morals-origHow do we decide who is good and who is bad? How do we decide whether and how much to punish someone for doing something we’ve decided is wrong? And when will we ourselves do things we know are wrong?

Our lab is not directly focused on moral psychology, however many of our projects touch on these questions in one way or another. You can see some of our published papers below, but for a little taste of our ongoing research on the topic, ask yourself how many ways there are to rationalize your own unethical behavior—to make yourself feel better about having done something you know is wrong? Stay tuned for our take on the answer!

*A good deal of current research in the lab focuses on this topic*

Thomas, I. A., Kay, N. R., & Laurin, K. (2023). Moral psychology biases toward individual, not systemic, representations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. [commentary]

Laurin, K., & Thomas, I. A. (2023). Emerging themes and avenues for future work. In M. Berg & E. Chang (Eds.), Motivation and Morality: A Multidisciplinary Approach (pp. 245-257). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Guan, K., Heltzel, G., & Laurin, K. (in press). Morality and politics. In P. A. Robbins & B. F. Malle (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Moral Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Zlatev, J. J., Kupor, D., Laurin, K., & Miller, D. T. (2020). Being ‘good’ or ‘good enough’: Prosocial risk and the structure of moral self-regard. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 118, 242-253.

Jago, A., Kreps, T., & Laurin, K. (2019). Collectives in organizations appear less morally motivated than individuals. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 148, 2229-2244.

Kreps, T. A., Laurin, K., & Merritt, A. C. (2017). Hypocritical flip-flop, or courageous evolution? When leaders change their moral minds. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113, 730-752.

Jago, A., & Laurin, K. (2017). Corporate personhood: Lay conceptions and ethical consequences. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 23, 100-113.

Kupor, D., Laurin, K., & Levav, J. (2015). Anticipating divine protection? Reminders of God can increase non-moral risk-taking. Psychological Science, 26, 374-384.

Laurin, K., & Plaks, J. E. (2014). Religion and punishment: Opposing influences of orthopraxy and orthodoxy on reactions to unintentional acts. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5, 835-843.

Laurin, K., Shariff, A. Z., Henrich, J., & Kay, A. C. (2012). Outsourcing punishment to God: Beliefs in divine control reduce earthly punishment. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279, 3272-3281.