Front Psychol. 2015; 6: 1637.
Published online 2015 Oct 30. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01637
How do humans make moral judgments about others’ behavior? This article reviews dominant models of moral judgment, organizing them within an overarching framework of information processing. This framework poses two distinct questions: (1) What input information guides moral judgments? and (2) What psychological processes generate these judgments? Information Models address the first question, identifying critical information elements (including causality, intentionality, and mental states) that shape moral judgments. A subclass of Biased Information Models holds that perceptions of these information elements are themselves driven by prior moral judgments. Processing Models address the second question, and existing models have focused on the relative contribution of intuitive versus deliberative processes. This review organizes existing moral judgment models within this framework and critically evaluates them on empirical and theoretical grounds; it then outlines a general integrative model grounded in information processing, and concludes with conceptual and methodological suggestions for future research. The information-processing framework provides a useful theoretical lens through which to organize extant and future work in the rapidly growing field of moral judgment.
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