Dr. Narvaez’ research explores questions of species-typical and species-atypical development in terms of wellbeing, morality, and sustainable wisdom. She examines how early life experience (the evolved nest) influences moral functioning and wellbeing in children and adults. She integrates evolutionary, anthropological, neurobiological, clinical, developmental and education sciences in her work. Questions that interest her include: How does early experience shape human nature? What do sustainable indigenous societies have to teach the modern world? What types of moral orientations do individuals develop in species-typical and -atypical environments? What is indigenous ecological wisdom and how do we cultivate it? How can educators and parents foster optimal development, wellbeing and communal imagination? Her 2014 book won the 2015 William James Book Award from the APA and the 2017 Expanded Reason Award for research. She also writes a popular blog for Psychology Today called “Moral Landscapes.”
In September of 2016, she hosted a conference, Sustainable Wisdom: Integrating Indigenous Knowhow for Global Flourishing.
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Narvaez, D., Woodbury, R., Gleason, T., Kurth, A., Cheng, A., Wang, L., Deng, L., & Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, E.,
Christen, M., & Näpflin, C. (2019). Evolved Development Niche Provision: Moral socialization, social maladaptation
and social thriving in three countries. Sage Open, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244019840123
Narvaez, D. (2019). Moral development and moral values: Evolutionary and neurobiological influences. In D. P.
McAdams, R. L. Shiner, & J. L. Tackett (Eds.), Handbook of personality (pp. 345-363). New York, NY: Guilford.
Narvaez, D. (2019). Evolution, childhood and the moral self. In R. Gipps & M. Lacewing (Eds.), The Oxford
handbook of philosophy and psychoanalysis (pp. 637-659). London: Oxford University Press. DOI:
Narvaez, D., & Witherington, D. (2018). Getting to baselines for human nature, development and wellbeing. Archives
of Scientific Psychology, 6 (1), 205-213. DOI: 10.1037/arc0000053
Witherington, D., Overton, W., Lickliter, R., Marshall, P., & Narvaez, D. (2018). Metatheories and conceptual
confusions in developmental science. Human Development, 61:181–198 (DOI:10.1159/000490160)
Reilly, T., & Narvaez, D. (2018). Character, virtue and science: Linking psychological and philosophical views.
Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences, 5, 51-79.
Narvaez, D. (2018). The developmental niche for peace. In P. Verbeek & B. Peters (Eds.), Peace ethology,
behavioral processes and systems of peace (pp. 95-112). Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell.
Narvaez, D. (2018). Ethogenesis: Evolution, early experience and moral becoming. In J. Graham & K. Gray (Eds.),
The Atlas of Moral Psychology (pp. 451-464). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Christen, M., Narvaez, D., & Gutzwiller, E. (2017). Comparing and integrating biological and cultural moral progress.
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 20: 55. doi:10.1007/s10677-016-9773-y
Narvaez, D. (2017). Getting back on track to being human. Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies, 4(1), March 2, 2017, Online publication available at: http://pubs.lib.umn.edu/ijps/vol4/iss1/5
Narvaez, D., Wang, L, & Cheng, A. (2016). Evolved Developmental Niche History: Relation to adult psychopathology and morality. Applied Developmental Science, 20(4), 294-309. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10888691.2015.1128835
Narvaez, D., & Hardy, S. (2016). Measuring triune ethics orientations. In D. Narvaez, Embodied morality: Protectionism, engagement and imagination (pp. 47-72). New York, NY: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Narvaez, D. (2016). Kohlberg Memorial Lecture 2015: Revitalizing human virtue by restoring organic morality. Journal of Moral Education, 45(3), 223-238. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03057240.2016.1167029
Narvaez, D., Gleason, T., Wang, L., Brooks, J., Lefever, J., Cheng, A., & Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect (2013). The Evolved Development Niche: Longitudinal Effects of Caregiving Practices on Early Childhood Psychosocial Development. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28 (4), 759–773. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2013.07.003.
Narvaez, D., Wang, L., Gleason, T., Cheng, A., Lefever, J., & Deng, L. (2013). The Evolved Developmental Niche and sociomoral outcomes in Chinese three-year-olds. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 10(2), 106-127.
Narvaez, D. (2016). Baselines for virtue. In J. Annas, D. Narvaez, & N. Snow (Eds.), Developing the virtues: Integrating perspectives (pp. 14-33). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Narvaez, D., Four Arrows, Halton, E., Collier, B., Enderle, G. (Eds.) (2019). Indigenous Sustainable Wisdom: First
Nation Know-how for Global Flourishing. New York: Peter Lang.
Narvaez, D. (Ed.) (2018). Basic needs, wellbeing and morality: Fulfilling human potential. New York: Palgrave-
Narvaez, D. (2016). Embodied morality: Protectionism, engagement and imagination. New York, NY: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Narvaez, D., Braungart-Rieker, J., Miller, L., Gettler, L., & Hastings, P. (2016). (Eds.), Contexts for young child flourishing: Evolution, family and society. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Annas, J., Narvaez, D., & Snow, N. (2016). (Eds.). Developing the virtues: Integrating perspectives. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Narvaez, D. (2014). Neurobiology and the development of human morality: Evolution, culture and wisdom. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
Nucci, L., Narvaez, D., & Krettenauer, T. (Eds.) (2014). Handbook of moral and character education (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Narvaez, D., Valentino, K., McKenna, J., Fuentes, A., & Gray, P. (Eds.) (2014). Ancestral landscapes in human evolution: Culture, childrearing and social wellbeing. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. (discount)
Narvaez, D., Panksepp, J., Schore, A., & Gleason, T. (Eds.) (2013). Evolution, early experience and human development: From research to practice and policy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.