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The Importance of Feeling Honest : A Candid Take on Moral Motivation

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Louise White.

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE: This is a special Zangwill Club Seminar, being held jointly with the Moral Psychology Conference

In moral situations, do people actually want to do the right thing, or simply avoid feeling inadequate? Recognizing that moral motivation, at the proximal level, often centers merely around preserving one’s self-image helps elucidate otherwise puzzling phenomena: Why is it, for example, that do-gooders are sometimes so annoying to others? Why do people, after performing good deeds, feel that it’s more OK to make dodgier choices? And can ethical behavior be fostered simply by reinforcing the link between an action and its implication for the moral character of the perpetrator? I will present studies exploring these questions and demonstrating the importance of moral self-image in everyday morality.

This talk is part of the Zangwill Club series.

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