Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cognition. 2008 Jun;107(3):1144-54. Epub 2007 Dec 26.

Cognitive load selectively interferes with utilitarian moral judgment.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Harvard University, 33 Kirkland St., Cambridge, MA 02138, United States. jdgreene@wjh.harvard.edu

Abstract

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 maximize good consequences) with controlled cognitive processes and associates non-utilitarian moral judgment with automatic emotional responses. Consistent with this theory, we find that a cognitive load manipulation selectively interferes with utilitarian judgment. This interference effect provides direct evidence for the influence of controlled cognitive processes in moral judgment, and utilitarian moral judgment more specifically.

PMID:
18158145
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2429958
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk