In this final chapter we reflect on some of the themes that resonate throughout the volume, but also raise some enduring questions for the field of moral personality, and some possible future lines of research.
A primary theme of the volume is that traditional ways of carving up the disciplines is no longer a productive way to investigate moral personality. There is something about the rhythm of science that seeks integrative frameworks, and there is now a palpable movement toward engaging broader perspectives that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. The disjunction between trait dispositional and social-cognitive approaches to personality, for example, no longer seems forbidding. A second example is McAdams' new Big Five framework that was designed to provide a unifying framework to personality science, but ends up rich with implications for lifespan development research as well, as several chapters attest in the present volume. There is a convergence of meta-theoretical perspectives on person-context transactions that unify the work of personality, social, and developmental researchers. And within developmental science there is a blueprint for merging social and cognitive developmental research in a way that makes contact with the study of social cognition in adults. The study of moral personality, then, is a topic that is inherently interdisciplinary, much in the way that cognitive science necessarily brings together scholars from many fields of study.
A second theme is that the foundations of the moral self are laid early in development. By the second birthday, and certainly as toddlers, an increasing dispositional stability emerges that has significance for prosocial behavior and moral development.