International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Teaching Moral Psychology in a Virtual World
Stephen J. Thoma, Rick Houser, Muriah Wheelock, Amanda Coppock, Jarrod Doeringm, Matthew Bowness

The present paper describes an exploration of teaching of moral psychology within Second Life, a web-based virtual world. Using student written comments and observations collected weekly across the semester-long course, we conclude that virtual worlds support instruction by allowing students to experience situations that cannot be easily replicated in the real world. Particularly salient was the observation that Second Life—coupled with course content- provides students with examples of how various social processes influence moral understanding, judgments and actions. Further, Second Life provided a range of environments in which students can assess the influence of context on moral actions. The utility of virtual worlds as a teaching and research environment are discussed.

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