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ERIC Number: EJ1043622
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1477-8785
Virtuous States and Virtuous Traits: How the Empirical Evidence Regarding the Existence of Broad Traits Saves Virtue Ethics from the Situationist Critique
Jayawickreme, Eranda; Meindl, Peter; Helzer, Erik G.; Furr, R. Michael; Fleeson, William
Theory and Research in Education, v12 n3 p283-308 Nov 2014
A major objection to the study of virtue asserts that the empirical psychological evidence implies traits have little meaningful impact on behavior, as slight changes in situational characteristics appear to lead to large changes in virtuous behavior. We argue in response that the critical evidence is not these effects of situations observed in social psychological experiments, but evidence of stable individual differences obtained from correlations of individual's behaviors across multiple contexts. The totality of the empirical evidence is shown to support this claim: broad traits are real, prominent, and consequential, and these traits, conceptualized as density distributions of personality states, exhibit remarkable consistency. In short, the evidence in favor of individual differences is empirically solid, and the study of ethics focused on virtue is not threatened by psychological research.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A