Home > Ethics > In defense of the personal/impersonal distinction in moral psychology research: Cross-cultural validation of the dual process model of moral judgment

In defense of the personal/impersonal distinction in moral psychology research: Cross-cultural validation of the dual process model of moral judgment

In defense of the personal/impersonal distinction in moral psychology research: Cross-cultural validation of the dual process model of moral judgment — Adam B. Moore — N. Y. Louis Lee — Brian A. M. Clark — Andrew R. A. Conway

The dual process model of moral judgment (DPM; Greene et al., 2004) argues that such judgments are influenced by both emotion-laden intuition and controlled reasoning. These influences are associated with distinct neural circuitries and different response tendencies. After reanalyzing data from an earlier study, McGuire et al. (2009) questioned the level of support for the dual process model and asserted that the distinction between emotion evoking moral dilemmas (personal dilemmas) and those that do not trigger such intuitions (impersonal dilemmas) is spurious. Using similar reanalysis methods on data reported by Moore, Clark, & Kane (2008), we show that the personal/impersonal distinction is reliable. Furthermore, new data show that this distinction is fundamental to moral judgment across widely different cultures (U.S. and China) and supports claims made by the DPM.

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