Elliot Turiel

Elliot Turiel teaches courses on human development and its relation to education. He holds the Jerome A. Hutto Chair in the School of Education, and is an affiliated professor in the Department of Psychology. He has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs ad Interim Dean in the School of Education. He has served as president of the Jean Piaget Society. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a National Institute of Mental Health Fellow, and is a member of the National Academy of Education. In 2021 he recieved the Distinguished Contributions to Developemental Science Award, from the  Jean Piaget Society for the Study of Knowledge and Development. His work was recognized in a Special Celebration at the 2022 meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development. At that meeitng he also received a Recognition Award by the Municipality of Rhodes, Greece (Turiel's borthplace).

His research focuses on social and moral development. He has formulated a theory of domains of social development involving the development of moral judgments (based on concepts of welfare, justice, and rights) and their distinction, throughout development, from understandings of the conventions and customs of societies - as well as from arenas of personal jurisdiction. He has applied the theoretical approach to the study of the relations of morality and culture. His research shows that cultures are not homogeneous and that different groups in social hierarchies disagree on how to apply considerations of justice and equality.  His research investigates social opposition and moral resistance to cultural practices perceived as unjust. He studies ways children, adolescents, and adults attempt to counter inequalities (such as those based on gender) with overt and covert activities aimed at changing and subverting practices that favor those in positions of power in the social hierarchy. Current research also is examining: the development of judgments about social equality and inequality; and the development of sentiments and judgments about the value of life.

His books include The Development of Social Knowledge: Morality and Convention (1983, Cambridge University Press), The Culture of Morality: Social Development, Context, and Conflict (2002, Cambridge University Press),  Social Development, Social, Inequalities, and Social Justice (edited with C. Wainryb and J. Smetana, 2007, Erlbaum Publishers), New Perspectives on Human Development (edited with N. Budwig and P. Zelazo, 2017, Cambridge Univeristy Press). His many other publications include "The Development of Morality" in Handbook of Child Psychology (1998, 2006); "Thought, Emotions, and Social Interactional Processes in Moral Development" in Handbook of Moral Development (2006); "Morality: Epistemology, development, and social opposition" in Handbook of Moral Development, 2nd edition (2014); Moral judgments and actions: Development and processes of coordination. Handbook of Moral Development, 3rd edition (2022);  "Moral development" in Handbook of child psychology and Developmental Science, Theory & method, 7th edition; "Snap judgment? Not so fast: Thought, reasoning, and choice as psychological realities" in Human Development (2010); "To Lie or not to Lie: To Whom and Under what Circumstances" in Child Development (with S. Perkins, 2007); Nucci, L., Turiel, E., & Roded, A. D. (2017). Continuities and discontinuities in the development of moral judgments. Monograph as Special  Issue of Human Development (with L. Nucci and A. Roded, 2017); Dahl, A., Gingo, M., Uttich, K., & Turiel, E. (2018). Moral reasoning about human welfare in adolescents and adults: Judging conflicts involving sacrificing and saving lives. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development (with A. Dahl, M. Gingo, and M. Uttich, 2018); The Development of moral judgments, emotions, and sentiments in Oxford Handbook of Emotional Development (2022).

Interests and Professional Affiliations


Cognitive Development

Moral and Ethical Studies

Social and Emotional Development


PhD, Yale University, Psychology

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

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School of Education
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