Action Trees and Moral Judgment
Article first published online: 12 MAY 2010
Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Topics in Cognitive Science
Volume 2, Issue 3, pages 555–578, July 2010
How to Cite
Knobe, J. (2010), Action Trees and Moral Judgment. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2: 555–578. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2010.01093.x
- Issue published online: 9 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 12 MAY 2010
- Received 16 December 2008; received in revised form 09 November 2009; accepted 27 January 2010
- Moral cognition;
- Moral grammar;
- Action trees;
- Moral judgment
It has sometimes been suggested that people represent the structure of action in terms of an action tree. A question now arises about the relationship between this action tree representation and people’s moral judgments. A natural hypothesis would be that people first construct a representation of the action tree and then go on to use this representation in making moral judgments. The present paper argues for a more complex view. Specifically, the paper reports a series of experimental studies that appear to show that people’s moral judgments can actually impact their representations of the action tree itself.