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PH100 Lecture Notes

Social cultural cognitive and evolutionary psychology

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social, cultural, cognitive, and evolutionary psychology, anthropology, and ethology Important qualification: the social intuitionist model does not claim that moral reasoning never causes moral judgments. Instead states that moral reasoning is rarely the direct cause of moral judgment . Long tradition in philosophy and moral psychology according to which: moral judgments are caused by moral reasoning moral agents are scientists (or judges): they first weigh the harms and benefits, they consider what is just and what is fair, and only then they pass judgement moral judgment requires reflection emotions do not directly cause moral judgements Haidt's alternative model (the social intuitionist model) moral judgment comes from intuitions moral reasoning is typically an ex post facto process: it takes place after one has reached a moral
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judgement and it constructs a story that aims to explain why one reached that moral judgement during moral reasoning “one becomes a lawyer trying to build a case rather than a judge searching for the truth” “lawyers” just try to make a case – not necessarily prove that something is true Important terms! MORAL JUDGMENTS: “evaluations (good vs. bad) of the actions or character of a person that are made with respect to a set of virtues held to be obligatory by a culture of subculture” (817) MORAL REASONING: “conscious mental activity that consists of transforming given information about people in order to reach a moral judgement...Intentional, effortful, slow, and controllable..accessible to consciousness” (818) post hoc – comes after the moral judgment MORAL INTUITION: “sudden appearance in consciousness of a moral judgment , including an affective valence (good-bad, like-dislike), without any conscious awareness of having gone through steps of searching, weighting evidence, or inferring a conclusion.. MORAL INTUITION and MORAL REASONING are two forms of cognition The Links in the Model 1. THE INUITIVE JUDGMENT LINK: “moral judgments appear in consciousness automatically and effortlessly as the result of moral intuitions” (818) e.g., incest is disgusting → incest is wrong or immoral 2. THE POST HOC REASONING LINK: “moral reasoning is an effortful process, engaged in after a moral judgment is made, in which a person searches for arguments that will support an already-made judgment” e.g., incest is wrong because... (said to oneself) 3. THE REASONED PERSUASION LINK: justifying one's position to others and trying to convince others. “..it is hypothesized that reasoned persuasion works not by providing logically compelling arguments but by triggering new affectively valenced intuitions in the listener” (819) e.g., incest is wrong because... (said to others) A's reasoning → B's reasoning 4. THE SOCIAL PERSUASION LINK: the moral judgments of others can affect you. “...the model proposes that the mere fact that friends, allies, and acquaintances have made a moral judgment exerts a direct influence on others, even if no reasoned persuasion is used” (819) e.g., you friend says “incest is wrong” → you think that incest is disgusting
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