‘Originally, moral judgments were mostly discussed in philosophy where researchers would investigate the notions on which laws should ultimately be based. However, more recently an increasing amount of empirical research has been conducted with mainly two aims: a) to provide insights into the psychological mechanisms of how humans form moral judgments, and b) to provide advice and discuss the normative implications for moral theory and, ultimately, law. It is on this topic that Dr Sylvia Terbeck will review her own work in moral psychology and neuroscience. For instance, her team found that noradrenaline – a neurotransmitter involved in fight-or-flight responses – increased deontological moral judgments in traditional moral dilemmas (e.g., killing one to save many). They suggested that an increase in harm-aversion, and reduced aggression, might have produced this effect. She will also present the results of a study using Immersive Virtual Reality, which demonstrated how the race of the avatar had an effect on virtual and real-life moral behaviour, and will address how the interdisciplinary discourse might need improvement, illustrating this with a description of a very interesting and novel experiment on moral enhancement using placebo-effects.’
Date: 22nd October 2014, 5.00-6.30pm
Location: UCL Faculty of Laws, Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1H 0EG
Charge: Free, registration required
More information can be found here.