One Of The Goals Of The Hot Cognition La…b [science |2016-01-06]

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Who hasn’t gotten into a political argument? Emotions can run high during such debates and judgments are often made. It’s this dynamic that social psychologist Peter Ditto of the University of California, Irvine studies at his Hot Cognition Lab. The aim is to understand the passionate side of human judgment.

"I was trained as an experimental social psychologist – I do work on human judgment and decision making, particularly the errors and biases that people show when they make judgments that are kind of emotionally-based. What really changed my research was this sort of new hyper polarized, hyper partisan political environment."

Ditto’s research group helped develop the Moral Foundations Theory.

"The basic idea is there are five things that people care about – harming other people, particularly weak people; fairness; loyalty, authority and purity. 35:16 But different groups differ in how much they weight each of these different kinds of factors is what our research has shown, again and again."

Ditto’s interest is to use this research to foster a better understanding – and lower the temperature – of political conflict.

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