Dr. Charles Helwig

Charles C. Helwig

Professor of Psychology
Cross-appointed to Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Mailing address
Room 4029,

100 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario
Canada, M5S 3G3
(416) 978-7609




(416) 978-4811


Bio and Research Interests

Charles Helwig is Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his B.A. from the University of Chicago. His research examines the development of moral and social judgments from the preschool years through adulthood, with a focus on the development of moral concepts related to societal issues and social institutions, such as freedoms, civil liberties, and democracy. He has investigated children's understandings of democratic decision-making and rights not only in the context of society at large but in other social contexts such as the family, the school, and the peer group, and in cross-cultural research conducted in China and Canada. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association. Currently, he is Associate Editor of the British Journal of Developmental Psychology and a member of the editorial board of Human Development, and has served on the editorial boards of Child Development and the Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development.

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Lo, C., Helwig, C. C., Chen, S. X., Ohashi, M. M., & Cheng, C. M. (in press).  A needs-based perspective on cultural differences in identity formation. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research.

Helwig, C. C., & Yang, S. (in press). Toward a truly democratic civics education. To appear in R. Shaffer & K. Durkin (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of developmental psychology in practice. Oxford: Blackwell.

Lo, C., Helwig, C. C., Chen, S. X., Ohashi, M. M., & Cheng, C. M. (2011).  The psychology of strengths and weaknesses: Assessing self-enhancing and self-critical tendencies in Eastern and Western cultures.  Self and Identity, 10, 203-212.

Helwig, C. C., & Turiel, E. (2011).  Children’s social and moral reasoning.  In C. Hart & P. Smith (Eds.), Wiley-Blackwell handbook of childhood social development (pp. 567-583). (Revised 2nd Edition).  Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Helwig, C. C., & McNeil, J. (2011).  The development of conceptions of personal autonomy, rights, and democracy and their relation to psychological well-being. In V. Chirkov, R. Ryan, and K. Sheldon (Eds.), Personal autonomy in cultural contexts: Global perspectives on the psychology of agency, freedom, and people’s well-being (pp. 241-256).  New York: Springer.  

Helwig, C. C., Yang, S., Tan, D., Liu, S., & Shao, T. (2011).  Urban and rural Chinese adolescents’ judgments and reasoning about personal and group jurisdiction.  Child Development, 82, 701-716.

Helwig, C. C. (2009).  Moral judgment.  In S. J. Lopez (Ed.), Encyclopedia of positive psychology, Vol. 1, (pp. 626-632).  Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Helwig, C. C. (2009).  Concepts of the social world.  In R. Shweder (Ed.), The child: An encyclopedic companion (pp. 199-202).  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lahat, A., Helwig, C. C., Yang, S., Tan, D., Liu, C. (2009).  Mainland Chinese adolescents’ judgments and reasoning about self-determination and nurturance rights.  Social Development, 18, 690-710.

Helwig, C. C. (2008). Don't blame it on the enlightenment (review of S. Law's "The war for children's minds"). Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology,29, 170-173

Helwig , C. C., Ryerson, R., & Prencipe, A. (2008). Children's, adolescents', and adults' judgments and reasoning about different methods of teaching values. Cognitive Development, 23, 119-135.

Helwig, C. C. (2008). The moral judgment of the child reevaluated: Heteronomy, early morality, and reasoning about social justice and inequalities. In C. Wainryb, J. G. Smetana, & E. Turiel (Eds.), Social development, social inequalities, and social justice (pp. 27-51). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Helwig, C. C., Arnold, M. L., Tan, D., & Boyd, D. (2007). Mainland Chinese and Canadian adolescents' judgments and reasoning about the fairness of democratic and other forms of government.Cognitive Development, 22, 96-109.

Helwig, C. C. (2007). Chinese adolescents' reasoning about their rights in relation to authority and the group. Chinese Journal of Moral Education, 2(8), 9-14. (in Chinese).

Helwig,C. C. (2006). The development of personal autonomy throughout cultures. Cognitive Development, 21, 458-473.

Helwig, C. C. (2006). Rights, civil liberties, and democracy across cultures. In M. Killen & J. G. Smetana (Eds.), Handbook of moral development (pp. 185-210). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Helwig, C. C. (2005). Culture and the construction of concepts of personal autonomy and democratic decision-making. In J. E. Jacobs, & P. A. Klaczynski (Eds.), The development of judgment and decision making in children and adolescents (pp. 181-212). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Helwig, C. C. (2004). Integrating--and respecting--the right and the good in moral development. (review of J. Gibbs' "Moral development and reality"). Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 25, 619-624.

Helwig, C. C., Arnold, M. L., Tan, D., & Boyd, D.(2003). Chinese adolescents' reasoning about democratic and authority-based decision making in peer, family, and school contexts. Child Development,74,783-800.

Helwig, C. C. (2002). Is it ever ok to exclude on the basis of race or gender? : The role of context, stereotypes, and historical change. Monographs of the Society for Research on Child Development, 67(4), 119-128.

Neff, K., & Helwig, C. C. (2002). A constructivist approach to understanding the development of reasoning about rights and authority within cultural contexts. Cognitive Development, 17(3-4), 1429-1450.

Helwig, C. C., & Turiel, E. (2002). Rights, autonomy, and democracy: Children's perspectives. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry,25, 253-270.

Prencipe, A., & Helwig, C. C. (2002). The development of reasoning about the teaching of values in school and family contexts.Child Development, 73, 841-856.

Helwig, C. C. (2002). Immaculate perception or the ghost of logical positivism? (review of H. K. Kendler's "Amoral thoughts about morality: The intersection of science, psychology, and ethics"). Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 47, 117-120.

Helwig, C. C., & Turiel, E. (2002). Children's social and moral reasoning. In C. Hart & P. Smith (Eds.), Handbook of childhood social development (pp. 475-490).Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Helwig, C. C., & Turiel, E. (2001). Commentary: Children's rights and the conflict between autonomy and social hierarchy. International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development Newsletter (No. 2, Serial No. 38), 18-20.

Helwig, C. C., & Jasiobedzka, U. (2001). The relation between law and morality: Children's reasoning about socially beneficial and unjust laws. Child Development, 72, 1382-1393.

Helwig, C. C., Zelazo, P. D., & Wilson, M. (2001). Children's judgments of psychological harm in normal and noncanonical situations. Child Development, 72, 66-81.

Helwig, C. C. (2000). Review of Kahn's "The Human Relationship with Nature". Journal of Moral Education, 29, 221-224.

Helwig, C. C., & Kim, S. (1999). Children's evaluations of decision-making procedures in peer, family, and school contexts. Child Development, 70, 502- 512.

Helwig, C. C., & Prencipe, A. (1999). Children's judgments of flags and flag- burning. Child Development, 70, 132-143.

Helwig, C. C. (1998). Children's conceptions of fair government and freedom of speech. Child Development, 69, 518-531.

Helwig, C. C. (1997). The role of agent and social context in judgments of freedom of speech and religion. Child Development, 68, 484-495.

Helwig, C. C. (1997). Making moral cognition respectable (again): A retrospective review of Lawrence Kohlberg. Contemporary Psychology, 42, 191-195.

Zelazo, P., Helwig, C. C., & Lau, A. (1996). Intention, act, and outcome in behavioral prediction and moral judgment. Child Development, 67, 2478-2492.

Helwig, C. C., Turiel, E., & Nucci, L. (1996). The virtues and vices of moral development theorists. Developmental Review, 16, 69-107.

Helwig, C.C. (1995). Adolescents' and young adults' conceptions of civil liberties: Freedom of speech and religion. Child Development, 66, 152-166.

Helwig, C.C. (1995). Social context in social cognition: Psychological harm and civil liberties. In M. Killen & D. Hart (Eds.), Morality in everyday life: Developmental perspectives (pp. 166-200). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Helwig, C.C., Hildebrandt, C., & Turiel, E. (1995). Children's judgments about psychological harm in social context. Child Development, 66, 1680-1693.

Helwig, C.C. (1993). Commentary on Moshman's "Adolescent reasoning and adolescent rights." Human Development, 36 (1), 41-44.

Helwig, C.C., Tisak, M.S., & Turiel, E. (1990). Children's social reasoning in context: Reply to Gabennesch. Child Development, 61, 2068-2078.

Turiel, E., Killen, M., & Helwig, C.C. (1987). Morality: Its structure, functions and vagaries. In J. Kagan & S. Lamb (Eds.), The emergence of morality in young children (pp. 155-243). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Butler, R.A. & Helwig, C. C. (1983). The spatial attributes of stimulus frequency in the median sagittal plane and their role in sound localization. American Journal of Otolaryngology, 4, 165-173.

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Moral Development Lab

website: http://psych.utoronto.ca/users/csc/Moral/

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