Automated Analysis of Moral Narratives in Online Communication Sources: Cross-cultural Differences and Prediction of Real-world Outcomes

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Results of a PPI analysis examining the effect of moral narrative content functional connectivity of the right temporoparietal junction, a region associated with the integration of emotional and sensory information. When morally-virtuous characters are rewarded (red), rTPJ exhibits little connectivity with other brain regions; however, when immoral characters are punished (blue), rTPJ recruits a diverse network of other regions, prominently PFC.

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Humans have innate moral sensibilities which enable the understanding and enforcement of norms regarding socially-acceptable behaviors. This project examines the ways in which moral content in online news articles impacts readers’ cognitions and behaviors with three main goals: (a) dynamically collect and analyze morally-laden news content (via the online News Narrative Analyzer platform), (b) demonstrate that these underlying moral values affect attitudes and motivate behavior, and (c) use both behavioral and neuroimaging data to understand and make predictions about the influence of moral narratives for specific audiences. Details and summary statistics about the project can be found here:



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