Indiana University Institute for Advanced Study

is pleased to present

The Fourth Annual Henry H.H. Remak Lecture


Perspectives on Moral Judgment


John Kruschke & Fritz Breithaupt 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014 

4 : 00 p.m. 

 Faculty Room, University Club of the Indiana Memorial Union

 Reception following 


Superhero movies present struggles of good versus evil, typically between a moral paragon and an immoral or amoral  psychopath. But in most real-world conflicts, neither side lacks morality. Instead, the sides have different moral perspectives. This talk explores recent research in how different moral judgments emerge.  It will begin with an overview of some contemporary ideas in moral psychology, including theories of universal moral concerns, differences across individuals, evolved moral emotions, and cultural devices such as narrative that can act as a superstimulus for moral emotions.  The speakers will then present aspects of the work of the Moral Perspectives Research Group, which was supported by the Institute's Remak Seminar Award in 2012-13.  One of the projects studied the effects of first-person and third-person narrative voice on moral side-taking by readers.  Another investigated how real-world moral norms are imported into behavior in video games.  A third project studied the relationship between punishment and perceptions of a transgressor's intention.  A fourth project explored individual moral tunings and perceptions of humor in moral transgressions. The speakers will conclude with a vision for the future of interdisciplinary research in moral judgment.


John Kruschke is Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Adjunct Professor of Statistics, and Core Faculty in Cognitive Science.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1990.  His primary areas of research are Bayesian statistics and the science of morality.  He has won eight Teaching Excellence Recognition Awards at IU and has also received a Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences.


Fritz Breithaupt is Professor and Chair of the Department of Germanic Studies at Indiana University and is Adjunct Professor in Comparative Literature and Affiliate Professor in Cognitive Science.  He studied in Hamburg, Berlin, and Baltimore and received his PhD in 1997 at Johns Hopkins University.  He has published four books--on Goethe, the history of money, empathy, and the narrative mind--edited multiple volumes, and penned more than forty scholarly articles.  He writes frequently for the press in Germany, especially Die Zeit and Zeit Campus.


The Institute for Advanced Study appointed Fritz Breithaupt  and John Kruschke as Henry H.H. Remak Distinguished Scholars for 2012-13.  This award was created in 2010 to honor Professor Henry Remak who served the university with distinction for over sixty-five years as a scholar, teacher, and administrator.  Professor Remak directed the Institute for Advanced Study from 1988 to 1994 and from 1997 to 1998.  The award recognizes his enthusiasm for scholarship in all fields and for the Institute's mission to promote innovative ways of thinking.