Confounds in moral/conventional studies

K. J P Quintelier*, D. M T Fessler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In The nature of moral judgments and the extent of the moral domain, Fraser (2012) criticises findings by Kelly et al. (2007) that speak against the moral/conventional (M/C) distinction, arguing that the experiment was confounded. First, we note that the results of that experiment held up when confounds were removed (Quintelier, Fessler, and De Smet 2012). Second, and more importantly, we argue that attempts to prove the existence of a M/C distinction are systematically confounded. In contrast to Fraser, we refer to data that support our view. We highlight the implications for the moral/conventional theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalPhilosophical Explorations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015


  • confounds
  • harm
  • Moral/conventional distinction
  • morality
  • social cognition


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