Dual-Process Morality and the Personal/Impersonal Distinction: A Reply to McGuire, Langdon, Coltheart, and Mackenzie
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CitationGreene, Joshua D. 2009. Dual-process morality and the personal/impersonal distinction: A reply to McGuire, Langdon, Coltheart, and Mackenzie. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45(3): 581-584.
AbstractA substantial body of research supports a dual-process theory of moral judgment, according to which characteristically deontological judgments are driven by automatic emotional responses, while characteristically utilitarian judgments are driven by controlled cognitive processes. This theory was initially supported by neuroimaging and reaction time (RT) data. McGuire et al. have reanalyzed these initial RT data and claim that, in light of their findings, the dual-process theory of moral judgment and the personal/impersonal distinction now lack support. While McGuire and colleagues have convincingly overturned Greene et al.’s interpretation of their original RT data, their claim that the dual-process theory now lacks support overstates the implications of their findings. McGuire and colleagues ignore the results of several more recent behavioral studies, including the study that bears most directly on their critique. They dismiss without adequate justification the results of a more recent neuroimaging study, three more recent patient studies, and an emotion–induction study. Their broader critique is based largely on their conflation of the dual-process theory with the personal/impersonal distinction, which are independent.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4264762
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