MPRL Publications

On this page, we provide PDF downloads of selected publications. If a PDF is not available, please feel free to contact us to request a copy. The lab’s publications are divided into a few broad categories:

Scholarly publications

Working papers

Bernhard, R. & Cushman, F. Extortion, intuition, and the dark side of reciprocity

Kurdi, B., Morris, A. & Cushman, F. The role of causal structure in implicit cognition

Everett, J., Ingbretsen, Z., Cushman, F. & Cikara, M. Aggression, fast and slow: Intuition also favors defensive aggression

Morris, A., Gaesser, B. & Cushman, F. Episodic simulation of harmful events: When imagined harm becomes morally justified

Morris, A., Phillips, J., Icard, T., Knobe, J., Gerstenberg, T. & Cushman, F.A. Judgments of actual causation approximate the effectiveness of interventions

Phillips, J., Knobe, J., Strickland, B., Armary, P. & Cushman, F. Knowledge before belief: Response-times indicate evaluations of knowledge prior to belief

In press

Wu, C., Velez, N. & Cushman, F. (in press) Representational exchange in human social learning: Balancing efficiency and flexibility In I. Cogliati Dezza, E. Schulz & C. Wu (Eds.) The drive for knowledge: the science of human information-seeking. Cambridge University Press.

Morris, A., Phillips, J. Huang, K. & Cushman, F. (in press) Generating options and choosing between them rely on distinct forms of value representation Psychological Science

Martin, J., Buon, M., Cushman, F. (in press) The effect of cognitive load on intent-based moral judgment Cognitive Science

Ho, Mark; Cushman, F.; Littman, M. & Austerweil, J. (in press) Communication in action: Planning and interpreting communicative demonstrations Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

Phillips, J., Buckwalter, W., Cushman, F., Friedman, O., Martin, A., Turri, J., Santos, L., Knobe, J. Knowledge before belief (in press) Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Cushman, F.A., Sarin, A. & Ho, M. (in press). Punishment as communication in Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Eds. Doris, J. & Vargas, M. Oxford University Press

Cushman, F.A. & Paul, L. (in press). Are desires interdependent? in Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Eds. Doris, J. & Vargas, M. Oxford University Press


Dhaliwal, N., Patil, I. & Cushman, F. (2021) Reputational and cooperative benefits of third party compensation Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 164, 27-51

Sarin, A., Ho, M., Martin, J. & Cushman, F. (2021) Punishment is organized around principles of communicative inference Cognition 208, 104544

Patil, I., Zucchelli, M., Kool, W., Campbell, S., Fornasier, F., Calo, M., Silani, G., Cikara, M. & Cushman, F. (2021) Reasoning supports utilitarian resolutions to moral dilemmas across diverse measures Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 120(2), 443

Heiphetz, L. & Cushman, F. (2021) Introduction to morality as a hub: Connections within and beyond social cognition Social Cognition 39(1): 1-3


Levine, S., Kleimen-Weiner, M., Schulz, L., Tenenbaum, J. & Cushman, F. (2020) The logic of universalization guides moral judgment Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117 (42) 26158-26169

Bear, A. & Cushman, F. (2020) Loss functions modulate the optimal bias-variance tradeoff. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society

Kleimen-Weiner, M., Sosa, F., Thompson, B., van Opheusden, B., Griffiths, T., Gershman, S. & Cushman, F. (2020) Downloading Social Learning by Program Induction. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society

Cushman, F. (2020) Rationalization is rational Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Bear, A., Bensinger, S., Jara-Ettinger, J., Knobe, J. & Cushman, F.A. (2020) What comes to mind Cognition 194

Cushman, F.A. (2020). Is cognitive neuroscience an oxymoron? in Current Controversies in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Eds. Cullen, S., Leslie, S.J. & Lerner, A. Routledge

Cashman, M. & Cushman, F.A. (2020). Learning from Moral Failure. in Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. Eds. E. Lambert & J. Schwenkler, Oxford University Press


Phillips, J., Morris, A. & Cushman, F.A. (2019) How we know what not to think Trends in Cognitive Science

Martin, J., Jordan, J., Rand, D. & Cushman, F.A. (2019) Why do we punish people who don’t? Cognition 193(12)

Morris, A., Cushman, F. (2019) Model-free RL or action sequences? Frontiers Psychology

Morris, A., Phillips, J., Gerstenberg, T. & Cushman, F.A. (2019) Quantitative causal selection patterns in token causation PLoS One

Liu, S., Cushman, F., Gershman, S., Kool, W. & Spelke, L. (2019) Hard choices: Children’s understanding of the cost of action selection Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society

Prochownik, K. & Cushman, F. (2019) Outcomes speak louder the actions? Testing a challenge to the two-process model of moral judgment Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society

Cushman, F. & Gershman, S. (2019) Computational approaches to social cognition Topics in Cognitive Science 11(2): 281-298

Ho, Mark; Cushman, F.; Littman, M. & Austerweil, J. (2019) People Teach with Rewards and Punishments as Communication not Reinforcements Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 148(3), 520

Klein, R. A. et al (2019) Many Labs 2: Investigating variation in replicability across sample and setting Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science 1(4), 443-490


Morris, A. & Cushman, F.A. (2018). A common framework for theories of norm compliance. Social Philosophy & Policy: Special issue on “Learning and Changing Norms”. 35(1), 101-127

Cova, F. et al. (2018) Estimating the reproducability of experimental philosophy Review of Philosophy and Psychology

Kool, W., Gershman, S.J. & Cushman, F.A. (2018). Planning complexity registers as a cost in metacontrol. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 30(10):1-14

Kool, W., Cushman, F.A. & Gershman, S.J. (2018). Competition and cooperation between multiple reinforcement learning systems. in R. W. Morris, A. M. Bornstein, & A. Shenhav (Eds.) Understanding Goal-Directed Decision Making: Computations and Circuits, Amsterdam, NL: Elsevier

Icard, T., Cushman, F.A., Knobe, J. (2018). On the instrumental value of hypothetical and counterfactual thought Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society.

Ho, M., Littman, M., Cushman, F.A. & Austerweil, J. (2018). Effectively learning from pedagogical demonstrations Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society.

Hannikainen, I.R., Machery, E. & Cushman, F.A. (2018) Is utilitarian sacrifice becoming more permissible? Cognition 170, 95-101

Miller, R. M., Cushman, F.A. (2018). Moral values and motivations: How special are they? in K. Gray & J. Graham (eds), The atlas of moral psychology: Mapping good and evil.

Barak-Corren, N., Tsay, C.J., Cushman, F.A. & Bazerman, M. (2018). If you’re going to do wrong, at least do it right: Considering two moral dilemmas at the same time promotes consistency. Management Science. 64(4), 1528-1540

Darby, R.R., Horn, A., Cushman, F.A. & Fox, M.D. (2018). Lesion network localization of criminal behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115 (3), 601-606


Hannikainen, I., Miller, R. M., Cushman, F.A. (2017). Act versus Impact: Conservatives and Liberals Exhibit Different Structural Emphases in Moral JudgmentRatio: Special Issue on ‘Experimental Philosophy as Applied Philosophy’, 30(4), 462-493.

Morris, A. & Cushman, F.A. (2017). The evolution of flexibility and rigidity in retaliatory punishment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Cushman, F.A., Kumar, V. & Railton, P. (2017). Moral learning: Current and future directions. Cognition 167:1-10

Ho, M.K., MacGlashan, J., Littman, M.L. & Cushman, F.A. (2017). Social is special: A normative framework for teaching with and learning from evaluative feedback. Cognition. 167: 91-106

Kool, W., Gershman, S.J. & Cushman, F.A. (2017). Cost-benefit arbitration between multiple reinforcement learning systems. Psychological Science

Patil, I., Calò, M., Fornasier, F., Cushman, F. & Silani, G. (2017). The behavioral and neural basis of empathic blame. Scientific Reports

Everett, J. Ingbretsen, Z., Cushman, F.A. & Cikara, M. (2017) Deliberation erodes cooperative behaviour – even towards competitive outgroups, even when using a control condition, and even when controlling for sample bias Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 76-81

Phillips, J. & Cushman, F.A. (2017). Morality constrains the default representation of what is possible. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114 (18), 4649-4654

Cushman, F.A. (2017). Is non-consequentialism a feature or a bug? In Julian Kiverstein (ed), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of the Social Mind. New York, p. 262-279


Gershman, S.J., Gerstenberg, T., Baker, C.L., & Cushman, F.A. (2016). Plans, habits and theory of mind. PLoS One.

Ho, M. K., Littman, M. L., MacGlashan, J., Cushman, F., & Austerweil, J. L. (2016). Showing versus Doing: Teaching by Demonstration. In D. D. Lee, M. Sugiyama, U. von Luxburg, & I. Guyon (Eds.), Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 29 (pp. X–X). Barcelona, Spain: Curran Associates, Inc.

Schweinsberg, et. al. (2016). The Pipeline Project: Pre-Publication Independent Replications of a Single Laboratory’s Research Pipeline. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 66: 55-67.

Martin, J.W. & Cushman, F.A. (2016). The adaptive logic of moral luck. In J. Sytsma & W. Buckwalter (eds), The Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy Wiley, p. 190-202.

Kool, W., Cushman, F.A., & Gershman, S. J. (2016). When does model-based control pay off? PLOS Computational Biology.

Martin, J.W. & Cushman, F.A. (2016). Why we forgive what can’t be controlled. Cognition, 147, 133-143.


Cushman, F.A. & Morris, A. (2015). Habitual control of goal selection in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cushman, F.A. (2015). Deconstructing intent to reconstruct morality. Current Opinion in Psychology.

Cushman, F. A. (2015). From moral concern to moral constraint. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 3, 58-62.

Feiman, R., Carey, S., & Cushman, F. A. (2015). Infants’ representations of others’ goals: Representing approach over avoidance. Cognition, 136, 204-214.

Ho, M., Littman, M., Cushman, F. & Austerweil, J. (2015) Teaching with rewards and punishments: Reinforcement or communication?Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

Martin, J.W. & Cushman, F.A. (2015). To punish or to leave: Distinct cognitive processes underlie partner control and partner choice behaviors. PLoS ONE, 10(4), 1-14.

Schwitzgebel, E. & Cushman, F.A. (2015). Philosophers’ biased judgments persist despite training, expertise and reflection. Cognition, 141, 127-137.


Bartels, D. M., Bauman, C. W., Cushman, F. A., Pizarro, D. A. & McGraw, A.P. (2014). Moral Judgment and Decision Making. In G. Keren & G. Wu (Eds.), Blackwell Reader of Judgment and Decision Making. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Cushman, F. A. (2014). The neural basis of morality: not just where, but when. Brain, 137, 974-975.

Cushman, F. A. (2014). The psychological origins of the doctrine of double effect. Criminal Law and Philosophy; Special Issue on “The Means Principle.”

Cushman, F. A. (2014). Punishment in humans: From intuitions to institutions. Philosophy Compass, 1-16.

Cushman, F. A. (2014). The scope of blame. Commentary on Malle et al. Psychological Inquiry, 25, 201-205.

Miller, R. M., Hannikainen, I., & Cushman, F. A. (2014). Bad actions or bad outcomes? Differentiating affective contributions to the moral condemnation of harm. Emotion 14(3), 573-587.


Cushman, F. A. (2013). Action, outcome and value: A dual-system framework for morality. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 17(3), 273-292.

Cushman, F. A. (2013). The role of learning in punishment, prosociality, and human uniqueness. In K. Sterelny, R. Joyce, B. Calcott, & B. Fraser (Eds.), Cooperation and its Evolution (pp. 333-372). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Cushman, F. A., Sheketoff, R., Wharton, S., & Carey, S. (2013). The development of intent-based moral judgment. Cognition, 127(1), 6-21.

Miller, R. M. & Cushman, F. A. (2013). Aversive for me, wrong for you: First-person behavioral aversions underlie the moral condemnation of harm. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7(10), 707-718.


Cushman, F. A., Durwin, A. J., & Lively, C. (2012). Revenge without responsibility? Judgments about collective punishment in baseball. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 48, 1106-1110.

Cushman, F. A., Gray, K., Gaffey, A., & Mendes, W.B. (2012). Simulating Murder: The aversion to harmful action. Emotion, 12(1), 2-7.

Cushman, F. A. & Greene, J. D. (2012). Finding faults: How moral dilemmas illuminate cognitive structure. Social Neuroscience, 7(3), 269-279, DOI:10.1080/17470919.2011.614000

Dillon, K. D. & Cushman, F. A. (2012). Agent, Patient… ACTION! What the dyadic model misses. Commentary on Gray et al. Psychological Inquiry, 23(2), 150-154, DOI:10.1080/1047840X.2012.668002

Inbar, Y., Pizarro, D. A., & Cushman, F. A. (2012). Benefiting from misfortune: When harmless actions are judged to be morally blameworthy Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(1), 52-62.

Schwitzgebel, E. & Cushman, F.A. (2012). Expertise in moral reasoning? Order effects on moral judgment in professional philosophers and non-philosophers. Mind & Language, 27(2), 135-53.


Cushman, F. A. (2011a). Morality from the frog’s eye view. Emotion Reviews, DOI: 10.1177/1754073911402398

Cushman, F. A. & Greene, J. D. (2011). The philosopher in the theater. In M. Mikulincer & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Social psychology of morality: The origins of good and evil. APA Press.

Cushman, F. A., Murray, D., Gordon-McKeon, S., Wharton, S., & Greene, J. D. (2011). Judgment before principle: Engagement of the frontoparietal control network in condemning harms of omission. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, DOI:10.1093/scan/nsr072.

Cushman, F. A. & Young, L. (2011). Patterns of moral judgment derive from nonmoral psychological representations. Cognitive Science, 35: 1052-1075.


Cushman, F. A., Young, L., & Greene, J. (2010). Our multi-system moral psychology: Towards a consensus view. In J. Doris et al. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford University Press.

Sinnott-Armstrong, W., Young, L., & Cushman, F. A. (2010). Moral intuitions as heuristics. In J. Doris et al. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford University Press.


Cushman, F. A., Dreber, A., Wang, Y., & Costa, J. (2009). Accidental outcomes guide punishment in a ‘trembling hand’ game. PLoS One 4(8): e6699.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006699.

Cushman, F.A. & Macindoe, O. (2009). The coevolution of punishment and prosociality among learning agents. In N.A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

Cushman, F. A. & Young, L. (2009). The psychology of dilemmas and the philosophy of morality. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12(1): 9.

Greene, J. D., Cushman, F. A., Stewart, L. E, Lowenberg, K., Nystrom, L. E., & Cohen, J. D. (2009). Pushing Moral Buttons: The interaction between personal force and intention in moral judgment. Cognition 111(2): 364-371.


Cushman, F. A. (2008). Crime and punishment: Distinguishing the roles of causal and intentional analyses in moral judgment. Cognition 108(2): 353-380. Cognition 108(2): 353-380.

Cushman, F. A., Knobe, J., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2008). Moral judgments impact doing/allowing judgments. Cognition 108(1): 281-289.

Cushman, F. A. & Mele, A. (2008). Intentional action: Two and half folk concepts. In J. Knobe & S. Nichols (Eds.), Experimental Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, NY.

Hauser, M. D., Young, L., & Cushman, F. A. (2008). Reviving Rawls’ linguistic analogy. In W. Sinnott-Armstrong (Ed.), Moral Psychology and Biology. Oxford University Press, NY.


Hauser, M. D., Cushman, F. A., Young, L., Kang-Xing Jin, R., & Mikhail, J. (2007). A dissociation between moral judgments and justifications. Mind and Language 22(1): 1-21.

Koenigs, M., Young, L., Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., Cushman, F. A., Hauser. M.D., & Damasio, A. (2007). Damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgments. Nature 446: 908-911.

Mele, A. & Cushman, F. A. (2007). Intentional action, folk judgments and stories: Sorting things out. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31(1): 184-201.

Young, L., Cushman, F. A., Hauser, M. D., & Saxe, R. (2007). The neural basis of the interaction between theory of mind and moral judgment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 104(20): 8235-8240.

2006 and earlier

Cushman, F. A., Young, L., & Hauser, M. D. (2006a). The Psychology of Justice: A review of Natural Justice by Kenneth Binmore. Analyse & Kritik 28:95-98.

Cushman, F. A., Young, L., & Hauser, M. D. (2006b). The Role of Conscious Reasoning and Intuition in Moral Judgments: Testing three principles of harm. Psychological Science 17(12): 1082-1089.

Young, L., Cushman, F. A., Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., & Hauser, M. D. (2006). Does emotion mediate the relationship between an action’s moral status and its intentional status? Neuropsychological evidence. Journal of Culture and Cognition 6(1-2): 291-304.

Stevens, J. R., Cushman, F. A., & Hauser, M. D. (2005). Evolving the psychological mechanisms for cooperation. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 36:499-518.

Stevens, J. R. & Cushman, F. A. (2004). Cognitive constraints on reciprocity and tolerated scrounging. Commentary on M. Gurven, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27:4.

For a general audience

Cushman, F. A. (2012). Baseball’s brand of revenge models ancient blood feuds Huffington Post Apr. 26.

Cushman, F. A. (2011b). Should the law depend on luck? In M. Brockman (Ed.), What’s Next 2.

Cushman, F. A. (2010). Morality: Don’t be afraid. New Scientist, 19 Oct. 2010, issue 2782.

Cushman, F. A. (2006a). Aping ethics: Behavioral homologies and nonhuman rights. In M. Hauser, F. Cushman & M. Kamen (Eds.), People, Property or Pets?. Purdue University Press, West Lafayette.

Cushman, F. A. (2006b). The Declaration of Independence: A lab report. In Character. Fall 2006: 50-61.

Hauser, M. D., Cushman, F. A., & Kamen, M. (Eds.). (2006). People, Property or Pets?. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press.

Multimedia and web documents

Innovation Hub: The Science of doing the right thing (2015) annual question: Retire the idea that big effects have big explanations (2014) video: The paradox of automatic planning (2013)

PopTech video: The aversion to harm (2013)

Very Bad Wizard podcast: Beanballs, blood feuds, and collective moral responisibility (2013)

Philosophy Bites podcast: Moral luck (2012) annual question: Confabulation (2011) annual question: The new balance: more processing, less memorization (2010)