UNC-TV: How Personal Values Matter When Making Choices


Take a minute to think about everything you do in a day. Once you wake up, you need to decide what to wear to work; what to have for breakfast; whether to have juice, coffee or both; which route to take to get to work, school or running errands; which errands to run. And the list goes on. 

It’s not difficult to believe that researchers say, on average, we make about 35,000 decisions per day. But those decisions are either/or decisions, which means a person is deciding between two choices of roughly equal value. The decisions are not what psychologists call moral decisions.

“A moral decision is any decision that involves right and wrong,” explains Dale Cohen, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at UNC Wilmington. “So a moral dilemma is any situation that makes you make one of those decisions.”

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