Jim A.C. Everett

Jim A.C. Everett

Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Psychology

University of Kent

Biography

Jim A.C. Everett is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the University of Kent and Research Associate at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, specializing in moral judgment, perceptions of moral character, and parochial altruism. Jim completed his BA, MSc, and D.Phil at the University of Oxford, before receiving a Fulbright Fellowship to work at Harvard University, and a Marie-Sklodowska-Curie PostDoctoral Fellowship to work at Leiden University. Jim’s work is deeply interdisciplinary, and alongside traditional social psychological approaches he draws from philosophy, evolutionary theory, and behavioural economics. In his work, he investigates topics such as how we incorporate (im)partiality into our moral judgments; how we infer character from moral judgments and why this is important; how we think about the moral worth of animals; how our moral beliefs influence our understanding of free will and determinism; how morality is central to perceptions of personal and social identity; and how group processes shape moral judgment and vice versa.

Jim has published his work in leading journal such as Psychological Review, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. His research has been featured in The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The New York Times, Scientific American, and more. Jim has received the prestigious Early Career Award from the European Association for Social Psychology to recognise his early-career contributions to the field, and his joint-first-authored paper in Psychological Review received the 2019 Wegner Theoretical Innovation Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Interests

  • Person perception and moral character
  • Utilitarianism
  • Speciesism
  • Free will
  • Personal identity

Education

  • D.Phil in Experimental Psychology, 2017

    University of Oxford

  • Msc in Psychological Research, 2013

    University of Oxford

  • BSc in Psychology, Philosophy, and Physiology, 2012

    University of Oxford

Skills

Psychology

Philosophy

R

Dogs

Experience

 
 
 
 
 

Lecturer (Assistant Professor)

University of Kent

Jan 2019 – Present Canterbury, Kent
 
 
 
 
 

Marie-Sklodowska-Curie PostDoctoral Research Fellow

Leiden University

Apr 2018 – Apr 2019 Leiden, Netherlands
 
 
 
 
 

PostDoctoral Research Fellow

University of Oxford

Jul 2017 – Mar 2018 Oxford
 
 
 
 
 

Fulbright Research Fellow

Harvard University

Sep 2015 – Jul 2016 Cambridge, MA

Research

Moral Person Perception

How do different kinds of moral judgments people make influence how we perceive others? In what contexts will we prefer different kinds of moral agents? What are the philosophical implications of this?

Speciesism

Do attitudes towards animals rely on similar psychological processes and motivations as those underlying other types of prejudice? How do we perceive people based on their attitudes towards animal rights? How does meat-eating become a moral issue, and what kind of moral reasoning are people engaging in?

Utilitarian Moral Judgments

What are the psychological roots of utilitarianism? Why does utilitarianism attract some people but strongly repel so many others? What are the psychological processes, personality correlates, and social consequences of decisions in different kinds of utilitarian moral judgments?

Recent Publications

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Does encouraging a belief in determinism increase cheating? Reconsidering the value of believing in free will

A key source of support for the view that challenging people’s beliefs about free will may undermine moral behavior is two classic studies by Vohs and Schooler (2008). These authors reported that exposure to certain prompts suggesting that free will is an illusion increased cheating behavior. In the present paper, we report several attempts to replicate this influential and widely cited work. Over a series of five studies (sample sizes of N = 162, N = 283, N = 268, N = 804, N = 982) (four …

Utilitarianism for animals, Kantianism for people? Harming animals and humans for the greater good

Most people hold that it is wrong to sacrifice some humans to save a greater number of humans. Do people also think that it is wrong to sacrifice some animals to save a greater number of animals, or do they answer such questions about harm to animals by engaging in a utilitarian cost-benefit calculation? Across 10 studies (N = 4,662), using hypothetical and real-life sacrificial moral dilemmas, we found that participants considered it more permissible to harm a few animals to save a greater …

Political Differences in Free Will Belief Are Associated With Differences in Moralization

In 14 studies, we tested whether political conservatives’ stronger free will beliefs were linked to stronger and broader tendencies to moralize and, thus, a greater motivation to assign blame. In Study 1 (meta-analysis of 5 studies, n = 308,499) we show that conservatives have stronger tendencies to moralize than liberals, even for moralization measures containing zero political content (e.g., moral badness ratings of faces and personality traits). In Study 2, we show that conservatives report …

Experimental Philosophical Bioethics

There is a rich tradition in bioethics of gathering empirical data to inform, supplement, or test the implications of normative ethical analysis. To this end, bioethicists have drawn on diverse methods, including qualitative interviews, focus groups, ethnographic studies, and opinion surveys to advance understanding of key issues in bioethics. In so doing, they have developed strong ties with neighboring disciplines such as anthropology, history, law, and sociology. Collectively, these lines of …

Switching Tracks? Towards a Multidimensional Model of Utilitarian Psychology

Sacrificial moral dilemmas are widely used to investigate when, how, and why people make judgments that are consistent with utilitarianism. But to what extent can responses to sacrificial dilemmas shed light on utilitarian decision making? We consider two key questions: First, how meaningful is the relationship between responses to sacrificial dilemmas and what is distinctive of a utilitarian approach to morality? Second, to what extent do findings about sacrificial dilemmas generalise to other …

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