Narvaez Wins Award for Interdisciplinary Book Bridging Biology, Moral Development, Culture, and Education

August 08, 2015William Schmitt

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Prof. Darcia F. Narvaez, a nationally recognized expert on moral education in the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, has received the 2015 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association (APA).

The award, which honors outstanding research integrating psychology with other disciplines, went to Narvaez’s new book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom, published by W.W. Norton.

Narvaez accepted the award Aug. 8 at the APA’s annual conference in Toronto. The APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States; its Division 1, the Society for General Psychology, bestows the William James Award, named after a leader in the discipline who was said to help make psychology “come alive for everyone.”

See the author describe her research in light of multiple disciplines and a variety of audiences, including parents and teachers, in this video from Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives. Narvaez is a fellow of the Institute.

Narvaez, a prolific author of books, articles, and a popular blog, “Moral Landscapes,” published by Psychology Today, said she was honored to receive a distinctively interdisciplinary award.

“William James was a philosopher as well as a psychologist,” she said. “The research with which I began Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality prompted me to look more deeply at the roots of wisdom. The book explores morality, how we raise children, and how cultures geared to raise peaceful, other-oriented adults embrace the natural world as a comfortable home of valued relationships.”

Psychologists, biologists, educators, and moral philosophers all will find relevant content in the book, Narvaez said. Those interested in her work can find additional resources at her Notre Dame website, her personal website, and the “Moral Landscapes” blog.

Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality, available for purchase, is reviewed by “Contemporary Psychotherapy” online here.

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Contact: Bill Schmitt, Institute for Educational Initiatives, wschmitt@nd.edu