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Moral Heuristics

23 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2003  

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: March 2003

Abstract

With respect to questions of fact, people use heuristics - mental short-cuts, or rules of thumb, that generally work well, but that also lead to systematic errors. People use moral heuristics too - moral short-cuts, or rules of thumb, that lead to mistaken and even absurd moral judgments. These judgments are highly relevant to law and politics. Examples are given from a number of domains, with an emphasis on appropriate punishment. Moral framing effects are discussed as well.

Keywords: rules of thumb, moral judgments

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R., Moral Heuristics (March 2003). U Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 180. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=387941 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.387941

Cass R. Sunstein (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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