Living Slow and Being Moral

Human Nature 29 (2):186-209 (2018)
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Abstract

Drawing from the dual process model of morality and life history theory, the present research examined the role of cognitive and emotional processes as bridges between basic environmental challenges and other-centered moral orientation. In two survey studies, cognitive and emotional processes represented by future-oriented planning and emotional attachment, respectively, or by perspective taking and empathic concern, respectively, positively predicted other-centeredness in prosocial moral reasoning and moral judgment dilemmas based on rationality or intuition. Cognitive processes were more closely related to rational aspects of other-centeredness, whereas the emotional processes were more closely related to the intuitive aspects of other-centeredness. Finally, the cognitive and emotional processes also mediated negative effects of unpredictability, as well as positive effects of individual-level, contest competition on other-centeredness. Overall, these findings support the view that cognitive and emotional processes do not necessarily contradict each other. Rather, they might work in concert to promote other-centeredness in various circumstances and might be attributed to humans’ developmental flexibility in the face of environmental challenges.

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