Moral evaluations of harm are instant and emotional, brain study shows |

People are able to detect, within a split second, if a hurtful action they are witnessing is intentional or accidental, according to new research on the brain.


“Our data strongly support the notion that determining intentionality is the first step in moral computations,” said Decety, who conducted research on the topic with Stephanie Cacioppo, a research associate (assistant professor) in psychology at UChicago. They published the results in a paper, “The Speed of Morality: A High-Density Electrical Neuroimaging Study,” to be published Dec. 1 and now on early preview in the Journal of Neurophysiology.