New Content From Perspectives on Psychological Science

Lost in Translation: The Content Representation of Character Virtues
Vincent Ng and Louis Tay

Aristotle defined virtue as an optimal behavior lying between deficiency and excess. But in psychology, the “too-much-of-a-good-thing” effect indicates that too much virtue can create negative outcomes. How can one have an excess of something optimal? The authors argue that measuring virtues as traits is the source of the issue, as this measurement conflicts with the philosophical theory that virtues are optimal behaviors that shift depending on the situation, and it also treats the variability of these behaviors as error.

The Morality of War: A Review and Research Agenda
Hanne Watkins

The question of what is morally right or wrong in war has great implications for public policy and international law. Suggesting a new way to study the morality of war, Watkins combines the philosophical just-war theory (which identifies the moral principles that govern the conduct of war as discrimination between civilians and combatants, the proportionality of strength used given the target, and the prohibition of means that are bad in themselves, such as biological weapons) with experimental paradigms and theories developed to study morality in general.

Searching for the Big Pictures
Stephen K. Reed

Concerned with the impact of specialization in doctoral training, Reed describes his attempt to discover new ways of organizing knowledge in psychological science that would have theoretical and practical implications. During this search, Reed wrote 10 integrative articles, five of which integrated advancements in artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. Reed elaborates on his efforts to use formal ontologies to organize psychological knowledge and the strategies to write integrative articles as well as the role of integrations for making psychology relevant to a general audience.

The Moral Psychology of Raceless, Genderless Strangers
Neil Hester and Kurt Gray

Research in moral psychology generally uses unspecified characters, which may challenge the generalization of findings to real-world judgments that do not involve raceless, genderless, strangers. Hester and Gray argue for the importance of incorporating identity into moral psychology because the identities of targets and perceivers influence social judgments. They suggest an integration of moral psychology and social cognition to address the role of identity in everyday moral judgments.

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