Our moral judgements are based on intuition

New research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that our moral judgements are often based on intuition and are not always well thought-out. The paper says that a person's intuitions tend to drive their emotions and give them an inclination of whether something is right or wrong.

Matthew Feinberg of the University of California, Berkeley and colleagues discovered these initial reactions might sometimes be overridden - an outcome that is the result of reappraisal.

Here, individuals may place more emphasis on why they are experiencing a certain emotion, which serves to impact how intense the feeling is.

It was shown that emotions can be regulated even though they elicit moral intuitions, with the authors noting: "In this way ... we are both slave and master, with the capacity to be controlled by, but also shape, our emotion-laden judgmental processes."

According to the investigation, people may be less likely to make intuition-based moral judgements when they reappraise scenarios logically.

Chartered Psychologist Mark Millard comments: "This study is an exercise in moral mindfulness. It shows that by deliberately turning our conscious attention onto the relentless rolling of our automatic, ‘emotional minds’ we can spot faults in our thinking, exercise more executive control and swap our snap judgements for more reasoned ones."

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