Department of Psychology, Harvard University
For many years our lab has studied moral judgment and decision making. More recently, we’ve expanded our research to address basic questions concerning the brain’s infrastructure for complex thought.
This new research on high-level cognition examines how concepts combine to form ideas, how ideas are represented and manipulated through reasoning, the representation of propositional attitudes (e.g. believing something is true vs. wanting it to be true), and the relationship between linguistic and sensory modes of thinking.
Our research on moral cognition has focused on the respective contributions of “fast” automatic processes (such as emotional “gut reactions”) and “slow” controlled processes (such as reasoning and self-control). We have studied and applied this dual-process framework to classic hypothetical dilemmas, real temptations toward dishonesty, beliefs about free will and punishment, belief in God, wishful thinking, cooperation, and most recently to conflict resolution strategies.