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  1. Marc Hauser & Liane Young, The Psychology of Justice.
    In Natural Justice Binmore offers a game-theoretic map to the landscape of human morality. Following a long tradition of such accounts, Binmore’s argument concerns the forces of biological and cultural evolution that have shaped our judgments about the appropriate distribution of resources. In this sense, Binmore focuses on the morality of outcomes. This is a valuable perspective to which we add a friendly amendment from our own research: moral judgments appear to depend on process just as much as outcome. What (...)
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  2. Joshua Rottman, Deborah Kelemen & Liane Young (2014). Tainting the Soul: Purity Concerns Predict Moral Judgments of Suicide. Cognition 130 (2):217-226.
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  3. Liane Young (2013). Professor Andrew Whiten. In Simon Baron-Cohen, Michael Lombardo & Helen Tager-Flusberg (eds.), Understanding Other Minds: Perspectives From Developmental Social Neuroscience. Oup Oxford.
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  4. Kurt Gray, Liane Young & Adam Waytz (2012). Mind Perception is the Essence of Morality. Psychological Inquiry 23 (2):101-124.
    Mind perception entails ascribing mental capacities to other entities, whereas moral judgment entails labeling entities as good or bad or actions as right or wrong. We suggest that mind perception is the essence of moral judgment. In particular, we suggest that moral judgment is rooted in a cognitive template of two perceived minds—a moral dyad of an intentional agent and a suffering moral patient. Diverse lines of research support dyadic morality. First, perceptions of mind are linked to moral judgments: dimensions (...)
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  5. Liane Young, Alek Chakroff & Jessica Tom (2012). Doing Good Leads to More Good: The Reinforcing Power of a Moral Self-Concept. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):325-334.
    What is the role of self-concept in motivating moral behavior? On one account, when people are primed to perceive themselves as “do-gooders”, conscious access to this positive self-concept will reinforce good behavior. On an alternative account, when people are reminded that they have done their “good deed for the day”, they will feel licensed to behave worse. In the current study, when participants were asked to recall their own good deeds (positive self-concept), their subsequent charitable donations were nearly twice that (...)
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  6. Fiery Cushman & Liane Young (2011). Patterns of Moral Judgment Derive From Nonmoral Psychological Representations. Cognitive Science 35 (6):1052-1075.
    Ordinary people often make moral judgments that are consistent with philosophical principles and legal distinctions. For example, they judge killing as worse than letting die, and harm caused as a necessary means to a greater good as worse than harm caused as a side-effect (Cushman, Young, & Hauser, 2006). Are these patterns of judgment produced by mechanisms specific to the moral domain, or do they derive from other psychological domains? We show that the action/omission and means/side-effect distinctions affect nonmoral representations (...)
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  7. Jonathan Phillips & Liane Young (2011). Apparent Paradoxes in Moral Reasoning; Or How You Forced Him to Do It, Even Though He Wasn’T Forced to Do It. Proceedings of the Thirty-Third Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society:138-143.
    The importance of situational constraint for moral evaluations is widely accepted in philosophy, psychology, and the law. However, recent work suggests that this relationship is actually bidirectional: moral evaluations can also influence our judgments of situational constraint. For example, if an agent is thought to have acted immorally rather than morally, that agent is often judged to have acted with greater freedom and under less situational constraint. Moreover, when considering interpersonal situations, we judge that an agent who forces another to (...)
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  8. Liane Young & Jonathan Phillips (2011). The Paradox of Moral Focus. Cognition 119 (2):166-178.
    When we evaluate moral agents, we consider many factors, including whether the agent acted freely, or under duress or coercion. In turn, moral evaluations have been shown to influence our (non-moral) evaluations of these same factors. For example, when we judge an agent to have acted immorally, we are subsequently more likely to judge the agent to have acted freely, not under force. Here, we investigate the cognitive signatures of this effect in interpersonal situations, in which one agent (“forcer”) forces (...)
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  9. Liane Young & Rebecca Saxe (2011). Moral Universals and Individual Differences. Emotion Review 3 (3):323-324.
    Contemporary moral psychology has focused on the notion of a universal moral sense, robust to individual and cultural differences. Yet recent evidence has revealed individual differences in the psychological processes for moral judgment: controlled cognition, mental-state reasoning, and emotional responding. We discuss this evidence and its relation to cross-cultural diversity in morality.
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  10. Liane Young & Rebecca Saxe (2011). The Role of Intent for Distinct Moral Domains. Cognition 120:202-214.
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  11. Liane Young & Rebecca Saxe (2011). When Ignorance is No Excuse: Different Roles for Intent Across Moral Domains. Cognition 120 (2):202-214.
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  12. Fiery Cushman, Liane Young & Joshua D. Greene (2010). Multi-System Moral Psychology. In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
  13. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Liane Young (2010). And Fiery Cushman. In John Doris (ed.), Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
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  14. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Liane Young & Fiery Cushman (2010). Moral Intuitions. In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press. 246--272.
    Moral intuitions are strong, stable, immediate moral beliefs. Moral philosophers ask when they are justified. This question cannot be answered separately from a psychological question: How do moral intuitions arise? Their reliability depends upon their source. This chapter develops and argues for a new theory of how moral intuitions arise—that they arise through heuristic processes best understood as unconscious attribute substitutions. That is, when asked whether something has the attribute of moral wrongness, people unconsciously substitute a different question about a (...)
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  15. Liane Young, Shaun Nichols & Rebecca Saxe (2010). Investigating the Neural and Cognitive Basis of Moral Luck. [REVIEW] Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):333-349.
    Moral judgments, we expect, ought not to depend on luck. A person should be blamed only for actions and outcomes that were under the person’s control. Yet often, moral judgments appear to be influenced by luck. A father who leaves his child by the bath, after telling his child to stay put and believing that he will stay put, is judged to be morally blameworthy if the child drowns (an unlucky outcome), but not if his child stays put and doesn’t (...)
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  16. Liane Young & Rebecca Saxe (2010). It's Not Just What You Do, but What's on Your Mind: A Review of Kwame Anthony Appiah's “Experiments in Ethics”. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 3 (3):201-207.
    What is the impact of science on philosophy? In “Experiments in Ethics”, Kwame Anthony Appiah addresses this question for morality and ethics. Appiah suggests that scientific results may undermine moral intuitions by undermining our confidence in the actual sources of our intuitions, or by invalidating our factual assumptions about the causes of human behavior. Appiah worries that scientific results showing situational causes on human behavior force us to abandon the intuition, formalized in virtue ethics, that what matters is “who you (...)
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  17. Fiery Cushman & Liane Young (2009). The Psychology of Dilemmas and the Philosophy of Morality. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (1):9 - 24.
    We review several instances where cognitive research has identified distinct psychological mechanisms for moral judgment that yield conflicting answers to moral dilemmas. In each of these cases, the conflict between psychological mechanisms is paralleled by prominent philosophical debates between different moral theories. A parsimonious account of this data is that key claims supporting different moral theories ultimately derive from the psychological mechanisms that give rise to moral judgments. If this view is correct, it has some important implications for the practice (...)
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  18. Liane Young (2009). The Psychology of Dilemmas and the Philosophy of Morality. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (1):9 - 24.
    We review several instances where cognitive research has identified distinct psychological mechanisms for moral judgment that yield conflicting answers to moral dilemmas. In each of these cases, the conflict between psychological mechanisms is paralleled by prominent philosophical debates between different moral theories. A parsimonious account of this data is that key claims supporting different moral theories ultimately derive from the psychological mechanisms that give rise to moral judgments. If this view is correct, it has some important implications for the practice (...)
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  19. Marc D. Hauser, Liane Young & Fiery Cushman (2008). Reviving Rawls's Linguistic Analogy: Operative Principles and the Causal Structure of Moral Actions. In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, Volume 2. MIT Press.
    The thesis we develop in this essay is that all humans are endowed with a moral faculty. The moral faculty enables us to produce moral judgments on the basis of the causes and consequences of actions. As an empirical research program, we follow the framework of modern linguistics.1 The spirit of the argument dates back at least to the economist Adam Smith (1759/1976) who argued for something akin to a moral grammar, and more recently, to the political philosopher John Rawls (...)
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  20. Marc Hauser, Fiery Cushman, Liane Young, J. I. N. Kang-Xing & John Mikhail (2007). A Dissociation Between Moral Judgments and Justifications. Mind and Language 22 (1):1–21.
    To what extent do moral judgments depend on conscious reasoning from explicitly understood principles? We address this question by investigating one particular moral principle, the principle of the double effect. Using web-based technology, we collected a large data set on individuals' responses to a series of moral dilemmas, asking when harm to innocent others is permissible. Each moral dilemma presented a choice between action and inaction, both resulting in lives saved and lives lost. Results showed that: (1) patterns of moral (...)
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  21. Marc Hauser, Fiery Cushman, Liane Young, R. Kang‐Xing Jin & John Mikhail (2007). A Dissociation Between Moral Judgments and Justifications. Mind and Language 22 (1):1-21.
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  22. Liane Young, Fiery Cushman, Marc Hauser & and Rebecca Saxe (2007). The Neural Basis of the Interaction Between Theory of Mind and Moral Judgment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104 (20):8235-8240.
    Is the basis of criminality an act that causes harm, or an act undertaken with the belief that one will cause harm? The present study takes a cognitive neuroscience approach to investigating how information about an agent’s beliefs and an action’s conse- quences contribute to moral judgment. We build on prior devel- opmental evidence showing that these factors contribute differ- entially to the young child’s moral judgments coupled with neurobiological evidence suggesting a role for the right tem- poroparietal junction (RTPJ) (...)
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  23. Fiery Cushman, Liane Young & Marc Hauser (2006). The Role of Conscious Reasoning and Intuition in Moral Judgment. Psychological Science 17 (12):1082-1089.
    ��Is moral judgment accomplished by intuition or conscious reasoning? An answer demands a detailed account of the moral principles in question. We investigated three principles that guide moral judgments: (a) Harm caused by action is worse than harm caused by omission, (b) harm intended as the means to a goal is worse than harm foreseen as the side effect of a goal, and (c) harm involving physical contact with the victim is worse than harm involving no physical contact. Asking whether (...)
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  24. Liane Young, Fiery Cushman, Ralph Adolphs, Daniel Tranel & Marc Hauser (2006). Does Emotion Mediate the Effect of an Action's Moral Status on its Intentional Status? Neuropsychological Evidence. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6:291-304.
    Studies of normal individuals reveal an asymmetry in the folk concept of intentional action: an action is more likely to be thought of as intentional when it is morally bad than when it is morally good. One interpretation of these results comes from the hypothesis that emotion plays a critical mediating role in the relationship between an action’s moral status and its intentional status. According to this hypothesis, the negative emotional response triggered by a morally bad action drives the attribution (...)
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