Judgments of moral wrongdoing and affective competencies

There are two general approaches to the study of judgments of moral wrongdoing: one focuses on these judgments via a contrast with other types of normative violations (e.g. conventional wrongdoings like violating an etiquette rule); the other focuses on these judgments tout court. In both contexts, there is a debate concerning the role of affective competencies in shaping judgments of moral wrongdoing. On the one hand, some claim that feelings play a fundamental causal role in their production, and some even claim that these judgments embody nothing more than feelings. On the other hand, some claim that feelings are only fundamental to some of them, and some even claim that feelings are always incidental to these judgments. Our aim is to shed new light on the extant debate in both of the above research contexts. We are designing a computerized version of the ‘moral-conventional’ task that will enable the simultaneous introduction of physiological measures related to different affective dimensions and the correlation of these measures with self-report measures. Furthermore, to better understand the timing of affective responses, we will try to develop a comparable task amenable to electroencephalographic measures.
Relevant bibliography
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