Babyhood Establishes the Roots of Human Moral Values and Ethics

Infants who are fully nested are able to grow into their humanity and a relaxed confidence as members of the community. Their psycho-social-biology grows in a manner fostering self-regulation, empathy and cooperative ways of being. When children do not receive the nest of care needed for full development, of if they are traumatized, they necessarily display a more self-focused orientation to life, showing some degree of distrust of self, others, and the world. They learn to be withdrawn or oppositional in social life, and can be susceptible to paranoia, rage or authoritarianism.

About Darcia Narvaez, PhD (DAR-sha narv-EYES), University of Notre Dame

Darcia Narvaez is Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame who focuses on moral development and flourishing from an interdisciplinary perspective, integrating anthropology, neuroscience, clinical, developmental and educational sciences. Dr. Narvaez’s current research explores how early life experience influences moral character in children and adults. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association and is former editor of the Journal of Moral Education She has published more than 20 books, including Indigenous Sustainable Wisdom: First Nation Know-how for Global FlourishingBasic Needs, Wellbeing and Morality: Fulfilling Human Potential and Embodied Morality: Protectionism, Engagement and Imagination. Her recent book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom won the 2015 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association and the 2017 Expanded Reason Award. She writes a blog for Psychology Today (“Moral Landscapes”) and hosts the webpage

Posted on March 2, 2021 by Darcia Narvaez, PhD