Daniel A. Fein

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20092010 Forum on Connections

Daniel A. Fein

Evolutionary Psychology, Music, Psychology

College '10


Loyalty vs. Morality: Exploring Impartial Judgments in the Moral Domain

A puzzling feature of human nature is third party moral condemnation – people care about interactions in which they have no personal stake and they desire that others be punished for their role in these interactions. Only a small handful of studies have looked at moralistic punishment in situations in which the perpetrator is a member of the judge’s in-group. Measurements of punishment in these situations can be seen as an index of impartiality, or the degree to which judges adhere to moral principles regardless of the social category of those involved in the act. I will explore the scope, consequences, and portrayal of acts of loyalty and impartiality throughout history and art, and will examine their potential adaptive values.