By Molly J. Crockett
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging
Moral dilemmas engender conflicts between two traditions: consequentialism, which evaluates actions based on their outcomes, and deontology, which evaluates the actions themselves. These strikingly resemble two distinct decision-making architectures: a model-based system that selects actions based on inferences about their consequences; and a model-free system that selects actions based on their reinforcement history. Here, I consider how these systems, along with a Pavlovian system that responds reflexively to rewards and punishments, can illuminate puzzles in moral psychology.
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Thanks to Molly for making this journal article public.