P457/P657 Science of Moral Judgment; Professor Kruschke.

Spring 2016. Tu/Th 2:30-3:45, Rm 109 Psych.

 

Course description: This course surveys recent scientific research about the psychology of moral judgment, broadly construed. Moral psychology examines how people make judgments of appropriate behavior. Many scientific disciplines inform this domain, including social psychology, anthropology, evolutionary biology, ethology, developmental psychology, brain science, cognitive psychology, robotics and artificial intelligence, among others. This is not a course about religion, nor is it a course about the philosophy of ethics. This course is about the psychological mechanisms of moral judgment, not a course about what correct judgments ought to be.

 

Required readings: This is a readings-and-discussion course. Each day focuses on particular book chapters. Students are expected to actively discuss the readings in class. The list of readings is presented in the schedule, below. The books address many sensitive topics. If you are not willing to read about and discuss such topics, please do not enroll in the course.

 

Required Books:

·        Haidt, J. (2012). The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Pantheon.

·        Fiske, A. P., and Rai, T. S. (2015). Virtuous Violence. Cambridge University Press.

·        Bloom, P. (2013). Just Babies. Crown.

·        Wilson, D. S. (2015).  Does Altruism Exist?: Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others. Yale University Press.

 

Prerequisites: Advanced undergraduates who are able to carefully read, digest, and discuss scientific literature are heartily encouraged to enroll in P457. Graduate students should enroll in P657. There are no formal pre-requisites.

 

Grading procedure:

 

Questions & Quizzes: Most classes begin with each student turning in a discussion question s/he thought of, followed immediately by a short quiz about that day’s reading. The purpose of the question and quiz is to prepare you for in-class discussion and to recognize your preparation.

For each day’s discussion question, write down a question that could prompt interesting discussion in class about that day’s reading topic. For example, the question could be a critical question about the logic of the argument, or the question could relate that day’s reading to a current event, or the question could synthesize the day’s reading with previous topics. Or the question could be something else entirely, as long as it is about that day’s reading. The question must be followed by an explicit statement that explains how the question relates to the day’s reading. The paper must have this format: Top of page includes (1) your full name as it appears on the course roster and (2) the day’s date. Then (3) state your discussion question, very concisely but clearly. It can be a single sentence. Then (4) state exactly how the question relates to the day’s readings, as briefly as possible while still being clear and conveying your meaning. It can be a single sentence. The discussion question must be turned in promptly at the beginning of class, on paper (with straight edges, no ripped-from-spiral binder please). Computer-printed is preferred, but clearly hand-written is acceptable as long as it is easily legible. The instructor will browse the turned-in questions at the beginning of class and select some to prompt discussion. Authorship will remain anonymous for purposes of discussion unless the student author would like to be identified. Each day’s discussion question is worth up to 5 points. 5 points are given to questions and explanations that are especially insightful and indicate unusually deep thinking. 3 points are given to questions and explanations that indicate understanding and reflection about the readings. 1 point is given to questions and explanations that are topical but suggest cursory reading or superficial understanding. Most scores will be 3 points, with 5 points given relatively rarely. 0 points are given for late or illegible papers. (Please note below that letter grades are “curved” by percentile relative to the class. There are no fixed thresholds for letter grades.)

Each day’s quiz consists of a small number of short-answer or multiple choice questions relevant to that day’s reading. The quiz starts promptly at the beginning of class. Each quiz is worth up to 10 points.

You can see from the schedule below that there are 22 discussion-question and quiz days. Your best 18 discussion questions and best 18 quizzes will count toward your grade (even if they come from different days). There are no make-up questions or make-up quizzes for missed days. Thus, if you must miss a day because of illness or personal reasons, that day simply counts as a zero that will be one of your 4 dropped scores for each category. The only way that a make-up for a missed question/quiz could be considered is if you have documented proof that you had to miss more than 4 question/quiz days all  for reasons beyond your control, in which case notify Prof. Kruschke immediately.

 

Exams: There are 4 exams. The purpose of the exams is to help you retrospectively synthesize the readings. Each exam is worth 100 points, for 400 points total. All exams are mandatory. Make-up exams are given only with documented proof that you had to miss an exam for reasons beyond your control, in which case you must notify Prof. Kruschke immediately and in advance if possible.

 

Course grade: Letter grades in P457 are based on your total points, as a percentile relative to other students in the course. (Percentiles are established separately for P457 and P657.) There are no pre-set point cutoffs for specific letter grades, nor is there a pre-set quota for how many students can receive A’s or B’s, etc. Because P457 is an advanced class, past experience suggests that there will be mostly A’s and B’s but also a significant number of C’s and lower grades as appropriate. For P657, grades will be assigned as is typical for a graduate readings course.

 

Instructor: Professor John K. Kruschke, johnkruschke@gmail.com. Office hours by appointment; please do ask.

 

Assistant: Steven Sherrin, stevensherrin@gmail.com. On the day before every exam (i.e., W 2/10, M 3/7, W 4/6, and W 4/27), Steven will hold an office hour at 3:30pm in room Psychology A316. Other office hours by appointment.

 

Disclaimer: All information in this document is subject to change. Changes will be announced in class.

 

Schedule for 2016

Required Books:

·        Haidt, J. (2012). The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. Pantheon.

·        Fiske, A. P., and Rai, T. S. (2015). Virtuous Violence. Cambridge University Press.

·        Bloom, P. (2013). Just Babies. Crown.

·       Wilson, D. S. (2015).  Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others. Yale University Press.

Week

Day / Date

Theme

Class Activity. “DiscQ and Quiz” means that Discussion Question and Quiz. Discussion question is due and quiz starts promptly at 2:30.

1

Tu

Jan 12

Welcome and course overview. Morality in everyday life; e.g. from TV show, What Would You Do? (What Would You Do YouTube Channel)

1

Th

Overview

DiscQ and Quiz: Haidt Ch’s 1, 2

Optional background info: There are many Haidt videos online, here are two:

Haidt talks about part II of the book, especially starting 25 minutes in:

https://youtu.be/ONUM4akzLGE

Haidt talks about part III of the righteous mind:

https://youtu.be/2APK3tlPL_0

2

Tu

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Haidt Ch’s 3, 4

2

Th

Jan 21

 

No class.

3

Tu

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Haidt: Ch’s 5, 6

3

Th

DiscQ and Quiz: Haidt: Ch’s 7, 8

4

Tu

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Haidt: Ch’s 9, 10

4

Th

DiscQ and Quiz: Haidt: Ch’s 11, 12, and Conclusion

5

Tu

 

Recap: The three main themes and metaphors. Q&A with Haidt; anticipate his answers: https://youtu.be/2APK3tlPL_0?t=37m44s

5

Th

Feb 11

 

Exam

6

Tu

Norm Enforcement

DiscQ and Quiz: Fiske & Rai: Ch’s 1, 2, 3, 4

Optional background info:

Audio, Fiske and Rai interviewed on WNYC:

http://www.wnyc.org/story/when-good-people-kill/

Video, Fiske talks about virtuous violence:

https://youtu.be/fm-0OEEHhSk

Video, Fiske talks about relational models theory:

https://youtu.be/NkKu0aDQT9g

6

Th

DiscQ and Quiz: Fiske & Rai: Ch’s 5, 6, 7

7

Tu

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Fiske & Rai: Ch’s 8, 9

7

Th

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Fiske & Rai: Ch’s 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

8

Tu

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Fiske & Rai: Ch’s 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

8

Th

DiscQ and Quiz: Fiske & Rai: Ch’s 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and concluding pages

9

Tu

Mar 08

 

Exam

9

Th

Innateness

DiscQ and Quiz: Bloom Ch. 1

Optional background info: There are many videos by Bloom online.

Bloom talks about the book: https://youtu.be/MLrzetNHAYo

10

Tu

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Bloom Ch. 2

10

Th

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Bloom Ch. 3

11

Tu

DiscQ and Quiz: Bloom Ch’s 4, 5

11

Th

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Bloom Ch 6

12

Tu

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Bloom Ch 7

12

Th

Apr 07

Exam

13

Tu

Evolution

DiscQ and Quiz: Wilson Ch’s 1, 2, 3

Optional background info: There are many videos by Wilson online.

Wilson talks about the topic of the book: https://youtu.be/9sVfsNoVcL0

13

Th

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Wilson Ch’s 4, 5, 6

14

Tu

DiscQ and Quiz: Wilson Ch’s 7, 8

14

Th

 

DiscQ and Quiz: Wilson Ch’s 9, 10

15

Tu

Recap and synthesis

15

Th

Apr 28

 

Exam

Finals

No exam or assignments due during final-exam week.

 

 

 

Nostalgia: 2015 Schedule

Week

Day / Date

Theme

Class Activity. “Q&D” means Quiz and Discussion regarding the specified article. Each quiz starts promptly at 2:30.

1

Tu

Jan 13

Overviews

Welcome and course overview. Morality in everyday life; e.g. from TV show, What Would You Do?, and from Hofmann, W., Wisneski, D. C., Brandt, M. J., & Skitka, L. J. (2014). Morality in everyday life. Science, 345(6202), 1340-1343.

1

Th

 

Q&D: Haidt, J., & Kesebir, S. (2010). Morality. In S. Fiske, D. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.) Handbook of Social Psychology, 5th Edition. Hobeken, NJ: Wiley. Pp. 797-832.

2

Tu

 

Q&D: Haidt & Kesebir (2010), continued.

2

Th

 

Q&D: Bartels, D. M., Bauman C. W., Cushman F. A., Pizarro D. A., and McGraw A. P. (2014), “Moral Judgment and Decision Making,” In G. Keren & G. Wu (Eds.) Blackwell Reader of Judgment and Decision Making. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

3

Tu

 

Q&D: Waldmann, M. R., Nagel, J., & Wiegmann, A. (2012). Moral judgment. The Oxford handbook of thinking and reasoning, 364-389.

3

Th

Individual differences

Q&D: Graham, J., Haidt, J., & Nosek, B. A. (2009). Liberals and conservatives rely on different sets of moral foundations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96(5), 1029.

4

Tu

 

Q&D: Rai, T. S., & Fiske, A. P. (2011). Moral psychology is relationship regulation: moral motives for unity, hierarchy, equality, and proportionality. Psychological Review, 118(1), 57.

4

Th

Emotion

Q&D: Fiske, A. P. (2002). Socio-moral emotions motivate action to sustain relationships. Self and Identity, 1(2), 169-175. AND

Huebner, B., Dwyer, S., & Hauser, M. (2009). The role of emotion in moral psychology. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(1), 1-6.

5

Tu

 

Q&D: Janoff-Bulman, R., & Carnes, N. C. (2013). Surveying the moral landscape: moral motives and group-based moralities. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 17(3) 219–236.

5

Th

Feb 12

 

Exam review.

6

Tu

Feb 17

 

Exam

6

Th

Cognitive processes and models

Q&D: Gray, K., Schein, C., & Ward, A. F. (2014). The Myth of Harmless Wrongs in Moral Cognition: Automatic Dyadic Completion From Sin to Suffering. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,143(4), 1600–1615.

7

Tu

 

Q&D: Sloman, S. A., Fernbach, P. M., & Ewing, S. (2009). Causal models: The representational infrastructure for moral judgment. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 50, 1-26.

7

Th

 

Q&D: Uttich, K., & Lombrozo, T. (2010). Norms inform mental state ascriptions: A rational explanation for the side-effect effect. Cognition, 116(1), 87-100.

8

Tu

 

Q&D: Gigerenzer, G. (2010). Moral satisficing: Rethinking moral behavior as bounded rationality. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2(3), 528-554.

8

Th

Evolution

Q&D: Lahti, D. C., & Weinstein, B. S. (2005). The better angels of our nature: group stability and the evolution of moral tension. Evolution and Human Behavior, 26(1), 47-63.

9

Tu

 

Q&D: DeScioli, P., & Kurzban, R. (2013). A solution to the mysteries of morality. Psychological Bulletin, 139(2), 477.

9

Th

 

Q&D: Chudek, M., & Henrich, J. (2011). Culture–gene coevolution, norm-psychology and the emergence of human prosociality. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 15(5), 218-226.

10

Tu

Mar 24

 

Q&D: Herrmann, E., Call, J., Hernández-Lloreda, M. V., Hare, B., & Tomasello, M. (2007). Humans have evolved specialized skills of social cognition: the cultural intelligence hypothesis. Science, 317(5843), 1360-1366.

Exam review.

10

Th

Mar 26

 

Exam. In-class data collection for Cushman et al. (2009).

11

Tu

Punishment

Q&D: Cushman, F., Dreber, A., Wang, Y., & Costa, J. (2009). Accidental outcomes guide punishment in a “trembling hand” game. PloS one, 4(8), e6699.

11

Th

 

Q&D: Liddell, T. M. and Kruschke, J. K. (2014). Ostracism and fines in a public goods game with accidental contributions: The importance of punishment type. Judgment and Decision Making, 9(6), 523-547.

12

Tu

 

Q&D: McCullough, M. E., Kurzban, R., & Tabak, B. A. (2013). Cognitive systems for revenge and forgiveness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36(01), 1-15.

12

Th

Innateness

Q&D: Hamlin, J. K., Wynn, K., Bloom, P., & Mahajan, N. (2011). How infants and toddlers react to antisocial others. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, 108(50), 19931-19936.

13

Tu

 

Q&D: Hamlin, J. K. (2013). Failed attempts to help and harm: Intention versus outcome in preverbal infants’ social evaluations. Cognition, 128(3), 451-474.

13

Th

 

Q&D: Sloane, S., Baillargeon, R., & Premack, D. (2012). Do infants have a sense of fairness? Psychological Science, 23(2), 196–204.

14

Tu

Acquisition

Q&D: Rakoczy, H., & Schmidt, M. F. (2013). The early ontogeny of social norms. Child Development Perspectives, 7(1), 17-21. AND

Keupp, S., Behne, T., & Rakoczy, H. (2013). Why do children overimitate? Normativity is crucial. Journal of experimental child psychology, 116(2), 392-406.

14

Th

 

Q&D: Sripada, C. S., & Stich, S. (2005). A framework for the psychology of norms. In: P. Carruthers, S. Laurence, & S. Stich (Eds.), The Innate Mind, Vol.2 Culture and Cognition. Ch. 17, pp. 280-301. Oxford University Press.

15

Tu

Machine ethics

Q&D: Allen, C., Wallach, W., & Smit, I. (2006). Why machine ethics? Intelligent Systems, IEEE, 21(4), 12-17. AND

Malle, B., & Scheutz, M. (2014). Moral Competence in Social Robots. In IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science, and Technology, Chicago.

Exam Review.

15

Th

Apr 30

 

Exam.

Finals

No exam or assignments due during final-exam week.