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Psychology professor ties morality to taste sensitivity

August 24, 2012

Kendall J. Eskine, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Loyola University New Orleans, recently had his manuscript, “The Bitter Truth about Morality: Virtue, Not Vice, Makes a Bland Beverage Taste Nice,” published in PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed open access journal that features original research from all disciplines within science and medicine.

To demonstrate that sensory and emotional states play an important role in moral processing, previous research has induced physical disgust and measured its effects on moral judgment. To further assess the strength of this connection, Eskine’s research investigated whether the directionality of the effect could be reversed by exposing participants to different types of moral events prior to rating the same neutral tasting beverage. As expected, reading about moral transgressions, moral virtues, or control events caused participants to judge a beverage as disgusting, delicious or neutral-tasting, respectively.

For more information, contact Eskine at 504-865-2270 or kjeskine@loyno.edu.

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