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How do lay individuals think about the objectivity of their ethical beliefs? Do they regard them as factual and objective, or as more subjective and opinion-based, and what might predict such differences? In three experiments, we set out a methodology for assessing the perceived objectivity of ethical beliefs, and use it to document several novel findings.(More)
The role of emotion in moral judgment is currently a topic of much debate in moral psychology. One specific claim made by many researchers is that irrelevant feelings of disgust can amplify the severity of moral condemnation. Numerous researchers have found this effect, but there have also been several published failures to replicate it. Clarifying this(More)
Negation, conjunction, and disjunction are major building blocks in the formation of concepts. This article presents a new model-based theory of these Boolean components. It predicts that individuals simplify the models of instances of concepts. Evidence corroborates the theory and challenges alternative accounts, such as those based on minimal(More)
Four studies examined the willingness of young, healthy individuals to take drugs intended to enhance their own social, emotional, and cognitive traits. We found that people were much more reluctant to enhance traits believed to be more fundamental to self‐identity (e.g., social comfort) than traits considered less fundamental to self‐identity (e.g.,(More)
Relations can hold between relations, as in assertions such as: Cordelia loves Lear more than Goneril does. Naïve reasoners can make inferences that depend on these higher order relations, which are vital for science and mathematics, but no existing theory explains such inferences. The present paper presents a theory based on mental models of the situations(More)
Inferences about spatial, temporal, and other relations are ubiquitous. This article presents a novel model-based theory of such reasoning. The theory depends on 5 principles. (a) The structure of mental models is iconic as far as possible. (b) The logical consequences of relations emerge from models constructed from the meanings of the relations and from(More)
What sorts of trait information do people most care about when forming impressions of others? Recent research in social cognition suggests that "warmth," broadly construed, should be of prime importance in impression formation. Yet, some prior research suggests that information about others' specifically moral traits--their moral "character"--may be a(More)
This review addresses the long-standing puzzle of how logic and probability fit together in human reasoning. Many cognitive scientists argue that conventional logic cannot underlie deductions, because it never requires valid conclusions to be withdrawn - not even if they are false; it treats conditional assertions implausibly; and it yields many vapid,(More)
Many concepts depend on negation and on relations such as conjunction and disjunction, as in the concept: rich or not democratic. This article reports studies that elucidate the mental representation of such concepts from descriptions of them. It proposes a theory based on mental models, which represent only instances of a concept, and for each instance(More)