Emotions and Morality
In this line of work, led by Conor Steckler, we are examining how (and why) emotions influence moral judgment. Thus far, we are conducting studies testing whether nonverbal displays of pride and shame, as well as pride and shame subjective experiences, alter judgments about what constitutes a fair division of resources. The goal of this research is to test the theory that these emotions are involved in maximizing individual gain while upholding social and moral rules. In related work, we are examining whether disgust is causally related to moral judgments. We have developed a novel means of addressing this longstanding problem; specifically, we are using a pharmacological interference approach to inhibit naturally occurring disgust and assess downstream consequences on moral decision making. The goal of this research is to contribute to active and ongoing debates about the relationship between disgust and morality.