It is easier to study verbal reasoning than it is to study emotions and intuitions, but reasoning may be the tail wagged by the dog.
The dog itself may turn out to be moral intuitions and emotions such as empathy and love (for positive morality) and shame, guilt, and remorse, along with emotional self-regulation abilities.
A dog’s tail is worth studying because dogs use their tails so frequently for communication. Similarly, moral reasoning is worth studying because people use moral reasoning so frequently for communication.
To really understand how human morality works, however, it may be advisable to shift attention away from the study of moral reasoning and toward the study of intuitive and emotional processes.
From: Jonathan Haidt, The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: A Social Intuitionist Approach to Moral Judgment, University of Virginia