Date of Award

Summer 6-7-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Heather Kleider

Second Advisor

David Washburn

Third Advisor

Marci Culley


In this study I first examined whether the cognitive processes (hot versus cold cognition) underlying judgments to traditional moral situations are universal to situations that are morally neutral, and whether individual differences in cognitive ability moderate these judgments. Second, I tested whether it was possible to modify the impact of hot versus cold processing systems on judgment deliberation by shifting the focus of attention during the decision-making process. I conclude that moral judgment is not simply the product of cognitive ability and is not sufficiently motivated by hot cognitive experiences alone. The role of cognitive abilities on moral valuation requires further examination.