Moral Judgment

Michael R. Waldmann, Jonas Nagel and Alex Wiegmann

in The Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199734689
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Moral Judgment

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The past decade has seen a renewed interest in moral psychology. A unique feature of the present endeavor is its unprecedented interdisciplinarity. For the first time, cognitive, social, and developmental psychologists, neuroscientists, experimental philosophers, evolutionary biologists, and anthropologists collaborate to study the same or overlapping phenomena. This review focuses on moral judgments and is written from the perspective of cognitive psychologists interested in theories of the cognitive and affective processes underlying judgments in moral domains. The review will first present and discuss a variety of different theoretical and empirical approaches, including both behavioral and neuroscientific studies. We will then show how these theories can be applied to a selected number of specific research topics that have attracted particular interest in recent years, including the distinction between moral and conventional rules, moral dilemmas, the role of intention, and sacred/protected values. One overarching question we will address throughout the chapter is whether moral cognitions are distinct and special, or whether they can be subsumed under more domain-general mechanisms.

Keywords: moral psychology; moral judgment; norms; moral domains; intention; folk psychology; emotion; reasoning; cross-cultural psychology; neuroscience; trolley problem; convention; protected and sacred values; heuristics and biases; dual-process th

Article.  20414 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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