Moral Psychology Must Not Be Based on Faith and Hope: Commentary on Narvaez (2010)

Jonathan Haidt, University of Virginia, Charlottesville

Perspectives on Psychological Science, Vol. 5, No. 2 (2010): 182-184. DOI.


Narvaez (2010, this issue) calls for a moral psychology in which reasoning and intuitions are equal partners. But empirical research on the power of implicit processes and on the weakness of everyday reasoning indicates that the partnership is far from equal. The ancient rationalist faith that good reasoning can be taught and that it will lead to improved behavior is no longer justified. The social intuitionist model (Haidt, 2001) is a more realistic portrayal of the ways that moral intuition and reasoning work together.