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The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology | Science

The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology

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The new synthesis in moral psychology.

Haidt, J., & Joseph, C. (2007). The moral mind: How 5 sets of innate moral intuitions guide the development of many culture-specific virtues, and perhaps even modules. In P. Carruthers, S. Laurence, and S. Stich (Eds.) The Innate Mind, Vol. 3. New York: Oxford, pp. 367-391.
--This is our most complete statement of the cognitive science of morality. It examines various notions of "modularity," concluding that for moral and cultural psychology, the best one is the version proposed by Dan Sperber in which "learning modules" are innate, and they generate dozens or hundreds of culture-specific modules during childhood. It is also our most complete statement on virtue ethics, thanks to the expertise of

The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology | Morality | …

My attempt to illustrate the new synthesis in moral psychology is the Social Intuitionist Model (), which begins with the intuitive primacy principle. When we think about sticking a pin into a child's hand, or we hear a story about a person slapping her father, most of us have an automatic intuitive reaction that includes a flash of negative affect. We often engage in conscious verbal reasoning too, but this controlled process can occur only after the first automatic process has run, and it is often influenced by the initial moral intuition. Moral reasoning, when it occurs, is usually a post-hoc process in which we search for evidence to support our initial intuitive reaction.

The new synthesis in moral psychology

Graham, J., Nosek, B., Haidt, J., Iyer, R., Koleva, S., & Ditto, P. H. (2011). Mapping the moral domain. , (2), 366-385. doi:10.1037/a0021847 The moral domain is broader than the empathy and justice concerns assessed by existing measures of moral competence, and it is not just a subset of the values assessed by value inventories. To fill the need for reliable and theoretically grounded measurement of the full range of moral concerns, we developed the Moral Foundations Questionnaire on the basis of a theoretical model of 5 universally available (but variably developed) sets of moral intuitions: Harm/Care, Fairness/Reciprocity, Ingroup/Loyalty, Authority/Respect, and Purity/Sanctity. We present evidence for the internal and external validity of the scale and the model, and in doing so we present new findings about morality: (a) Comparative model fitting of confirmatory factor analyses provides empirical justification for a 5-factor structure of moral concerns; (b) convergent/discriminant validity evidence suggests that moral concerns predict personality features and social group attitudes not previously considered morally relevant; and (c) we establish pragmatic validity of the measure in providing new knowledge and research opportunities concerning demographic and cultural differences in moral intuitions. These analyses provide evidence for the usefulness of Moral Foundations Theory in simultaneously increasing the scope and sharpening the resolution of psychological views of morality.

This chapter examines the neo-nativist and enculturative themes of Jonathan Haidt's theory of morality, with particular emphasis on his argument that the field of moral development and education has gained a broader, truer depiction of morality thanks to what he called a “new synthesis” in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences. It considers three key themes of this new synthesis—in-group solidarity (“morality binds and builds”), intuitive primacy, and social persuasion by focusing on rescue in the desegregation movement in the United States in the 1970s. It also explores moral reasoning within the context of Haidt's proposed new synthesis for moral psychology and three limitations of Haidt's approach: descriptive inadequacy or negative skew, unwarranted exclusion or studied avoidance of prescriptive implications, and moral relativism.

The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology - Science

You may recognize Jonathan Haidt's name from my newsletters about strengths because I often borrow his creative ideas on building individual strengths. Dr. Haidt is a psychologist at the University of Virginia whose research focuses on morality and emotions. You can download papers written by Dr. Haidt and other members of the lab. Be sure to check out this article which wins the prize for most intriguing title: "Affect, Culture, and Morality, or Is it Wrong to Eat Your Dog?" Also be sure to note Dr. Haidt's personal list of recommended readings.

Jonathan Haidt, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Social Psychology area of the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville. For the 2011-2012 academic year--during this interview--he is serving as the Henry Kaufman Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at the NYU-Stern School of Business in New York City. In 2001, Jon received the $100K Grand Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology. In 2002 with Corey Keyes, he co-edited . In 2005, he published the highly-acclaimed book, .

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Jonathan Haidt - The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology

In 1975, E. O. Wilson () predicted that ethics would soon be incorporated into the “new synthesis” of sociobiology. Two psychological theories of his day were ethical behaviorism (values are learned by reinforcement) and the cognitive-developmental theory of Lawrence Kohlberg (social experiences help children construct an increasingly adequate understanding of justice). Wilson believed that these two theories would soon merge with research on the hypothalamic-limbic system, which he thought supported the moral emotions, to provide a comprehensive account of the origins and mechanisms of morality.

Die Neue Synthese in der Moralpsychologie von JONATHAN HAIDT.

** Haidt, J. (2007). The new synthesis in moral psychology. Science, 316, 998-1002. or
--I was invited to summarize the state of the art in moral psychology for Science. I had to say it all in less than 2 pages. This exercize helped me to identify the 4 principles of moral psychology that now guide my approach to so much of moral and political psychology: 1) Intuitive primacy (but not dictatorship), 2) Moral thinking is for social doing, 3) Morality binds and builds, 4) There is more to morality than harm and fairness.

Marxism and the New Synthesis in Moral Psychology » pa

Despite these errors in detail, Wilson got the big picture right. The synthesis began in the 1990s with a new set of ingredients, and it has transformed the study of morality today. Wilson was also right that the key link between the social and natural sciences was the study of emotion and the “emotive centers” of the brain. A quantitative analysis of the publication database in psychology shows that research on morality and emotion grew steadily in the 1980s and 1990s (relative to other topics), and then grew very rapidly in the past 5 years (fig. S1).

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