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 a prestigious Early Career Award from the largest Association for Social Psychology in Europe 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 & Upcoming Talks

Recent Publications

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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 …

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 …

Speciesism, generalized prejudice, and perceptions of prejudiced others

Philosophers have argued there is a normative relationship between our attitudes towards animals (“speciesism”) and other prejudices, and psychological work suggests speciesism relies on similar psychological processes and motivations as those underlying other prejudices. But do laypeople perceive such a connection? We compared perceptions of a target who is high or low on speciesism with those of a target who is high or low on racism (Studies 1–2), sexism (Study 2), or homophobia (Study 3). We …

Priming intuition disfavors instrumental harm but not impartial beneficence

Understanding the cognitive underpinnings of moral judgment is one of most pressing problems in psychological science. Some highly-cited studies suggest that reliance on intuition decreases utilitarian (expected welfare maximizing) judgments in sacrificial moral dilemmas in which one has to decide whether to instrumentally harm (IH) one person to save a greater number of people. However, recent work suggests that such dilemmas are limited in that they fail to capture the positive, defining core …

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