Research

RESOLVING MORAL DILEMMAS

Most people would agree, all things being equal, that we have a moral obligation to act in ways that promote the well-being others.  But what about in situations where promoting the well-being of others requires you to sacrifice the well-being of a single individual? Is it morally justified to sacrifice the needs of one person for the needs of the larger group?  In one line of research I study the psychological variables associated with being both willing and unwilling to sacrifice one person for the good of the group.  While considerable research has focused on the role of emotion and reason when resolving these dilemmas I take a more holistic approach attempting to understand how key features of the situation interact with one's moral values to result in a moral decision.

REDUCING MORAL CONFLICT

Moral values and beliefs vary considerably across the globe.  As our world becomes increasingly interconnected differing moral systems are coming into contact.  When these systems of moral values collide one of two things can happen, a) moral conflict, or b) moral compromise.  In a second line of research, I am working to understand how our moral psychology can be harnessed to foster constructive moral dialogue and moral compromise while mitigating the risk of moral conflict.  Building on intellectual humility literature, I am focused on whether a mindset, focused on moral humility, can boost the quality of moral discussions, promote positive feelings toward moral opponents, and generate more moral compromise.