Moral Cognition
Recently Published Documents


TOTAL DOCUMENTS

262
(FIVE YEARS 139)

H-INDEX

29
(FIVE YEARS 11)

2021 ◽  
pp. 014616722110254
Author(s):  
Daniel L. Rosenfeld ◽  
A. Janet Tomiyama

Can perceptions of impurity uniquely explain moral judgment? Or is moral judgment reducible to perceptions of harm? Whereas some perspectives posit that purity violations may drive moral judgment distinctly from harm violations, other perspectives contend that perceived harm is an essential precursor of moral condemnation. We tested these competing hypotheses through five preregistered experiments (total N = 2,944) investigating U.S. adults’ perceptions of social distancing violations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Perceived harm was more strongly related to moral judgment than was perceived impurity. Nevertheless, over and above perceived harm, perceived impurity reliably explained unique variance in moral judgment. Effects of perceived harm and impurity were significant among both liberal and conservative participants but were larger among liberals. Results suggest that appraisals of both harm and impurity provide valuable insights into moral cognition. We discuss implications of these findings for dyadic morality, moral foundations, act versus character judgments, and political ideology.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Molly Crockett ◽  
Jim Albert Charlton Everett ◽  
Maureen Gill ◽  
Jenifer Siegel

How do we make inferences about the moral character of others? Here we review recent work on the cognitive mechanisms of moral inference and impression updating. We show that moral inference follows basic principles of Bayesian inference, but also departs from the standard Bayesian model in ways that may facilitate the maintenance of social relationships. Moral inference is not only sensitive to whether people make moral decisions, but also to features of decisions that reveal their suitability as a relational partner. Together these findings suggest that moral inference follows a relational logic: people form and update moral impressions in ways that are responsive to the demands of ongoing social relationships and particular social roles. We discuss implications of these findings for theories of moral cognition and identify new directions for research on human morality and person perception.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Joshua May

I draw on neurobiological evidence to defend the rationalist thesis that moral judgments are essentially dependent on reasoning, not emotions (conceived as distinct from inference). The neuroscience reveals that moral cognition arises from domain-general capacities in the brain for inferring, in particular, the consequences of an agent’s action, the agent’s intent, and the rules or norms relevant to the context. Although these capacities entangle inference and affect, blurring the reason/emotion dichotomy doesn’t preferentially support sentimentalism. The argument requires careful consideration of the empirical evidence (from neuroimaging to psychopathology) and philosophical analysis of the commitments of rationalism versus sentimentalism in ethics.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Daniel L. Rosenfeld ◽  
A. Janet Tomiyama

Vaccinating the public against COVID-19 is critical for pandemic recovery, yet a large proportion of people remain unwilling to get vaccinated. Beyond known factors like perceived vaccine safety or COVID-19 risk, an overlooked sentiment contributing to vaccine hesitancy may rest in moral cognition. Specifically, we theorize that a factor fueling hesitancy is perceived moral reproach: the feeling, among unvaccinated people, that vaccinated people are judging them as immoral. Through a highly powered, preregistered study of unvaccinated U.S. adults (total N = 846), we found that greater perceived moral reproach independently predicted stronger refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19, over and above other relevant variables. Of 22 predictors tested, perceived moral reproach was the fifth strongest—stronger than perceived risk of COVID-19, underlying health conditions status, and trust in scientists. These findings suggest that considering the intersections of morality and upward social comparison may help to explain vaccine hesitancy.


2021 ◽  
Vol 6 ◽  
Author(s):  
Rengin B. Firat

A longstanding body of literature reveals that experiences of discrimination and exclusion lead to health disadvantages by increasing physiological stress responses both in the body and the brain. However, a sociological view that takes into account structurally and culturally shaped biological processes is missing from the literature. Building on recent literature from the sociology of morality and values and the dual process model of culture, this paper proposes and provides preliminary evidence for an applied theory of culturally situated moral cognition as a coping mechanism with ethno-racial stress. I focus on values as they help cope with ethnicity and race related stress such as discrimination. Using functional neuroimaging data, I offer evidence that values operate through both explicit (controlled and conscious) processes recruiting brain regions like the dorsal prefrontal cortex, and implicit (automatic and non-conscious) processes recruiting regions like the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, to help cope with exclusion and discrimination.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Nicolas Restrepo Restrepo Ochoa

The sociology of culture provides tools to weigh in on key interdisciplinary debates that hinge around categorization and its underlying processes. For example, at present, there is widespread debate about how individuals come to perceive events as immoral. In this paper, I use sociological approaches to cultural meaning to test one of the leading theories of moral cognition: the idea that individuals attribute immorality through template matching. I use spatial measures of cultural meaning to define and locate a prototypical moral wrong. I then test the theory of template matching, and find evidence that distance from the typical moral transgression - in semantic space - is related to the time it takes to categorize an event as immoral or harmful. I then test these results on a corpus of naturally occurring text to assess their external validity. These studies provide empirical evidence supporting the notion that the attribution of immorality occurs through template matching. Furthermore, they also serve to illustrate that productive conversations can emerge when we take the insights that sociologists of culture and cognition have reached in the past few decades out of our disciplinary boundaries.


PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (5) ◽  
pp. e0251180
Author(s):  
Lisa Kronbichler ◽  
Renate Stelzig-Schöler ◽  
Melanie Lenger ◽  
Stefanie Weber ◽  
Brandy-Gale Pearce ◽  
...  

Introduction Although there is convincing evidence for socio-cognitive impairments in schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD), little evidence is found for deficient moral cognition. We investigated whether patients with SSD showed altered moral judgments in a story task where the protagonist either had a neutral or malicious intention towards another person. This paradigm examined whether SSD relates to altered moral cognition in general or specifically to impaired integration of prior information (such as beliefs) in moral judgments. Methods 23 patients and 32 healthy controls read vignettes created in a 2 x 2 design. The protagonist in each story either had a neutral or negative intention towards another person which, as a result, either died (negative outcome) or did not die (neutral outcome). Participants rated the moral permissibility of the protagonist’s action. Standard null hypothesis significance testing and equivalent Bayes analyses are reported. Results Schizophrenia patients did not differ significantly in permissibility ratings from healthy controls. This finding was supported by the Bayes analyses which favoured the null hypothesis. Task performance was not related to symptom severity or medication. Conclusions The current findings do not support the notion that moral judgments are deficient in schizophrenia. Furthermore, the current study shows that patients do not have observable difficulties in integrating the protagonist’s belief in the rating of the moral permissibility of the action-outcome.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Léo Fitouchi ◽  
Jean-Baptiste André ◽  
Nicolas Baumard

In recent decades, a large body of work has highlighted the importance of emotional processes in moral cognition. Since then, a heterogeneous bundle of emotions as varied as anger, guilt, shame, contempt, empathy, gratitude, and disgust have been proposed to play an essential role in moral psychology. However, the inclusion of these emotions in the moral domain often lacks a clear functional rationale, generating conflations between merely social and properly moral emotions. Here, we build on (i) evolutionary theories of morality as an adaptation for attracting others’ cooperative investments, and on (ii) specifications of the distinctive form and content of moral cognitive representations. On this basis, we argue that only indignation (“moral anger”) and guilt can be rigorously characterized as moral emotions, operating on distinctively moral representations. Indignation functions to reclaim benefits to which one is morally entitled, without exceeding the limits of justice. Guilt functions to motivate individuals to compensate their violations of moral contracts. By contrast, other proposed moral emotions (e.g. empathy, shame, disgust) appear only superficially associated with moral cognitive contents and adaptive challenges. Shame doesn’t track, by design, the respect of moral obligations, but rather social valuation, the two being not necessarily aligned. Empathy functions to motivate prosocial behavior between interdependent individuals, independently of, and sometimes even in contradiction with the prescriptions of moral intuitions. While disgust is often hypothesized to have acquired a moral role beyond its pathogen-avoidance function, we argue that both evolutionary rationales and psychological evidence for this claim remain inconclusive for now.


Sign in / Sign up

Export Citation Format

Share Document