1995) documents the pervasiveness of disengagement of moral self-sanctions from harmful conduct by people of all statuses in all walks of life. A full understanding of human morality must explain not only how people come to behave morally but also how they selectively disengage moral self-sanctions in the transactions of their everyday lives.


Moral Agency Social Cognitive Theory Moral Disengagement Moral Standard Common Humanity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baldwin, T. E, & Lewis, C. (1972). Violence in television: The industry looks at itself. In G. A. Comstock & E. A. Rubinstein (Eds.), Television and social behavior: Vol. 1. Media content and control (pp. 290–373 ). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  2. Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  4. Bandura, A. (1991). Social cognitive theory of moral thought and action. In W. M. Kurtines J. L. Gewirtz (Eds.), Handbook of moral behavior and development: Vol. 1. Theory, research and applications (Vol. 1, pp. 45–103 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. Bandura, A. (1992). Social cognitive theory of social referencing. In S. Feinman (Ed.), Social referencing and the social construction of reality in infancy (pp. 175–208 ). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  6. Bandura, A. (1999). Moral disengagement in the perpetration of inhumanities. Personality and Social Psychology Review [Special Issue on Evil and Violence], 3, 193–209.Google Scholar
  7. Bandura, A. (2003). The role of mechanisms of selective moral disengagement in terrorism and counter terrorism. In F. M. Mogahaddam & A. J. Marsella (Eds.), understanding terrorism (pp. 121–150 ). Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  8. Bandura, A., Caprara, G. V., Barbaranelli, C., Gerbino, M. G., & Pastorelli, C. (2003). Impact of affective self-regulatory efficacy on diverse spheres of functioning. Child Development, 74, 269–782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bandura, A., & Walters, R. H., (1959). Adolescent aggression. New York: Ronald Press.Google Scholar
  10. Blumenfeld, L. (2002). Revenge: A story of hope. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  11. Diaz, T. (1999). Making a killing: The business of guns in America. New York: New Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gabor, T. (1995). Everybody does it!: Crime by the public. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hoffman, M. L. (2001). Toward a comprehensive empathy-based theory of prosocial moral development. In A. C. Bohart & D. J. Stipek (Eds.), Constructive & destructive behavior (pp. 61–86 ). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kelman, H. C., & Hamilton, V. L. (1989). Crimes of obedience: Toward a social psychology of authority and responsibility. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  15. McAlister, A. (2001). Moral disengagement: Measurement and modification. Journal of Peace Research, 38, 87–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McAlister, A., Ama, E., Barroso, C., Peters, R., & Kelder, S. (2000). Promoting tolerance and moral engagement through peer modeling. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 6, 363–373.Google Scholar
  17. Milgram S. (1974). Obedience to authority: An experimental view. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  18. Mussen, P., & Eisenberg, N. (2001). Prosocial development in context. In A. C. Bohart & D. J. Stipek (Eds.), Constructive & destructive behavior (pp. 103–126 ). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Oliner, S. P., & Oliner, P. M. (1988). The altruistic personality. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  20. Zganjar, L. (1998, March 5). Forgotten hero of Mai Lai to be honored after 30 years. San Francisco Chronicle, p. A9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert Bandura

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations