How Stable are Moral Judgments?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Psychologists and philosophers often work hand in hand to investigate many aspects of moral cognition. In this paper, we want to highlight one aspect that to date has been relatively neglected: the stability of moral judgment over time. After explaining why philosophers and psychologists should consider stability and then surveying previous research, we will present the results of an original three-wave longitudinal study. We asked participants to make judgments about the same acts in a series of sacrificial dilemmas three times, 6-8 days apart. In addition to investigating the stability of our participants' ratings over time, we also explored some potential explanations for instability. To end, we will discuss these and other potential psychological sources of moral stability (or instability) and highlight possible philosophical implications of our findings.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rehren, P; Sinnott-Armstrong, W

Published Date

  • July 2022

Published In

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 27

PubMed ID

  • 35919561

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9336125

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-5166

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1878-5158

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s13164-022-00649-7


  • eng