|Title||The logic of universalization guides moral judgment|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Authors||Levine, S, Kleiman-Weiner, M, Schulz, L, Tenenbaum, J, Cushman, F|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)|
To explain why an action is wrong, we sometimes say, “What if everybody did that?” In other words, even if a single person’s behavior is harmless, that behavior may be wrong if it would be harmful once universalized. We formalize the process of universalization in a computational model, test its quantitative predictions in studies of human moral judgment, and distinguish it from alternative models. We show that adults spontaneously make moral judgments consistent with the logic of universalization, and report comparable patterns of judgment in children. We conclude that, alongside other well-characterized mechanisms of moral judgment, such as outcome-based and rule-based thinking, the logic of universalizing holds an important place in our moral minds.
|Short Title||Proc Natl Acad Sci USA|
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