Peter Ditto

picture of Peter  Ditto

Professor, Psychological Science
School of Social Ecology

Ph.D., Princeton University

Phone: (949) 824-1844 , 5574
Fax: (949) 824-3002

University of California, Irvine
Psychology and Social Behavior
3319 Social Ecology Building II
Mail Code: 7085
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
social cognition, motivated judgment and decision-making process, social psychology
Research Abstract
I am interested in "hot cognition" -- the interface between passion and reason. My research examines the role of motivation and emotion in social, political, moral, medical, and legal judgment. Most generally, my work has sought to explain the phenomenon of "motivated reasoning," or how the desire to reach a particular conclusion biases the processing of information related to that conclusion. My early work in this area examined the role such biases play in how people respond to threatening medical information (e.g., denial). More recently, my work has been focused on motivated moral reasoning, particularly how people selectively recruit general moral principles to support desired moral conclusions. Another key focus of my current research is on partisan political bias. This work examines the multiple ways that political ideology biases our political judgments and behavior. Finally, I am interested in a variety of psychological issues involved in end-of-life medical decision making. This work amounts to a psychological critique of policy encouraging the use of "living wills" in end-of-life medical decision making.
Please see link to PSB Faculty Webpage for updated publication listing.
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