How are values acquired and expressed?
Mark Alfano uses tools and methods from philosophy and science to explore the field of moral psychology. He studies how people become and remain virtuous, how values become integrated into people's lives, and how these virtues and values are (or fail to be) manifested in their perception, thoughts, feelings, deliberations, and behavior. One of the guiding themes of his work is that moral philosophy without psychological content is empty, but psychological investigation without philosophical insight is blind.
Mapping Human Values
What we say about the dead may say as much about us as it does about them. Along with his collaborators, Mark uses data-mining techniques to extract patterns of evaluative judgments from obituaries published in local newspapers. This allows him to compare people's values based on their geography, their gender, their age, and other variables.