- Values transmission and the relationship with the
- The concept of moral inclusion/exclusion.
- Violent behavior and substance abuse: the role of social
reputation and moral disengagement.
- The binge consuming culture between autonomy and
- Responsibility, rights and duties: Education for democracy and
Values transmission and the relationship with the
Starting from a conceptualization of obedience to the
authority as a basis for the transmission of values, rules and
culture of a society and of disobedience as a basis for the
innovation and the changes in these values over time, this research
highlights how the relationship between change and tradition is
centered on a shared sense of responsibility among young people and
adults. How Benasayag and Schmit (2003) asserted, entering and
accepting the principle of authority, all the people accept their
belonging to the society as a responsibility that is expressed in
the possibility of transforming what was, is and will be and of
challenging the rules on condition to respect the continuity of
society. Focusing on the concepts of mutual listening and of
responsibility, this research analyzes the dynamics between the
concepts of constructive obedience and prosocial disobedience as
the basis for the evolution of society and culture, distinguishing
them from those aspects of obedience and disobedience involved in
the degeneration of the relationship of authority in an
Passini, S., & Morselli, D. (2010).
Disobeying an illegitimate request in a democratic or authoritarian
system. Political Psychology, 31, 341-356.
Passini, S., & Morselli, D. (2010). Psicologia dell'obbedienza
e della disobbedienza. Roma: Carocci.
Passini, S., & Morselli, D. (2009).
Authority relationships between obedience and disobedience. New
Ideas in Psychology, 27, 96-106.
The concept of moral exclusion/inclusion
Starting from the literature that has analyzed the concept
of moral exclusion, delegitimization and moral disengagement, this
research has focused on the construction of scales to analyze the
concept of moral inclusion and exclusion and on the application of
these scales to the study of moral reasoning and of moral identity.
Moral exclusion is defined as excluding other individuals or social
groups by one's own "moral community", i.e. considering those
people as outside the boundaries within which moral values and the
shared rules of justice and fairness generally apply. On the
contrary, the process of moral inclusion implies the extension of
social justice to groups that previously were excluded. As
demonstrated by recent authors, we all have finite limits for
justice. Our obligations - influenced by social conventions and
personal norms - are stronger for those individuals considered
psychologically "close." In this sense, moral exclusion is evident
in all the ordinary and common exclusions, such as hatred towards
immigrants and towards people of different cultures. In a period
where prejudice towards immigrants is often socially approved, the
application of this research is to create educational activities
through which – by discussing with adolescents and young adults
about the processes of moral inclusion/exclusion and about the
concept of distance/social proximity - people may become more aware
of the boundaries of justice and how these can be enlarged.
Passini, S. (2010).
Moral reasoning in a multicultural society: Moral inclusion and
moral exclusion. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour,
Passini, S. (2005). Costruzione e validazione di una scala
sull'esclusione morale. Testing Psicometria Metodologia, 12,
Violent behavior and substance abuse: the role of social
reputation and moral disengagement
Starting from the recent interest of the media and the scientific
literature about the escalation of violent incidents involving
teenagers and for the gradual reduction in the age of first contact
with drugs, this research is focused on: i. highlighting how the
relationship between substance use and violence behaviors is not
direct but mediated by several intervening factors; ii. Identifying
the specific role of social reputation and moral disengagement as
variables that affect both the implementation of violent behavior
and drug use. In line with studies on social reputation the deviant
action - like that in line with social norms – corresponds to a
strategy that individuals use to build and maintain a reputation
within the social context in which they interact and reflects their
orientation toward formal authority. The applicative aim of this
research is the design of educational interventions with
adolescents that give them a space for discussing and reflecting on
the importance of moral commitment and of responsibility in
promoting prosocial behaviors and as protective factors against
Passini, S. (2012). The delinquency-drug relationship: The influence
of social reputation and moral disengagement. Addictive
Behaviors, 37, 577-579.
The binge consuming culture between autonomy and
One of the specific traits of today's consumer culture is to foster
dissatisfaction and a continual attempt to reach fulfillment. An
"apparently endless pursuit of want” (Campbell, 1989, p. 37) in
which satisfaction is substituted by the eternal search for it. As
several authors have pointed out, the "insatiability of desire" is
essential to the maintenance of the same socio-economic order. That
is, it is the engine that drives the mechanism necessary for the
lucrative economic system. A vicious circle in which the market
induces an unrestrained consumerism to produce large quantities of
consumer goods that in turn require a growing number of consumers.
The encounter with psychoactive substances, and their use and
abuse, can not be separated from the analysis of this consumerism
model that encourages adolescents to search for immediate
satisfaction, driving to the ongoing search for high performances
and excessive behaviors. Nowadays, psychoactive substances are not
only always available and easily accessible - as the market is full
of them - to adolescents, but they have acquired a particular image
of normality and a supporting function to a certain identity
construction of teenagers. In this research, the concept of binge
is analyzed starting from the studies on consumer society and from
the influence of culture on addictive behaviors to focus on
individual motivations to substance use.
Passini S. (2013). A binge consuming culture: The effect of
consumerism on social interactions in Western societies.
Culture & Psychology, 19, 366-387.
Responsibility, rights and duties: education for
democracy and active citizenship
In line with recent studies that have investigated the
complementary - rather than antagonistic - relationship between
individual rights and duties, this research is focused on the study
of social responsibility as a key concept of the link between the
individual and society. In particular, the importance of the
assumption of a role of active participation by the individual in
his/her relationships with society and its institutions and the
importance that education for democracy and for citizenship plays
in the promotion of the respect of everyone's rights and duties are
emphasized. The application intent is therefore to explore the ways
in which it is possible to create educational activities for
teenagers and young adults for the promotion of democratic and
active citizenship and focused on the understanding that the
respect for human rights depends on the individual assumption of
Passini, S. (2011). Individual
responsibilities and moral inclusion in an age of rights.
Culture & Psychology, 17, 281–296.
Passini, S., & Emiliani, F. (2009). Social
representations of rights and duties in young Italians and
Albanians. Swiss journal of psychology, 2, 89-98.