Beyond Dual-Processes: The Interplay of Reason and Emotion in Moral Judgment

  • Chelsea Helion
  • David A. Pizarro
Reference work entry


A great deal of research in moral psychology has focused on the interplay between emotion and reason during moral judgment, characterizing the two as forces working in opposition to influence judgment. Below, recent psychological research on morality is reviewed, with a special focus on disgust and the nature of its role in moral and political judgment. Behavioral, neuroscience, and physiological data are reviewed looking at the role of disgust in moral judgment, with a particular emphasis on the role of emotion regulation – the process of shifting emotional responses in order to meet one’s goals. It is suggested that dual-process theories of moral judgment are not well suited to understand the role of emotion regulation in influencing moral judgments and decisions. Theories that emphasize the primacy of one process over another may ultimately be missing the complexity how these processes interact to influence moral judgment.


Emotion Regulation Moral Judgment Moral Reasoning Implementation Intention Moral Dilemma 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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