Research Projects

Structure of the Moral Judgments in the General Population



How do we decide what course to take in complex situations? Ricardo Guzmán studies the consistency of our intuitions against a parameterized moral dilemma in which the experimental subjects faced a set of decisions in which they had to choose between military strategies that involve the sacrifice of different numbers of civilians and military. This paper analyzes the rationality of moral intuitions and questions whether we are measuring that rationality well, or whether we can use microeconomic methods to determine the role of institutions. The project illustrates our central interest in the study of the foundations of morality, in this case, the formation of moral judgments. Our ascription to the naturalist turn is reflected in the conceptual framework on which the project is based: evolutionary psychology.

Fig. K soldiers are saved for each civilian killed. K is the life value of soldiers in terms of civilian lives.
Fig. K soldiers are saved for each civilian killed. K is the life value of soldiers in terms of civilian lives.


One of the principles of this branch of psychology is that our behavior and the formation of judgments come from the process of adapting to specific domains of interaction -the war in this case- that evolved ancestrally and that should be expressed in the consistency of training. of judgments. As in the bonobos project, this project also highlights the use of a novel technique of analysis to the context in question (the GARP methodology from microeconomic theory and that is used to measure the consistency of decisions within the market against changes in prices and income).



Ricardo Guzmán

Principal Researcher

Ph.D. en Economía, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile.


Leda Cosmides

Co-Director Center for Evolutionary Psychology, UCSB

Ph.D. en Psicología Cognitiva, University of Harvard.

María Teresa Barbato

DCCS Students

B.Sc. in Biological Sciences. Mention in Natural Resources and Environment. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.



Poster Rational Moral Intuitions – María Teresa Barbato, HBES 2017

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Acreditado por 5 años

Desde julio 2019 hasta julio 2024

Agencia: Acreditado por la Comisión Nacional de Acreditación (CNA)