YourMorals.Org

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This website is a collaboration among social psychologists who study morality and politics. Our goal was to create a site that would be useful and interesting to users, particularly ethics classes and seminars, and that would also allow us to test a variety of theories about moral psychology. One of our main goals is to foster understanding across the political spectrum. Almost everyone cares about morality, and we want to understand --and to help others understand -- the many different ways that people care.

Back row, L to R: Ravi Iyer, Jonathan Haidt, Sean Wojcik, Matt Motyl, Gary Sherman.
Seated: Jesse Graham, Sena Koleva, Pete Ditto

To learn more about moral psychology, you can find articles we have written on our web pages (below), or you can follow the links that we offer on the feedback pages for each of our studies.

The studies on this site have been approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Virginia. (Or, where noted, by the IRB of the University of Southern California or the IRB of the University of California at Irvine). The website was dreamed up and written by Ravi Iyer. If you have questions or comments about this site, please contact our webmasters using webmaster (at) yourmorals dot org. If you have questions or comments about moral psychology more generally, please contact any of us listed below.

We thank you for your interest and your contribution to psychological research.

Peter Ditto is a professor in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine.  His research focuses on "hot cognition" ­ how motivation and emotion shape (and often bias) social, moral, political, medical, and legal reasoning. His homepage is here, and his email address is: phditto at uci.edu.

Jesse Graham is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern California. His background is in philosophy and theology, which he traded in for science in a desperate attempt to get real-world traction on the big questions of life. His research interests include moral politics, implicit measurement approaches to moral intuitions and ideology, aesthetic emotions, humor, moral education, and the meaning of life. His homepage is here, and his email address is: jesse.graham at usc.edu

Jonathan Haidt is a professor of business ethics at New York University's Stern School of Business. He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, [book homepage is here] and of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion [book homepage is here]. He studies the psychological foundations of morality and is working on several projects to help people transcend moralistic divisions and understand each other. (See, for example,  www.civilpolitics.org.) His homepage is here, and his email address is jhaidt at stern.nyu.edu.

Ravi Iyer Ph.D., is an active researcher at the University of Southern California and a data scientist at Ranker, who loves to use data to study intangible things like values, ideology, and happiness. He blogs regularly at PoliPsych.com and is a director of CivilPolitics.Org

Sena (full name Spassena) Koleva received a Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of California Irvine in 2011. She then completed a grant-funded postdoctoral position at the University of Southern California where she continues to be an active researcher in Jesse Graham's Values, Ideology, and Morality lab. She is also currently teaching psychology and consulting in the Los Angeles area. Her research interests include values & morality, romantic attraction & love, online dating, political ideology, gender, cultural & religious differences, sustainability, happiness and well-being, and positive psychology. Her homepage is here and her email address is: skoleva at uci.edu.

Matt Motyl is a graduate student in social psychology at the University of Virginia. Matt is interested in the low-level cognitive processes and existential motivations that influence political conflict. His homepage is here, and his email address is motyl at virginia.edu

Gary Sherman is a graduate student in social psychology at the University of Virginia. He is interested in the relationship between morality and purity. This includes a primary interest in the emotion of disgust, purity-related intuitions, and the ways in which disgust and purity influence moral judgment. His homepage is here, and his email address is gsherman at virginia.edu

Sean Wojcik is a graduate student in social and personality psychology at the University of California, Irvine. He is broadly interested in judgment and decision making, with an emphasis on how self-perceptions influence judgments about political attitudes, policies, and logic itself. His homepage is here, and his email address is: swojcik at uci.edu.

If you want to read more about our findings and thoughts, you can read our moral psychology blog.

 

YourMorals Mission Statement


Our mission is to conduct scientifically rigorous research on moral and political psychology, and then to apply our findings to improve the functioning of institutions, relationships, and individual lives. Our research is characterized by these features:
  • Our theoretical approach begins with Moral Foundations Theory (Haidt & Graham, 2007), but we draw from and test many theories in moral and political psychology.
  • We strive to be non-partisan, even as we acknowledge (and study) the difficulty of escaping bias. We begin with the assumption that partisans of all types are guided by sincere moral convictions, and we try to understand those convictions within the context of people’s larger networks of meanings and values.
  • We strive to be technologically and methodologically innovative, taking full advantage of the web and other technologies to improve our research. We are particularly interested in discovering what can be done with our ultra-large dataset which cannot be done with more conventional datasets.
  • We strive to be ethical in our research. We want to ensure that our research participants never feel exploited; we want them to gain as much from their participation as we do. We therefore try to create feedback pages for each study that are informative and interesting. We take user comments seriously and use them to improve our research.
  • We prize openness and collaboration in science. While logistics prevent us from entertaining all requests, we generally welcome joint projects with other investigators, and we sometimes make our data available to other scientists while guarding the privacy and anonymity of our participants.
Our efforts to apply our research are characterized by these features:
  • We try to make moral psychology available to the general public, and to teachers of classes on ethics and civics. See www.Moralfoundations.org, and see our blog.
  • We hope to find research-based methods for improving political civility, both by fostering mutual understanding, and by finding ways to change systemic variables that will end up, indirectly, reducing the common tendency to demonize political opponents. We make these findings available at www.CivilPolitics.org
  • [More projects and outreach efforts to come soon]

If you believe that we have failed to live up to any of these principles, please email us: webmaster at yourmorals.org





contact: webmaster at yourmorals dot org