What makes you a good person or a bad person? How do you choose between the devil and the angel on your shoulders? What forms your moral compass?
Well, it could be how you were raised. Or your faith. Or the values of the society you live in.
But if you ask a neuroscientist, they’ll likely tell you that morality has an even deeper, more fundamental origin than that. Researchers are finding that moral decision-making is a deeply biological process, rooted in your brain.
That’s the subject in the latest in our series: “Brain Matters: Reporting from the Front Lines of Neuroscience.”
Carey Goldberg, co-host of WBUR’s CommonHealth blog. She tweets @commonhealth.
Josh Buckholtz, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University.
Lisa Feldman Barrett, professor of psychology at Northeastern University.