Research on moral reasoning is centered around moral dilemmas in which deontological perspectives (emphasizing individual rights) are in conflict with consequentialist reasoning (also referred to as utilitarian; following the greater good). A central finding of this field is that people in certain situations are more likely do go with deontological considerations, while in other cases they are more likely to decide based on consequentialist reasons. In their seminal article, Greene et al. (2009) tried to investigate the effect of situational and psychological factors (e.g., intent of the agent, or physical contact between the agent and victim) on people’s moral decisions, but their work could not explore the effect of a potentially important component: culture. Therefore, the goal of the present research proposal is to empirically test the universality of utilitarian and deontological responding by directly replicating Greene et al.’s experiments on non-WEIRD samples as well as to explore the influence of culture and economic status on moral reasoning.


Stage 1 Registered Report under review at Nature Human Behaviour. Currently collecting data with ~150 participating labs who have tested 8,450 participants. Following the registered plan, the team is conducting sequential data analyses in three cultural clusters. Further rounds of data collection are expected in the fall. 006 will continue data collection through the end of 2020. We have collected lots of great data from all of our members and are excited to see this study through to the end.