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  1. When Do Circumstances Excuse? Moral Prejudices and Beliefs About the True Self Drive Preferences for Agency-Minimizing Explanations.Simon Cullen - 2018 - Cognition 180:165-181.
    When explaining human actions, people usually focus on a small subset of potential causes. What leads us to prefer certain explanations for valenced actions over others? The present studies indicate that our moral attitudes often predict our explanatory preferences far better than our beliefs about how causally sensitive actions are to features of the actor's environment. Study 1 found that high-prejudice participants were much more likely to endorse non-agential explanations of an erotic same-sex encounter, such as that one of the (...)
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  • Responsibility for Forgetting.Samuel Murray, Elise D. Murray, Gregory Stewart, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1177-1201.
    In this paper, we focus on whether and to what extent we judge that people are responsible for the consequences of their forgetfulness. We ran a series of behavioral studies to measure judgments of responsibility for the consequences of forgetfulness. Our results show that we are disposed to hold others responsible for some of their forgetfulness. The level of stress that the forgetful agent is under modulates judgments of responsibility, though the level of care that the agent exhibits toward performing (...)
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  • The Strengths of Wisdom Provide Unique Contributions to Improved Leadership, Sustainability, Inequality, Gross National Happiness, and Civic Discourse in the Face of Contemporary World Problems.Igor Grossmann & Justin P. Brienza - 2018 - Journal of Intelligence 6 (2):22.
    We present evidence for the strengths of the intellectual virtues that philosophers and behavioral scientists characterize as key cognitive elements of wisdom. Wisdom has been of centuries-long interest for philosophical scholarship, but relative to intelligence largely neglected in public discourse on educational science, public policy, and societal well-being. Wise reasoning characteristics include intellectual humility, recognition of uncertainty, consideration of diverse viewpoints, and an attempt to integrate these viewpoints. Emerging scholarship on these features of wisdom suggest that they uniquely contribute to (...)
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  • Optimality Bias in Moral Judgment.Julian De Freitas & Samuel G. B. Johnson - 2018 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 79:149-163.
    We often make decisions with incomplete knowledge of their consequences. Might people nonetheless expect others to make optimal choices, despite this ignorance? Here, we show that people are sensitive to moral optimality: that people hold moral agents accountable depending on whether they make optimal choices, even when there is no way that the agent could know which choice was optimal. This result held up whether the outcome was positive, negative, inevitable, or unknown, and across within-subjects and between-subjects designs. Participants consistently (...)
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  • Who Am I? The Role of Moral Beliefs in Children's and Adults' Understanding of Identity.Larisa Heiphetz, Nina Strohminger, Susan Gelman & Liane L. Young - 2018 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology:210-219.
    Adults report that moral characteristics—particularly widely shared moral beliefs—are central to identity. This perception appears driven by the view that changes to widely shared moral beliefs would alter friendships and that this change in social relationships would, in turn, alter an individual's personal identity. Because reasoning about identity changes substantially during adolescence, the current work tested pre- and post-adolescents to reveal the role that such changes could play in moral cognition. Experiment 1 showed that 8- to 10-year-olds, like adults, judged (...)
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  • Your Visual System Provides All the Information You Need to Make Moral Judgments About Generic Visual Events.Julian De Freitas & George A. Alvarez - 2018 - Cognition 178:133-146.
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  • Remembering Moral and Immoral Actions in Constructing the Self.Matthew L. Stanley, Paul Henne & Felipe De Brigard - forthcoming - Memory and Cognition.
    Having positive moral traits is central to one’s sense of self, and people generally are motivated to maintain a positive view of the self in the present. But it remains unclear how people foster a positive, morally good view of the self in the present. We suggest that recollecting and reflecting on moral and immoral actions from the personal past jointly help to construct a morally good view of the current self in complementary ways. More specifically, across four studies we (...)
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  • Moral Goodness Is the Essence of Personal Identity.Julian De Freitas, Mina Cikara, Igor Grossmann & Rebecca Schlegel - 2018 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 22 (9):739-740.
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  • Origins of the Belief in Good True Selves.Julian De Freitas, Mina Cikara, Igor Grossmann & Rebecca Schlegel - 2017 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 21 (9):634-636.
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  • Self-Reflection Orients Visual Attention Downward.Yi Liu, Yu Tong & Hong Li - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  • The Essence of Essentialism.George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Over the past several decades, psychological essentialism has been an important topic of study, incorporating research from multiple areas of psychology, philosophy and linguistics. At its most basic level, essentialism is the tendency to represent certain concepts in terms of a deeper, unobservable property that is responsible for category membership. Originally, this concept was used to understand people’s reasoning about natural kind concepts, such as TIGER and WATER, but more recently, researchers have identified the emergence of essentialist-like intuitions in a (...)
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