Darcia F. Narvaez

Darcia F. Narvaez


Ph.D., University of Minnesota

  • Developmental
  • Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

(574) 631-7835


100 Haggar Hall

Notre Dame, IN 46556


Moral Psychology Lab

Download CV


Dr. Narvaez’ research explores questions of moral cognition and moral development over the lifespan in multiple contexts (e.g., family, school). She examines how early life experience influences moral functioning and moral character in children and adults. She integrates neurobiological, clinical, developmental and education sciences in her theories and research about moral development. Questions that interest her include: How does early experience shape moral capacities? What types of moral orientations can people have? How do moral dispositions develop? What is moral wisdom and how do we cultivate it? How can educators and parents foster optimal development, wellbeing and communal imagination? She has developed several integrative theories: Adaptive Ethical Expertise, Integrative Ethical Education, Triune Ethics Theory.

In September of 2016, she hosted a conference, Sustainable Wisdom: Integrating Indigenous Knowhow for Global Flourishing.  Click the link for information about and videos from the conference.

Recent Publications

Christen, M., Tanner, C., Narvaez, D., & Ott, T. (in press). Using Thesaurus-based value maps to reveal semantic structures of cultural moral differences. Cognitive Systems Research, 19(5) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cogsys.2016.02.003.

Narvaez, D., Wang, L, & Cheng, A. (2016). Evolved Developmental Niche History: Relation to adult psychopathology and morality. Applied Developmental Science. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10888691.2015.1128835. 

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.). Advances in virtue development: 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., 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., 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.