This issue aims to define and describe exemplar research methods, and to provide the case for their importance in revealing aspects of human functioning and its development, which are often neglected within traditional, mainstream psychology and allied disciplines. Further, this issue provides a glimpse into the growing depth and breadth of exemplar research within and beyond the moral domain. It also provides insight into some of the complex contextual issues that emerge when studying human phenomena from this methodological perspective. Finally, a critical commentary is provided to help the reader determine the full value and limits of this research approach.
Kendall Cotton Bronk, Pamela Ebstyne King, M. Kyle Matsuba
This opening chapter introduces the reader to exemplar research by highlighting the strength to this methodological approach, raising important conceptual issues when adopting thismethodology, and linking these issues to the subsequent chapters.
2. Why a True Account of Human Development Requires Exemplar Research 13William Damon, Anne Colby
The authors, trailblazers of the contemporary exemplar method, persuasively argue for an exemplar methodological approach to the study of human development, highlighting the problems that may emerge when researchers neglect this approach.
3. Exemplars Moral Behavior Is Self–Regarding 27Lawrence J. Walker
Professor Walker presents his program of research on moral exemplars revealing important self– and other–promoting moralmotivational sources behind moral behavior and offers a developmental account of how this unfolds.
4. Cultural and Contextual Issues in Exemplar Research 41Pamela Ebstyne King, Ross A. Oakes Mueller, James Furrow
In this chapter, King and colleagues present some of the methodological complexities in conducting exemplar research in various cultural contexts, and provide valuable insights into what researchers ought to consider before entering the field.
5. The Making of an Environmental Activist: A Developmental Psychological Perspective 59M. Kyle Matsuba, Michael W. Pratt
Upon reviewing the literature of environmental activists, Matsuba and Pratt offer a developmental psychological account of how environmental activists emerge.
6. Informative and Inspirational Contributions of Exemplar Studies 75Daniel A. Hart, Theresa Murzyn, Lisa Archibald
Hart and colleagues offer a critical commentary of the preceding chapters, highlighting their strengths, and discuss the general benefits of using exemplar methodologies to better understand human functioning.