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Traditional theories of moral psychology emphasize reasoning and "higher cognition," while more recent work emphasizes the role of emotion. The present fMRI data support a theory of moral judgment according to which both "cognitive" and emotional processes play crucial and sometimes mutually competitive roles. The present results indicate that brain regions(More)
Cooperation is central to human societies. Yet relatively little is known about the cognitive underpinnings of cooperative decision making. Does cooperation require deliberate self-restraint? Or is spontaneous prosociality reined in by calculating self-interest? Here we present a theory of why (and for whom) intuition favors cooperation: cooperation is(More)
Traditional theories of moral development emphasize the role of controlled cognition in mature moral judgment, while a more recent trend emphasizes intuitive and emotional processes. Here we test a dual-process theory synthesizing these perspectives. More specifically, our theory associates utilitarian moral judgment (approving of harmful actions that(More)
In some cases people judge it morally acceptable to sacrifice one person's life in order to save several other lives, while in other similar cases they make the opposite judgment. Researchers have identified two general factors that may explain this phenomenon at the stimulus level: (1) the agent's intention (i.e. whether the harmful event is intended as a(More)
What makes people behave honestly when confronted with opportunities for dishonest gain? Research on the interplay between controlled and automatic processes in decision making suggests 2 hypotheses: According to the "Will" hypothesis, honesty results from the active resistance of temptation, comparable to the controlled cognitive processes that enable the(More)
Many important moral decisions, particularly at the policy level, require the evaluation of choices involving outcomes of variable magnitude and probability. Many economic decisions involve the same problem. It is not known whether and to what extent these structurally isomorphic decisions rely on common neural mechanisms. Subjects undergoing fMRI evaluated(More)
Some have argued that belief in God is intuitive, a natural (by-)product of the human mind given its cognitive structure and social context. If this is true, the extent to which one believes in God may be influenced by one's more general tendency to rely on intuition versus reflection. Three studies support this hypothesis, linking intuitive cognitive style(More)
Koenigs, Young and colleagues [1] recently tested patients with emotion-related damage in the ventromedial prefron-tal cortex (VMPFC) using moral dilemmas used in previous neuroimaging studies [2,3]. These patients made unusually utilitarian judgments (endorsing harmful actions that promote the greater good). My collaborators and I have proposed a(More)
While there is much evidence for the influence of automatic emotional responses on moral judgment, the roles of reflection and reasoning remain uncertain. In Experiment 1, we induced subjects to be more reflective by completing the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) prior to responding to moral dilemmas. This manipulation increased utilitarian responding, as(More)