Ongoing work

The moral circle

I am interested in understanding inconsistencies in who we do and do not consider worthy of moral concern - why we tend to care more for those closer to us than those far away, or why we love animals but continue to eat meat. To explore this, I study how children and adults ascribe moral worth to different people, animals, plants, objects, and artificial entities. I am interested in whether children are more morally expansive than adults and, if yes, what drives this difference. I am also interested in whether moral worth can be captured in a single construct or if we have multiple conceptions of what it means to morally value someone.

Real-life altruistic groups

Drawing on work with kidney donors, I explore the intuitions of groups with morally atypical views (e.g., children who become vegetarian in meat eating family, effective altruists). I explore which personality and cognitive traits are unique in these groups relative to the typical population. Ultimately, I hope that this research will provide insight into the factors that might underpin altruistic motivations.

Naturalness preferences and attitudes to food tech (cultured meat)

Extensive research has documented that we prefer natural things, but we have limited understanding of what drives these preferences. I study the developmental, historical, and cultural patterns in these preferences and the psychological factors that underpin them. I am also interested in the implications of these preferences for the acceptance of food technology, such as cultured meat.