MMPL Journal Discussion Group

Harm & Other/Purity & Self

Harming Ourselves and Defiling Others

Chakroff, A., Dungan, J., & Young, L. (2013). Harming ourselves and defiling others: what determines a moral domain?. PloS one, 8(9), e74434. Read more about Harm & Other/Purity & Self

Justifying Atrocities (Coman et al., 2014)

Justifying Atrocities: The effect of moral-disengagement strategies on socially shared retrieval-induced forgetting (Coman, Stone, Castano, & Hirst, 2014)

This week in our journal discussion group, I presented the above paper by Coman et al. (2014). According to the authors, when we discuss atrocities, we talk about more than just the facts. Based on the moral disengagement literature, we also seek to justify those atrocities. However, these discussions may change over time due to memory decay, when an audience loses interest, or a desire to downplay the justifications. Read more about Justifying Atrocities (Coman et al., 2014)

Moral Judgments of Suicide

Tainting the Soul: Purity concerns predict moral judgements of suicide
Rottman, Kelemen and Young

Blog by Dr Elise Holland

Last week in our moral psychology discussion group, we read the above publication: Read more about Moral Judgments of Suicide

Emotion and Reason in Moral Dilemmas

"Dual processes of emotion and reason in judgments about moral dilemmas"

Last week at our journal discussion group, I presented an article by Gubbins and Byrne (2014) about the roles of emotion and reason in moral dilemmas. The aim of this study was to see if people provide emotions or reasons as persuasive justifications for their decisions when provided with moral dilemmas.

They argue that personal dilemmas will evoke emotional appeals, while impersonal dilemmas are more likely to evoke rational appeals in justifications. Read more about Emotion and Reason in Moral Dilemmas

Moral Dilemma

In the MMPL meeting on Friday, part of the discussion turned on whether we want to/should be studying “real life” versus “contrived” moral scenarios, and what each type of approach can tell us about moral psychology, moral judgment, moral justification, and whatnot.

My opinion on this issue is still in the process of being formed, and I think it goes something along the lines of “it depends”. Which, while probably annoying, is also potentially a good starting point for a blog post! Read more about Moral Dilemma

War on obesity

The ironic effects of weight stigma

This week in the moral psychology journal group, we discussed a recent article (Major et al, 2014) about the war on obesity. Read more about War on obesity

Communicating the right emotions

Communicating the right emotions

By Melissa A. Wheeler

Last week in our journal discussion group, I presented an article by Kamans, van Zomeren, Gordijn, and Postmes (2013) titled: Communicating the right emotion makes violence seem less wrong. Read more about Communicating the right emotions

Does elevation lead to altruistic behaviour?

Does Elevation Lead to Altruistic Behaviour? Commentary on Schnall, Roper and Fessler (2010).

By Jessie Sun Read more about Does elevation lead to altruistic behaviour?

Do Infants Have a Sense of Fairness?

How early in our development do we start to develop an understanding of how people should behave towards each other? Do even infants have such an understanding? One such behavioural norm is to act fairly to people. Do infants have an understanding of what is fair and what is not fair, and an expectation that people will behave fairly? Read more about Do Infants Have a Sense of Fairness?

Does every wrongdoing harm someone?

Indelible Victims (DeScioli, Gilbert, & Kurzban, 2012)

This week, we discussed an article that posed the question: Are actions morally wrong if those actions have no victim?

The authors argue that perhaps a moral dyad (an agent and a patient/an actor and a victim) is necessary for understanding morality. If there are no patients or victims, then there is no wrongdoing. This is known as a victim requirement (Gray, Young, & Waytz, 2012). Further, victim completion is when we perceive a victim of a moral offense even when the victim is absent or unclear. Read more about Does every wrongdoing harm someone?

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