Fiery Cushman

Professor of Psychology &
Director of the Moral Psychology Research Laboratory - Harvard University

Zoom event: December 1, 2021 at 6:00pm MT

  • Sponsored by the Harvard Alumni Association, SW Region Clubs

  • To register, please RSVP below and include the name of your local, affiliated Harvard Club.

The paradox of moral value

"... morality constrains us in a way that is different from, and more powerful than, our ordinary preferences."


For two decades neuroscientists have been studying how the brain makes moral decisions—for instance, whether to lie, cheat or steal.  For the most part, the answer has been: The same way it makes ordinary decisions, like whether to eat a steak or a salad.  But something doesn’t seem right about this.  It certainly feels like morality constrains us in a way that is different from, and more powerful than, our ordinary preferences.  Our laboratory has been working to solve this paradox of moral value.

Fiery Cushman is a professor of psychology and director of the Moral Psychology Research Laboratory at Harvard University. He studies how people make decisions, with a special emphasis on moral decisions.  His work has addressed the structure and function of punishment, the aversion to performing harmful actions, and how candidate actions spontaneously come to mind for consideration.  He received his BA and PhD from Harvard and taught for several years at Brown University prior to joining the faculty at Harvard.

The Harvard Clubs of the Southwest Region, including the RMHUC, invite you to join us on Zoom on December 1, 2021 at 5pm PT / 6pm MT for a discussion with Harvard Professor Fiery Cushman as he shares his work in this area.


From the Harvard website

Cushman's research aims to organize the astonishing complexity of moral judgment around basic functional principles. Much of it is motivated by a simple idea: Because we use punishments and rewards to modify others’ behavior, one function of morality is to teach others how to behave, while another complementary function is to learn appropriate patterns of behavior.

His laboratory investigates these issues using a wide range of methods, including surveys, laboratory behavioral studies, psychophysiology, infant and child research, functional neuroimaging, economic games and formal modeling. The ultimate goal is to use the moral domain to understand phenomena of more general importance: the balance between learned and innate contributions to cognition; the human capacity to explain, predict and evaluate others’ behavior; the relationship between automaticity and control; and the architecture of learning and decision-making in a social context.

Registration: Zoom event details will be provided to those who RSVP by November 30, 2021 at 5:00pm PT/6:00pm MT.

If you have questions about the event, please direct them to the Harvard Club of Northern Nevada & the Sierras at: 


Please indicate your Club affiliation with your RVSP, in the "Organization" box

Harvard Alumni Association - Southwest Region Clubs:

  • Rocky Mountain Harvard University Club
  • Harvard Club of Utah
  • Harvard Club of New Mexico
  • Harvard Club of Phoenix
  • Harvard Club of Nevada
  • Harvard Club of Northern Nevada and the Sierras
  • Harvard Club of Southern Arizona


2 days away
6:00PM - 7:00PM Wed 1 Dec 2021 ( Timezone: Mountain )

Virtual Event Instructions:

Zoom event details will be provided to those who RSVP by November 30, 2021 at 5:00pm PT/6:00pm MT.

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Bill Horton
Anna Jones
Stacey Lyne
Sunhee Juhon Hodges
Charlotte Horton
John Griffin
Jeffrey Wheeler
Rodney Schrock
  RS Consulting
Marilyn Corbett
Dirk Bak
Jennifer Tolk
Kate Holbrook
  kate holbrook
Doug Walton
  Harvard Alumni Association of Utah
Matthew Lewis
  Sandia National Labs
Katherine Kenneedy
  Harvard Alumni Association of Utah
Janice Walton
Doug Walton
  Harvard Alumni Association of Utah
Doug Walton
  Harvard Alumni Association of Utah
Margaret Hatch
Madeleine Tolk
Alan Christensen
  Harvard Club of Utah
Stephen Aoki
Robert Carroll
Stephanie Spong
   Rocky Mountain Harvard University Club
Julie Sullivan Jones
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John Grant
Meredith McKinney
Rick Walsh
joe therrien
Jk Costello
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Gayle Harrison
mary estill buchanan
  rocky mntn harvard club
Kimberly Levin
Martha Regan-Smith
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Sally Wade
Christina Feller
  Nile Research and Communicatio
Charlene Emory
  Charter Communications
Robert Spagnola
Greg Martin
  Inc Authority
Lori Goldstein
Lara Garner
  Gordon Rees
William Jahsman
Tara Anderson
Elizabeth Grant
  Discovery Ranch for Girls
Sara Bartel
  ChangeLab Solutions
  manning curtis bradshaw & bednar
Nadia Urrea
Robert Harrison
Gordon Riggle
  Center for Leadership, CU Boulder
Earl Shepherd
Lawrence Hargrave
  University of Rochester Medical Center Ethics Committee
Bob Devaney
  Harvard club of Utah
Craig Cardon
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Wendy Boortz
  Rocky Mountain Harvard University Club
Elizabeth Hallinan
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Diana McDonald
  New Mexico Harvard Club
John Kennedy
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Peter Gray
Emil Cornejo
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Christopher Colford
  International Monetary Fund
Robert Stump
Charlie BAHR
John Goldsberry
Wilson Hago
  Hago Energetics, Inc.
Sam Coppersmith
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Rodrigo Dorador
Ozlem Tekay
  Octagon Management
Kathy Sun
Mary Moeser
  Harvard Club of Phoenix
Colin Jackson
   U of C
Hannah Kattermann
  Rocky Mountain Harvard University Club
Ishani Sharma
Katherine Kauffman
  EFS International
Olivia Smith
Megan Harney
Dominique van de Stadt
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Steven Jones
  Harvard Club of NM
John Ries
Marlene Ross
  Harvard Club of Phoenix
Ozlem Tekay
  Octagon Management
Jennifer Tolk
Douglas Anderson
  Jon M. Huntsman School of Business Utah State University
Cassia Dippo
  Harvard Club of Utah
Porter Jones
Marilyn Corbett
Barry Gittleman
  Hamlet Homes
Margo Georgiadis
Joalie Davie
Lara Garner
  Gordon Rees
Emily Siwachok
  Harvard Club of Utah
Lawrence Rossini
John Goldsberry
Harris Hartz
Margaret Hatch
Debby Patz
  Rocky Mountain Harvard U Club
Nhat Le
  Thanh My Hung Company
Nicholas Kho
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Paula Frew
Howard Rubin
  DePaul College of Law
Greg Tang
  Tang Math
Tina Quigley
Bo Warburton
Dudley Luke
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Ryan Braeger
  Harvard Club of Utah
Darin Mano
  Raw Design Studio
Payal Sharma
  University of Nevada, Las Vegas
... a total of 108 guests.
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