Dual processes and moral rules

Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Recent work proclaims a dominant role for automatic, intuitive, and emotional processes in producing ordinary moral judgment, despite the fact that we have little direct evidence about moral judgment "in the wild." Indirect support comes via an assumption of dual-process theory: that conscious, reasoning processes are resource intensive. We argue that reasoning that employs consciously available moral rules undermines this assumption, but this has not been appreciated because of a failure to distinguish between explanation and justification. We conclude that it remains unclear what sorts of cognitive processes are dominant in ordinary moral judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-285
Number of pages2
JournalEmotion Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Bargh
  • Greene
  • Haidt
  • automatic process
  • dual process
  • emotion
  • intuition
  • moral dumbfounding
  • moral judgment
  • moral rules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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