Moral intuitions

A basic insight of social psychology is that our beliefs and attitudes about ethical-moral issues are also largely influenced by “fast thinking”. People tend to quickly decide what is morally “right” and “wrong” through intuition and emotion, and only then, through conscious, rationalizing thinking, to find reasons that support their initial intuitions.

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt compares these moral intuitions with our taste buds. This analogy may help us to understand the evolutionary origins and the individual development of moral intuitions, as well as the variation in “moral tastes” among humans.

Causes of our moral intuitions

In this lesson students explore the causes of our moral intuitions with the help of a sorting activity and reflection questions.

Moral taste buds

In this lesson students explore the causes and functions of, as well as ways to flexibly relate to our moral intuitions by engaging the analogy to our taste buds.

“Fair” does not always mean the same thing

These lesson materials introduce students to issues of fairness and various interpretations of it. Reflecting on results of a cross-cultural experiment with children, students discuss how we can use our understandings to create a more fair world.