Moral Psychology

Moral psychology is the study of moral identity development, or how people integrate moral ideals with the development of their own character.

Moral psychology differs from moral philosophy in that it studies how we make decisions, rather than exploring what moral decisions we should make. It encompasses the study of moral judgment, moral reasoning, moral character, and many related subjects at the intersection of philosophy and psychology.

Moral psychologists are interested in answering a wide range of questions such as, “What types of thinking give rise to moral judgment, and how did they evolve?” “What levels of moral development are found in children and animals?” and “What role do intuitions play in moral judgment and decision-making?”

For centuries, philosophers have been contemplating fundamental issues such as “What does it mean to be a ‘good’ person?” without resolving them. So, by adding the tools of psychology to those of philosophy, we may be able to shine more light on such difficult questions.