THE DEVELOping moral values LAB
In the Developing Moral Values Lab, we aim to discover how values are shaped during childhood.
Our moral values define us, unite us, and give meaning to our lives. Gaining a scientific understanding of how these values are acquired provides a powerful vantage point from which to make informed decisions about how to facilitate a better future. In order to contribute to this emerging understanding of the inner workings of our moral minds, the Developing Moral Values Lab conducts a range of studies with adults and with children between the ages of 5 and 9. Some of the issues we are currently investigating include:
> the morals of a story
To what extent are children influenced by moral lessons that are conveyed in storybooks?
> SELECTIVE trust in moral advisors
What kinds of people do children tend to trust when they are being taught morally-relevant information?
> THE ORIGINS OF DISGUST
How and when does the emotion of disgust emerge in childhood, and is this intertwined with morality?
> the roots of environmental ethics
Why do some people care deeply about the planet, while others believe that humans can exploit nature?
Nithya is a senior from Bangalore, India and is majoring in psychology and minoring and economics. She is in the Harbaugh Club and is also a tutor in the Q&SC. A fun fact about Nithya is that she thinks goats are the most frightening species.
Sky is a junior from Bainbridge, Pennsylvania with a psychology major and a spanish minor. Sky is a Writing Center tutor, a Squash ACES mentor, and a member of the F&M Dance Company. In her free time Sky enjoys reading and baking.
Caitlin is a junior from Armonk, New York majoring in psychology and minoring in english. In addition to serving as the lab manager, Caitlin is involved in sorority life and the ultimate frisbee team.
Zoe is a junior from Scarsdale, NY double majoring in psychology and public health. On campus, she is a Diplomat Corps Tour Guide, the Women's Club Soccer Team Social Chair, and is involved in Hillel and Knittervention.
Raluca is a junior from Bucharest, Romania majoring in cognitive science and psychology. On campus Raluca is a Writing Center Tutor, the International Student Advisory Board Co-president, a Fellow Advising Mentor, and is involved in the Philosophy in High Schools Program
Lauren is a junior from Moorestown, NJ. She is Neuroscience Major and Sociology Minor, and aspires to become a pediatrician. Outside of the classroom, she is a member of the Women’s Golf team, a violinist in F&M’s Orchestra, and Co-President of the Spoon University club. Lauren also enjoys traveling, playing the guitar, and loves to bake!
Julia Weber is a junior from Irvington, New York and is majoring in psychology and minoring in Spanish. On campus, she is a member of Alpha Delta Pi, a Jewish Engagement Fellow with Hillel, and a First-Year Advising Mentor. As an Asian adoptee adopted by a single Jewish mother, she is deeply interested in understanding the foundation and continued development of moral values, particularly in children. Additionally, she finds it important to share such findings with others.
Mary is a sophomore from New Jersey pursuing a major in moral psychology and a minor in anthropology. On campus she is the Diversity Outreach Chair for the Mindfulness Club, and is involved in S.I.S.T.E.R.S and Unleashed. A fun fact about Mary is that she lived in Egypt for 10 years.
Alexander Moog '16, Independent Study Student
Ashley Christopherson '16, Student Coordinator
Zachary Walden '16, Student Coordinator
Rebecca Branovan '17, Independent Study Student
Sydney Bierhoff '18, Hackman Summer Scholar 2016
Taisha Pelletier '18, Hackman Summer Scholar 2016
Leslie Botey '18, Research Assistant
Caroline Lawrence '18, Research Assistant
Tess Flanagan '18, Independent Study Student
Heather Greenebaum '18, Hackman Summer Scholar 2017
Ipeknaz Erel '18,
Josie Benitez '18, Independent Study Student
Stylianos Syropoulos '18, Hackman Summer Scholar 2017 and Independent Study Student
Rachel Gerb '19, Research Assistant
Xinjie (Adele) Zhao '19, Research Assistant
Chandrakant Dhanraj '20, APA SUPRE Scholar 2017
Prsni Patel '19, Directed Study Student
Julianna Lynch '19, Research Assistant, Brookshire Award Recipient
Valerie Zizik '19, Research Assistant, Hackman Summer Scholar 2018
Liz Abraham '20, Directed Study Student
Anastasiia Grigoreva '20, Lab Manager
Mira Lerner '20, Research Assistant
Kelly Minard '21, Research Assistant
Sam Bellerson '21, Research Assistant
Nicole Kolmstetter '21, Research Assistant
Maya Workowski '21, Research Assistant
Lulu Gomez '20, Research Assistant
Emily Kapner '20, Research Assistant
Nina Kegelman '21, Research Assistant
Rottman, J., Johnston, A. M., Bierhoff, S., Pelletier, T., Grigoreva, A. D., & Benitez, J. (2020). In sickness and in filth: Developing a disdain for dirty people. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 196, 104858. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2020.104858. [PDF]
Lynch, J. M., Lane, J. D., Berryessa, C. M., & Rottman, J. (2019). How information about perpetrators’ nature and nurture influences assessments of their character, mental states, and deserved punishment. PLOS One, 14(10), e0224093. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0224093. [PDF]
Rottman, J., DeJesus, J. M., & Greenebaum, H. (2019). Developing disgust: Theory, measurement, and application. In V. LoBue, K. Pérez-Edgar, & K. Buss (Eds.), Handbook of emotional development (pp. 283–309). New York: Springer. [PDF]
Rottman, J., & Young, L. (2019). Specks of dirt and tons of pain: Dosage distinguishes impurity from harm. Psychological Science. doi: 10.1177/0956797619855382. [PDF]
Rottman, J., Young, L., & Kelemen, D. (2017). The impact of testimony on children’s moralization of novel actions. Emotion, 17(5), 811–827. doi:10.1037/emo0000276. [PDF]