Recently, some of my collaborators (Brittany Liu and Pete Ditto) published a paper on moral coherence, which is when people fit their factual beliefs to their moral beliefs. It is a phenomenon very similar to what I’ve called moral confabulation (I like their term better, so have adopted it). It is a specific example of [...]
In an attempt to popularize psychological theories such as idealistic evil and the dark side of moral conviction, I sometimes use the term hypermoral to describe why ostensibly good people (e.g. non-psychopaths), can be led to do terrible things for ostensibly moral reasons. Research suggests that much of the violence that exists in the world [...]
Recently, an unprecedented study was done in Oregon where (due to budgetary, not research reasons) a lottery was held to randomly decide which applicants for Medicaid would actually receive the opportunity to receive Medicaid. There has never been an opportunity to randomly assign people to have access to a program like Medicaid, and so this [...]
Lately, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have been having fun with Jon Kyl’s bizarre response to an error he made on the senate floor in saying that 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion. The real figure is 3% and his bizarre response was that his use of the 90% figure was “not intended [...]
Sarah Palin, in contrast to the Obama administration, believes that Jewish settlements in disputed territory should be allowed to expand. She is very clear about this belief in her recent interview with Barbara Walters. But does she understand the reason for these beliefs? Consider the below statement…
“I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed [...]
A current hot topic in the news is this story of Keith Bardwell, a Louisiana justice of the peace who refused to marry an inter-racial couple. His stated reason is that “my main concern is for the children”, meaning that the children may not be accepted by either racial group. Further, he claims that he [...]
A group called J Street has recently sought to question the wisdom of military action by the Israeli government. Their influence is supposed to be a counterbalance to the traditionally hawk-ish Israel lobby embodied by AIPAC. Many lobbying groups which oppose military action by Israel identify with the groups that Israel has conflicting interests with or [...]
Given the fact that the term is not widely used and that this site now is the first google entry for “moral confabulation” (not that there is any real competition), the responsible thing to do is to properly define moral confabulation and summarize previous research.
What is moral confabulation?
Confabulation is a well studied phenomenon in psychology. [...]
I would argue that moral confabulation is the common thread between these two videos. Is Obama, who is half white and surrounded by white people, really a racist?
I don’t think everything that liberals are saying about Bush is wrong, but disliking someone so much that you compare them to Hitler is a stretch, unless the [...]
I would like to coin the term moral confabulation (ok, I didn’t coin it first…there are 23 google results for it…but I’d like to popularize it) and I’ve now added it as a category on this site. Confabulation is the formation of false beliefs or memories. In the moral realm, one confabulates when ones emotional gut reaction [...]