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Sample records for moral judgment task

  1. Time and Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suter, Renata S.; Hertwig, Ralph

    2011-01-01

    Do moral judgments hinge on the time available to render them? According to a recent dual-process model of moral judgment, moral dilemmas that engage emotional processes are likely to result in fast deontological gut reactions. In contrast, consequentialist responses that tot up lives saved and lost in response to such dilemmas would require…

  2. Virtual Morality: Transitioning from Moral Judgment to Moral Action?

    PubMed Central

    Francis, Kathryn B.; Howard, Charles; Howard, Ian S.; Gummerum, Michaela; Ganis, Giorgio; Anderson, Grace; Terbeck, Sylvia

    2016-01-01

    The nature of moral action versus moral judgment has been extensively debated in numerous disciplines. We introduce Virtual Reality (VR) moral paradigms examining the action individuals take in a high emotionally arousing, direct action-focused, moral scenario. In two studies involving qualitatively different populations, we found a greater endorsement of utilitarian responses–killing one in order to save many others–when action was required in moral virtual dilemmas compared to their judgment counterparts. Heart rate in virtual moral dilemmas was significantly increased when compared to both judgment counterparts and control virtual tasks. Our research suggests that moral action may be viewed as an independent construct to moral judgment, with VR methods delivering new prospects for investigating and assessing moral behaviour. PMID:27723826

  3. Stage Scoring Moral Judgments as a Teacher Task in "Kohlbergian" Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, John D.

    1979-01-01

    Research has shown that teachers have difficulty stage scoring moral thought statements based on Kohlberg's moral development theory. This article explores ways of using process evaluation, developed recently by Kohlberg and others, to avoid stage scoring moral judgments within "Kohlbergian" programs. (AV)

  4. Conflict and Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Candida; And Others

    1974-01-01

    A conflict procedure in which reliance on adult values was opposed to reliance on damage as a measure of blame was found to facilitate second-grade children's use of intention in making moral judgments of story pairs. (ST)

  5. Disgust as Embodied Moral Judgment

    PubMed Central

    Schnall, Simone; Haidt, Jonathan; Clore, Gerald L.; Jordan, Alexander H.

    2008-01-01

    How, and for whom, does disgust influence moral judgment? In 4 experiments participants made moral judgments while experiencing extraneous feelings of disgust. Disgust was induced in Experiment 1 by exposure to a bad smell, in Experiment 2 by working in a disgusting room, in Experiment 3 by recalling a physically disgusting experience, and in Experiment 4 through a video induction. In each case, the results showed that disgust can increase the severity of moral judgments relative to controls. Experiment 4 found that disgust had a different effect on moral judgment than did sadness. In addition, Experiments 2-4 showed that the role of disgust in severity of moral judgments depends on participants’ sensitivity to their own bodily sensations. Taken together, these data indicate the importance - and specificity - of gut feelings in moral judgments. PMID:18505801

  6. Gender-related differences in moral judgments.

    PubMed

    Fumagalli, M; Ferrucci, R; Mameli, F; Marceglia, S; Mrakic-Sposta, S; Zago, S; Lucchiari, C; Consonni, D; Nordio, F; Pravettoni, G; Cappa, S; Priori, A

    2010-08-01

    The moral sense is among the most complex aspects of the human mind. Despite substantial evidence confirming gender-related neurobiological and behavioral differences, and psychological research suggesting gender specificities in moral development, whether these differences arise from cultural effects or are innate remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of gender, education (general education and health education) and religious belief (Catholic and non-Catholic) on moral choices by testing 50 men and 50 women with a moral judgment task. Whereas we found no differences between the two genders in utilitarian responses to non-moral dilemmas and to impersonal moral dilemmas, men gave significantly more utilitarian answers to personal moral (PM) dilemmas (i.e., those courses of action whose endorsement involves highly emotional decisions). Cultural factors such as education and religion had no effect on performance in the moral judgment task. These findings suggest that the cognitive-emotional processes involved in evaluating PM dilemmas differ in men and in women, possibly reflecting differences in the underlying neural mechanisms. Gender-related determinants of moral behavior may partly explain gender differences in real-life involving power management, economic decision-making, leadership and possibly also aggressive and criminal behaviors.

  7. Inability and Obligation in Moral Judgment

    PubMed Central

    Buckwalter, Wesley; Turri, John

    2015-01-01

    It is often thought that judgments about what we ought to do are limited by judgments about what we can do, or that “ought implies can.” We conducted eight experiments to test the link between a range of moral requirements and abilities in ordinary moral evaluations. Moral obligations were repeatedly attributed in tandem with inability, regardless of the type (Experiments 1–3), temporal duration (Experiment 5), or scope (Experiment 6) of inability. This pattern was consistently observed using a variety of moral vocabulary to probe moral judgments and was insensitive to different levels of seriousness for the consequences of inaction (Experiment 4). Judgments about moral obligation were no different for individuals who can or cannot perform physical actions, and these judgments differed from evaluations of a non-moral obligation (Experiment 7). Together these results demonstrate that commonsense morality rejects the “ought implies can” principle for moral requirements, and that judgments about moral obligation are made independently of considerations about ability. By contrast, judgments of blame were highly sensitive to considerations about ability (Experiment 8), which suggests that commonsense morality might accept a “blame implies can” principle. PMID:26296206

  8. Inability and Obligation in Moral Judgment.

    PubMed

    Buckwalter, Wesley; Turri, John

    2015-01-01

    It is often thought that judgments about what we ought to do are limited by judgments about what we can do, or that "ought implies can." We conducted eight experiments to test the link between a range of moral requirements and abilities in ordinary moral evaluations. Moral obligations were repeatedly attributed in tandem with inability, regardless of the type (Experiments 1-3), temporal duration (Experiment 5), or scope (Experiment 6) of inability. This pattern was consistently observed using a variety of moral vocabulary to probe moral judgments and was insensitive to different levels of seriousness for the consequences of inaction (Experiment 4). Judgments about moral obligation were no different for individuals who can or cannot perform physical actions, and these judgments differed from evaluations of a non-moral obligation (Experiment 7). Together these results demonstrate that commonsense morality rejects the "ought implies can" principle for moral requirements, and that judgments about moral obligation are made independently of considerations about ability. By contrast, judgments of blame were highly sensitive to considerations about ability (Experiment 8), which suggests that commonsense morality might accept a "blame implies can" principle.

  9. Norm Acquisition, Rational Judgment and Moral Particularism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Westphal, Kenneth R.

    2012-01-01

    Moral particularism, defined as the view that moral judgment does not require moral principles, has become prominent both in moral philosophy and in philosophy of education. This article re-examines Nussbaum's case for particularism, based on Sophocles' "Antigone", because her stress on sensitive appreciation of circumstantial specifics is…

  10. Emotion and Deliberative Reasoning in Moral Judgment

    PubMed Central

    Cummins, Denise Dellarosa; Cummins, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    According to an influential dual-process model, a moral judgment is the outcome of a rapid, affect-laden process and a slower, deliberative process. If these outputs conflict, decision time is increased in order to resolve the conflict. Violations of deontological principles proscribing the use of personal force to inflict intentional harm are presumed to elicit negative affect which biases judgments early in the decision-making process. This model was tested in three experiments. Moral dilemmas were classified using (a) decision time and consensus as measures of system conflict and (b) the aforementioned deontological criteria. In Experiment 1, decision time was either unlimited or reduced. The dilemmas asked whether it was appropriate to take a morally questionable action to produce a “greater good” outcome. Limiting decision time reduced the proportion of utilitarian (“yes”) decisions, but contrary to the model’s predictions, (a) vignettes that involved more deontological violations logged faster decision times, and (b) violation of deontological principles was not predictive of decisional conflict profiles. Experiment 2 ruled out the possibility that time pressure simply makes people more like to say “no.” Participants made a first decision under time constraints and a second decision under no time constraints. One group was asked whether it was appropriate to take the morally questionable action while a second group was asked whether it was appropriate to refuse to take the action. The results replicated that of Experiment 1 regardless of whether “yes” or “no” constituted a utilitarian decision. In Experiment 3, participants rated the pleasantness of positive visual stimuli prior to making a decision. Contrary to the model’s predictions, the number of deontological decisions increased in the positive affect rating group compared to a group that engaged in a cognitive task or a control group that engaged in neither task. These results

  11. Does cleanliness influence moral judgments? Response effort moderates the effect of cleanliness priming on moral judgments.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jason L

    2014-01-01

    Whether cleanliness influences moral judgments has recently become a topic of debate in the psychological literature. After the initial report that activating the notion of physical purity can result in less severe moral judgments (Schnall et al., 2008a), a direct replication (Johnson et al., 2014a) with much larger sample sizes failed to yield similar findings. The current paper examines the possibility that only non-conscious activation of the cleanliness concept, as achieved in participants with low response effort on priming materials, can produce the expected effect. An online replication (Study 1, N = 214) provided evidence that, when participants exerted low (yet still acceptable) levels of response effort to the experimental material, cleanliness priming led to more lenient moral judgments than neutral priming. An online experiment (Study 2, N = 440; replicated in Study 2a, N = 436) manipulating participants' effort on the priming task (low vs. high) supported the hypothesized mechanism. Specifically, respondents in the low response effort group were instructed to complete the priming task as quickly as possible without too much attention, and the cleanliness priming resulted in less extreme moral judgments than the neutral condition as expected. In contrast, respondents in the high response effort group were instructed to perform to the best of their ability on the priming task, with a non-significant difference on moral ratings between cleanliness and neutral conditions. In addition to helping resolve the controversy regarding the cleanliness hypothesis, the current paper calls into attention the role of response effort in the execution and replication of priming studies.

  12. Moral Appraisals Affect Doing/Allowing Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cushman, Fiery; Knobe, Joshua; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter

    2008-01-01

    An extensive body of research suggests that the distinction between doing and allowing plays a critical role in shaping moral appraisals. Here, we report evidence from a pair of experiments suggesting that the converse is also true: moral appraisals affect doing/allowing judgments. Specifically, morally bad behavior is more likely to be construed…

  13. Perspective Taking and Moral Judgment: A Developmental Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, Diane T.; Serafica, Felicisima C.

    In this study of perspective taking and moral judgment 20 children (10 boys and 10 girls) at each age level between 4 and 10 years were given Feffer's Social Role-Taking Task, a spatial perspective-taking task and Damon's Test of Positive Justice. Investigated were: (1) the specific developmental sequences for role taking, spatial…

  14. Cognitive parallels between moral judgment and modal judgment.

    PubMed

    Shtulman, Andrew; Tong, Lester

    2013-12-01

    A central question in the study of moral psychology is how immediate intuition interacts with more thoughtful deliberation in the generation of moral judgments. The present study sheds additional light on this question by comparing adults' judgments of moral permissibility with their judgments of physical possibility--a form of judgment that also involves the coordination of intuition and deliberation (Shtulman, Cognitive Development 24:293-309, 2009). Participants (N = 146) were asked to judge the permissibility of 16 extraordinary actions (e.g., Is it ever morally permissible for an 80-year-old woman to have sex with a 20-year-old man?) and the possibility of 16 extraordinary events (e.g., Will it ever be physically possible for humans to bring an extinct species back to life?). Their tendency to judge the extraordinary events as possible was predictive of their tendency to judge the extraordinary actions as permissible, even when controlling for disgust sensitivity. Moreover, participants' justification and response latency patterns were correlated across domains. Taken together, these findings suggest that modal judgment and moral judgment may be linked by a common inference strategy, with some individuals focusing on why actions/events that do not occur cannot occur, and others focusing on how those same actions/events could occur.

  15. Principled moral sentiment and the flexibility of moral judgment and decision making.

    PubMed

    Bartels, Daniel M

    2008-08-01

    Three studies test eight hypotheses about (1) how judgment differs between people who ascribe greater vs. less moral relevance to choices, (2) how moral judgment is subject to task constraints that shift evaluative focus (to moral rules vs. to consequences), and (3) how differences in the propensity to rely on intuitive reactions affect judgment. In Study 1, judgments were affected by rated agreement with moral rules proscribing harm, whether the dilemma under consideration made moral rules versus consequences of choice salient, and by thinking styles (intuitive vs. deliberative). In Studies 2 and 3, participants evaluated policy decisions to knowingly do harm to a resource to mitigate greater harm or to merely allow the greater harm to happen. When evaluated in isolation, approval for decisions to harm was affected by endorsement of moral rules and by thinking style. When both choices were evaluated simultaneously, total harm -- but not the do/allow distinction -- influenced rated approval. These studies suggest that moral rules play an important, but context-sensitive role in moral cognition, and offer an account of when emotional reactions to perceived moral violations receive less weight than consideration of costs and benefits in moral judgment and decision making.

  16. Moral Judgment and Its Relation to Second-Order Theory of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fu, Genyue; Xiao, Wen S.; Killen, Melanie; Lee, Kang

    2014-01-01

    Recent research indicates that moral judgment and 1st-order theory of mind abilities are related. What is not known, however, is how 2nd-order theory of mind is related to moral judgment. In the present study, we extended previous findings by administering a morally relevant theory of mind task (an accidental transgressor) to 4- to 7-year-old…

  17. Moral judgment reloaded: a moral dilemma validation study.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Julia F; Flexas, Albert; Calabrese, Margareta; Gut, Nadine K; Gomila, Antoni

    2014-01-01

    We propose a revised set of moral dilemmas for studies on moral judgment. We selected a total of 46 moral dilemmas available in the literature and fine-tuned them in terms of four conceptual factors (Personal Force, Benefit Recipient, Evitability, and Intention) and methodological aspects of the dilemma formulation (word count, expression style, question formats) that have been shown to influence moral judgment. Second, we obtained normative codings of arousal and valence for each dilemma showing that emotional arousal in response to moral dilemmas depends crucially on the factors Personal Force, Benefit Recipient, and Intentionality. Third, we validated the dilemma set confirming that people's moral judgment is sensitive to all four conceptual factors, and to their interactions. Results are discussed in the context of this field of research, outlining also the relevance of our RT effects for the Dual Process account of moral judgment. Finally, we suggest tentative theoretical avenues for future testing, particularly stressing the importance of the factor Intentionality in moral judgment. Additionally, due to the importance of cross-cultural studies in the quest for universals in human moral cognition, we provide the new set dilemmas in six languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Catalan, and Danish). The norming values provided here refer to the Spanish dilemma set.

  18. Moral judgment reloaded: a moral dilemma validation study

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Julia F.; Flexas, Albert; Calabrese, Margareta; Gut, Nadine K.; Gomila, Antoni

    2014-01-01

    We propose a revised set of moral dilemmas for studies on moral judgment. We selected a total of 46 moral dilemmas available in the literature and fine-tuned them in terms of four conceptual factors (Personal Force, Benefit Recipient, Evitability, and Intention) and methodological aspects of the dilemma formulation (word count, expression style, question formats) that have been shown to influence moral judgment. Second, we obtained normative codings of arousal and valence for each dilemma showing that emotional arousal in response to moral dilemmas depends crucially on the factors Personal Force, Benefit Recipient, and Intentionality. Third, we validated the dilemma set confirming that people's moral judgment is sensitive to all four conceptual factors, and to their interactions. Results are discussed in the context of this field of research, outlining also the relevance of our RT effects for the Dual Process account of moral judgment. Finally, we suggest tentative theoretical avenues for future testing, particularly stressing the importance of the factor Intentionality in moral judgment. Additionally, due to the importance of cross-cultural studies in the quest for universals in human moral cognition, we provide the new set dilemmas in six languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Catalan, and Danish). The norming values provided here refer to the Spanish dilemma set. PMID:25071621

  19. Reflection and Reasoning in Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paxton, Joseph M.; Ungar, Leo; Greene, Joshua D.

    2012-01-01

    While there is much evidence for the influence of automatic emotional responses on moral judgment, the roles of reflection and reasoning remain uncertain. In Experiment 1, we induced subjects to be more reflective by completing the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) prior to responding to moral dilemmas. This manipulation increased utilitarian…

  20. The Attribution Cube and Judgments of Morality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Thomas E.

    Kelley's cube model of attributions (1967) can be applied to moral judgments to predict how individuals arrive at attributions concerning dispositional or environmental causes. The relative contributions of the three dimensions of Kelley's cube to attributions of morality and trustworthiness were tested by presenting 37 male and 77 female subjects…

  1. The Factorial Structure of Reasoning, Moral Judgment, and Moral Conduct.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephens, Beth; And Others

    Two factor analyses were conducted on data obtained from measurements of the reasoning, moral judgment, and moral conduct of 75 retarded and 75 normal subjects ranging in age from 6 to 18 years. One factor analysis sought to determine relationships between the reasoning variables and standard measures of intelligence and achievement. A second…

  2. Kill or Die: Moral Judgment Alters Linguistic Coding of Causality.

    PubMed

    De Freitas, Julian; DeScioli, Peter; Nemirow, Jason; Massenkoff, Maxim; Pinker, Steven

    2017-02-02

    What is the relationship between the language people use to describe an event and their moral judgments? We test the hypothesis that moral judgment and causative verbs rely on the same underlying mental model of people's actions. Experiment 1a finds that participants choose different verbs to describe the major variants of a moral dilemma, the trolley problem, mirroring differences in their wrongness judgments: they described direct harm with a single causative verb (Adam killed the man), and indirect harm with an intransitive verb in a periphrastic construction (Adam caused the man to die). Experiments 1b and 2 separate physical causality from moral valuation by varying whether the victim is a person or animal and whether the harmful action rescues people or inanimate objects. The results show that people's moral judgments lead them to portray a causal event as either more or less direct and intended, which in turn shapes their verb choices. Experiment 3 finds the same basic asymmetry in verb usage in a production task in which participants freely described what happened. (PsycINFO Database Record

  3. Moral Judgment Maturity of Process and Reactive Schizophrenics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herron, William G.; And Others

    1983-01-01

    Premorbid adjustment, paranoid symptomatology, and orientation were examined as major predictors of moral judgment maturity in 40 schizophrenics. Results suggest the importance of cognitive and social skills in the development of schizophrenics' moral judgment maturity. (Author/RH)

  4. The Moral Judgments of Preschool Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gruen, Gerald E.; And Others

    1979-01-01

    Preschoolers' responses to Piagetian moral judgment stories indicate that they respond differentially to good and bad intent (punishing the bad intentions but not responding to good or neutral intentions), but that only older children respond reliably and differentially to consequences. (RL)

  5. Biases in Children's and Adults' Moral Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Nina L.; Derbyshire, Stuart W. G.; Guttentag, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments examined biases in children's (5/6- and 7/8-year-olds) and adults' moral judgments. Participants at all ages judged that it was worse to produce harm when harm occurred (a) through action rather than inaction (omission bias), (b) when physical contact with the victim was involved (physical contact principle), and (c) when the harm…

  6. High levels of psychopathic traits alters moral choice but not moral judgment

    PubMed Central

    Tassy, Sébastien; Deruelle, Christine; Mancini, Julien; Leistedt, Samuel; Wicker, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder frequently associated with immoral behaviors. Previous behavioral studies on the influence of psychopathy on moral decision have yielded contradictory results, possibly because they focused either on judgment (abstract evaluation) or on choice of hypothetical action, two processes that may rely on different mechanisms. In this study, we explored the influence of the level of psychopathic traits on judgment and choice of hypothetical action during moral dilemma evaluation. A population of 102 students completed a questionnaire with ten moral dilemmas and nine non-moral dilemmas. The task included questions targeting both judgment (“Is it acceptable to … in order to …?”) and choice of hypothetical action (“Would you … in order to …?”). The level of psychopathic traits of each participant was evaluated with the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy (LSRP) scale. Logistic regression fitted with the generalized estimating equations method analyses were conducted using responses to the judgment and choice tasks as the dependent variables and psychopathy scores as predictor. Results show that a high level of psychopathic traits, and more specifically those related to affective deficit, predicted a greater proportion of utilitarian responses for the choice but not for the judgment question. There was no first-order interaction between the level of psychopathic traits and other potential predictors. The relation between a high level of psychopathic traits and increased utilitarianism in choice of action but not in moral judgment may explain the contradictory results of previous studies where these two processes were not contrasted. It also gives further support to the hypothesis that choice of action endorsement and abstract judgment during moral dilemma evaluation are partially distinct neural and psychological processes. We propose that this distinction should be better taken into account in the evaluation of psychopathic

  7. Beyond "utilitarianism": maximizing the clinical impact of moral judgment research.

    PubMed

    Rosas, Alejandro; Koenigs, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The use of hypothetical moral dilemmas--which pit utilitarian considerations of welfare maximization against emotionally aversive "personal" harms--has become a widespread approach for studying the neuropsychological correlates of moral judgment in healthy subjects, as well as in clinical populations with social, cognitive, and affective deficits. In this article, we propose that a refinement of the standard stimulus set could provide an opportunity to more precisely identify the psychological factors underlying performance on this task, and thereby enhance the utility of this paradigm for clinical research. To test this proposal, we performed a re-analysis of previously published moral judgment data from two clinical populations: neurological patients with prefrontal brain damage and psychopathic criminals. The results provide intriguing preliminary support for further development of this assessment paradigm.

  8. Manic patients exhibit more utilitarian moral judgments in comparison with euthymic bipolar and healthy persons.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Hwa; Kim, Tae Young; Ryu, Vin; Ha, Ra Yeon; Lee, Su Jin; Ha, Kyooseob; Cho, Hyun-Sang

    2015-04-01

    Both emotional and cognitive processes are involved in moral judgments. Ventromedial prefrontal lesions are related to impaired prosocial emotions and emotional dysregulation, and patients with these lesions exhibit increased utilitarian judgments of emotionally salient personal moral dilemmas. Bipolar patients experiencing manic episode also have impaired emotional regulation and behavioral control. We investigated the characteristics of moral judgment in manic and euthymic patients with bipolar disorder using the 50 hypothetical moral dilemma task (17 non-moral, 20 personal, and 13 impersonal). Our study included 27 manic bipolar patients, 26 euthymic bipolar patients, and 42 healthy controls. Subjects were instructed to determine whether or not each dilemma was morally acceptable, and their reaction times were recorded. Manic patients showed significantly greater utilitarian judgment than euthymic patients and normal controls for personal moral dilemmas. However, there were no significant between-group differences for the non-moral and impersonal moral dilemmas. Our results suggest that increased utilitarian judgments of personal moral dilemmas may be a state-related finding observed only in manic patients. This difference in moral judgment assessments may reflect the decision-making characteristics and underlying neurobiological mechanisms of bipolar disorder, especially during the manic state.

  9. When psychopathy impairs moral judgments: neural responses during judgments about causing fear.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Abigail A; Cardinale, Elise M

    2014-01-01

    Psychopathy is a disorder characterized by reduced empathy, shallow affect and behaviors that cause victims distress, like threats, bullying and violence. Neuroimaging research in both institutionalized and community samples implicates amygdala dysfunction in the etiology of psychopathic traits. Reduced amygdala responsiveness may disrupt processing of fear-relevant stimuli like fearful facial expressions. The present study links amygdala dysfunction in response to fear-relevant stimuli to the willingness of individuals with psychopathic traits to cause fear in other people. Thirty-three healthy adult participants varying in psychopathic traits underwent whole-brain fMRI scanning while they viewed statements that selectively evoke anger, disgust, fear, happiness or sadness. During scanning, participants judged whether it is morally acceptable to make each statement to another person. Psychopathy was associated with reduced activity in right amygdala during judgments of fear-evoking statements and with more lenient moral judgments about causing fear. No group differences in amygdala function or moral judgments emerged for other emotion categories. Psychopathy was also associated with increased activity in middle frontal gyrus (BA 10) during the task. These results implicate amygdala dysfunction in impaired judgments about causing distress in psychopathy and suggest that atypical amygdala responses to fear in psychopathy extend across multiple classes of stimuli.

  10. When psychopathy impairs moral judgments: neural responses during judgments about causing fear

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Abigail A.; Cardinale, Elise M.

    2014-01-01

    Psychopathy is a disorder characterized by reduced empathy, shallow affect and behaviors that cause victims distress, like threats, bullying and violence. Neuroimaging research in both institutionalized and community samples implicates amygdala dysfunction in the etiology of psychopathic traits. Reduced amygdala responsiveness may disrupt processing of fear-relevant stimuli like fearful facial expressions. The present study links amygdala dysfunction in response to fear-relevant stimuli to the willingness of individuals with psychopathic traits to cause fear in other people. Thirty-three healthy adult participants varying in psychopathic traits underwent whole-brain fMRI scanning while they viewed statements that selectively evoke anger, disgust, fear, happiness or sadness. During scanning, participants judged whether it is morally acceptable to make each statement to another person. Psychopathy was associated with reduced activity in right amygdala during judgments of fear-evoking statements and with more lenient moral judgments about causing fear. No group differences in amygdala function or moral judgments emerged for other emotion categories. Psychopathy was also associated with increased activity in middle frontal gyrus (BA 10) during the task. These results implicate amygdala dysfunction in impaired judgments about causing distress in psychopathy and suggest that atypical amygdala responses to fear in psychopathy extend across multiple classes of stimuli. PMID:22956667

  11. Breakdown in the brain network subserving moral judgment in criminal psychopathy.

    PubMed

    Pujol, Jesus; Batalla, Iolanda; Contreras-Rodríguez, Oren; Harrison, Ben J; Pera, Vanessa; Hernández-Ribas, Rosa; Real, Eva; Bosa, Laura; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Deus, Joan; López-Solà, Marina; Pifarré, Josep; Menchón, José M; Cardoner, Narcís

    2012-11-01

    Neuroimaging research has demonstrated the involvement of a well-defined brain network in the mediation of moral judgment in normal population, and has suggested the inappropriate network use in criminal psychopathy. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to prove that alterations in the brain network subserving moral judgment in criminal psychopaths are not limited to the inadequate network use during moral judgment, but that a primary network breakdown would exist with dysfunctional alterations outside moral dilemma situations. A total of 22 criminal psychopathic men and 22 control subjects were assessed and fMRI maps were generated to identify (i) brain response to moral dilemmas, (ii) task-induced deactivation of the network during a conventional cognitive task and (iii) the strength of functional connectivity within the network during resting-state. The obtained functional brain maps indeed confirmed that the network subserving moral judgment is underactive in psychopathic individuals during moral dilemma situations, but the data also provided evidence of a baseline network alteration outside moral contexts with a functional disconnection between emotional and cognitive elements that jointly construct moral judgment. The finding may have significant social implications if considering psychopathic behavior to be a result of a primary breakdown in basic brain systems.

  12. The role of emotions for moral judgments depends on the type of emotion and moral scenario.

    PubMed

    Ugazio, Giuseppe; Lamm, Claus; Singer, Tania

    2012-06-01

    Emotions seem to play a critical role in moral judgment. However, the way in which emotions exert their influence on moral judgments is still poorly understood. This study proposes a novel theoretical approach suggesting that emotions influence moral judgments based on their motivational dimension. We tested the effects of two types of induced emotions with equal valence but with different motivational implications (anger and disgust), and four types of moral scenarios (disgust-related, impersonal, personal, and beliefs) on moral judgments. We hypothesized and found that approach motivation associated with anger would make moral judgments more permissible, while disgust, associated with withdrawal motivation, would make them less permissible. Moreover, these effects varied as a function of the type of scenario: the induced emotions only affected moral judgments concerning impersonal and personal scenarios, while we observed no effects for the other scenarios. These findings suggest that emotions can play an important role in moral judgment, but that their specific effects depend upon the type of emotion induced. Furthermore, induced emotion effects were more prevalent for moral decisions in personal and impersonal scenarios, possibly because these require the performance of an action rather than making an abstract judgment. We conclude that the effects of induced emotions on moral judgments can be predicted by taking their motivational dimension into account. This finding has important implications for moral psychology, as it points toward a previously overlooked mechanism linking emotions to moral judgments.

  13. Moral Judgment as a Function of Peer Group Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maitland, Karen A.; Goldman, Jacquelin R.

    1974-01-01

    This article presents an investigation into the effects of peer group interaction on moral judgment among 36 male and female eleventh and twelfth graders. The results indicate greater social conflict and pressure in a group discussion induces greater change in the level of moral judgment. (DE)

  14. Moral Judgment Competence of Medical Students: A Transcultural Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feitosa, Helvécio Neves; Rego, Sergio; Bataglia, Patricia Unger Raphael; Sancho, Karlos Frederico Castelo Branco; Rego, Guilhermina; Nunes, Rui

    2013-01-01

    The authors conducted a cross-sectional short-term study using Lind's Moral Judgment Test (MJT) to compare moral judgment competence (C-score) among students from a medical school in the Northeast region of Brazil and a medical school in the Northern region of Portugal. This study compares the C-scores of groups in the first and eighth semesters…

  15. Leadership Styles and Moral Judgment Competence of Community College Personnel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McFadden, Cheryl; Miller, Brian; Sypawka, William; Clay, Maria; Hoover-Plonk, Shelly

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the convergence of leadership styles and moral judgment competence of community college personnel participating in a leadership institute using the Leadership Orientation Instrument (Bolman & Deal, 1984) and the Moral Judgment Test (Lind, 1978). Results indicated that the human resource and structural frames were the…

  16. Decision Processes in Military Moral Dilemmas: The Role of Moral Intensity and Moral Judgment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    asymétriques, l’approche globale face aux opérations et la reconnaissance croissante que les interventions des soldats même les moins expérimentés...e.g., Singer, 1998; see also Jaffe & Pasternak, 2006). Moral Intensity (Magnitude of Consequences, Probability of Effect, Social Consensus...affecting judgments of morality (e.g., Singer, 1998; see also Jaffe & Pasternak, 2006). The participants also judged the morality of each option on

  17. Moral judgment as information processing: an integrative review

    PubMed Central

    Guglielmo, Steve

    2015-01-01

    How do humans make moral judgments about others’ behavior? This article reviews dominant models of moral judgment, organizing them within an overarching framework of information processing. This framework poses two distinct questions: (1) What input information guides moral judgments? and (2) What psychological processes generate these judgments? Information Models address the first question, identifying critical information elements (including causality, intentionality, and mental states) that shape moral judgments. A subclass of Biased Information Models holds that perceptions of these information elements are themselves driven by prior moral judgments. Processing Models address the second question, and existing models have focused on the relative contribution of intuitive versus deliberative processes. This review organizes existing moral judgment models within this framework and critically evaluates them on empirical and theoretical grounds; it then outlines a general integrative model grounded in information processing, and concludes with conceptual and methodological suggestions for future research. The information-processing framework provides a useful theoretical lens through which to organize extant and future work in the rapidly growing field of moral judgment. PMID:26579022

  18. The development of intent-based moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Cushman, Fiery; Sheketoff, Rachel; Wharton, Sophie; Carey, Susan

    2013-04-01

    Between the ages of 4 and 8 children increasingly make moral judgments on the basis of an actor's intent, as opposed to the outcome that the actor brings about. Does this reflect a reorganization of concepts in the moral domain, or simply the development of capacities outside the moral domain such as theory of mind and executive function? Motivated by the past evidence that adults rely partially on outcome-based judgment for judgments of deserved punishment, but not for judgments of moral wrongness, we explore the same categories of judgment in young children. We find that intent-based judgments emerge first in children's assessments of naughtiness and that this subsequently constrains their judgments of deserved punishment. We also find that this developmental trajectory differs for judgments of accidental harm (a bad outcome with benign intent) and judgments of attempted harm (a benign outcome with bad intent). Our findings support a two process model derived from studies of adults: a mental-state based process of judging wrongness constrains an outcome-based process of assigning punishment. The emergence of this two-process architecture in childhood suggests that the developmental shift from outcome- to intent-based judgment involves a conceptual reorganization within the moral domain.

  19. How serotonin shapes moral judgment and behavior

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Jenifer Z; Crockett, Molly J

    2013-01-01

    Neuroscientists are now discovering how hormones and brain chemicals shape social behavior, opening potential avenues for pharmacological manipulation of ethical values. Here, we review recent studies showing how altering brain chemistry can alter moral judgment and behavior, focusing in particular on the neuromodulator serotonin and its role in shaping values related to harm and fairness. We synthesize previous findings and consider the potential mechanisms through which serotonin could increase the aversion to harming others. We present a process model whereby serotonin influences social behavior by shifting social preferences in the positive direction, enhancing the value people place on others’ outcomes. This model may explain previous findings relating serotonin function to prosocial behavior, and makes new predictions regarding how serotonin may influence the neural computation of value in social contexts. PMID:25627116

  20. The Development of Intent-Based Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cushman, Fiery; Sheketoff, Rachel; Wharton, Sophie; Carey, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Between the ages of 4 and 8 children increasingly make moral judgments on the basis of an actor's intent, as opposed to the outcome that the actor brings about. Does this reflect a reorganization of concepts in the moral domain, or simply the development of capacities outside the moral domain such as theory of mind and executive function?…

  1. Homogeneity of Moral Judgment?--Apprentices Solving Business Conflicts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beck, Klaus; Heinrichs, Karin; Minnameier, Gerhard; Parche-Kawik, Kirsten

    1999-01-01

    Presents results on the status of moral development of apprentices in the business context within different types of situations. States that the results seem to support the hypothesis of "moral segmentation," contrary to Kohlberg's theory of homogeneity, and indicate that individual patterns of moral judgment are to a large extent…

  2. Moral Judgment Development across Cultures: Revisiting Kohlberg's Universality Claims

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gibbs, John C.; Basinger, Karen S.; Grime, Rebecca L.; Snarey, John R.

    2007-01-01

    This article revisits Kohlberg's cognitive developmental claims that stages of moral judgment, facilitative processes of social perspective-taking, and moral values are commonly identifiable across cultures. Snarey [Snarey, J. (1985). "The cross-cultural universality of social-moral development: A critical review of Kohlbergian research."…

  3. Moral judgment and its relation to second-order theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Fu, Genyue; Xiao, Wen S; Killen, Melanie; Lee, Kang

    2014-08-01

    Recent research indicates that moral judgment and 1st-order theory of mind abilities are related. What is not known, however, is how 2nd-order theory of mind is related to moral judgment. In the present study, we extended previous findings by administering a morally relevant theory of mind task (an accidental transgressor) to 4- to 7-year-old Chinese children (N = 79) and analyzing connections with 2nd-order theory of mind understanding. Using hierarchical multiple regression analyses, we found that above and beyond age, children's 1st-order theory of mind and 2nd-order theory of mind each significantly and uniquely contributed to children's moral evaluations of the intention in the accidental transgression. These findings highlight the important roles that 1st- and 2nd-order theory of mind play in leading children to make appropriate moral judgments based on an actor's intention in a social situation.

  4. The Effect of Modeled Rationales on Moral Behavior, Moral Choice, and Level of Moral Judgment in Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toner, Ignatius J.; Potts, Richard

    1981-01-01

    Addresses several issues regarding the impact of models on the child's morality among 72 five- to seven-year-old boys. Moral behavior was recorded, moral judgment was assessed and responses to a hypothesized moral dilemma were obtained. Among the results, the child's moral responses depended, in part, on the level of justification used by the…

  5. Experiencing Physical Pain Leads to More Sympathetic Moral Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Qianguo; Zhu, Yi; Luo, Wen-bo

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that observing another’s pain can evoke other-oriented emotions, which instigate empathic concern for another’s needs. It is not clear whether experiencing first-hand physical pain may also evoke other-oriented emotion and thus influence people’s moral judgment. Based on the embodied simulation literature and neuroimaging evidence, the present research tested the idea that participants who experienced physical pain would be more sympathetic in their moral judgments. Study 1 showed that ice-induced physical pain facilitated higher self-assessments of empathy, which motivated participants to be more sympathetic in their moral judgments. Study 2 confirmed findings in study 1 and also showed that State Perspective Taking subscale of the State Empathy Scale mediated the effects of physical pain on moral judgment. These results provide support for embodied view of morality and for the view that pain can serve a positive psychosocial function. PMID:26465603

  6. The ABC of moral development: an attachment approach to moral judgment

    PubMed Central

    Govrin, Aner

    2014-01-01

    As with other cognitive faculties, the etiology of moral judgment and its connection to early development is complex. Because research is limited, the causative and contributory factors to the development of moral judgment in preverbal infants are unclear. However, evidence is emerging from studies within both infant research and moral psychology that may contribute to our understanding of the early development of moral judgments. Though its finding are preliminary, this proposed paradigm synthesizes these findings to generate an overarching, model of the process that appears to contribute to the development of moral judgment in the first year of life. I will propose that through early interactions with the caregiver, the child acquires an internal representation of a system of rules that determine how right/wrong judgments are to be construed, used, and understood. By breaking moral situations down into their defining features, the attachment model of moral judgment outlines a framework for a universal moral faculty based on a universal, innate, deep structure that appears uniformly in the structure of almost all moral judgments regardless of their content. The implications of the model for our understanding of innateness, universal morality, and the representations of moral situations are discussed. PMID:24478739

  7. Intuition and Moral Decision-Making - The Effect of Time Pressure and Cognitive Load on Moral Judgment and Altruistic Behavior.

    PubMed

    Tinghög, Gustav; Andersson, David; Bonn, Caroline; Johannesson, Magnus; Kirchler, Michael; Koppel, Lina; Västfjäll, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Do individuals intuitively favor certain moral actions over others? This study explores the role of intuitive thinking-induced by time pressure and cognitive load-in moral judgment and behavior. We conduct experiments in three different countries (Sweden, Austria, and the United States) involving over 1,400 subjects. All subjects responded to four trolley type dilemmas and four dictator games involving different charitable causes. Decisions were made under time pressure/time delay or while experiencing cognitive load or control. Overall we find converging evidence that intuitive states do not influence moral decisions. Neither time-pressure nor cognitive load had any effect on moral judgments or altruistic behavior. Thus we find no supporting evidence for the claim that intuitive moral judgments and dictator game giving differ from more reflectively taken decisions. Across all samples and decision tasks men were more likely to make utilitarian moral judgments and act selfishly compared to women, providing further evidence that there are robust gender differences in moral decision-making. However, there were no significant interactions between gender and the treatment manipulations of intuitive versus reflective decision-making.

  8. Does children's moral compass waver under social pressure? Using the conformity paradigm to test preschoolers' moral and social-conventional judgments.

    PubMed

    Kim, Elizabeth B; Chen, Chuansheng; Smetana, Judith G; Greenberger, Ellen

    2016-10-01

    The current study tested whether preschoolers' moral and social-conventional judgments change under social pressure using Asch's conformity paradigm. A sample of 132 preschoolers (Mage=3.83years, SD=0.85) rated the acceptability of moral and social-conventional events and also completed a visual judgment task (i.e., comparing line length) both independently and after having viewed two peers who consistently made immoral, unconventional, or visually inaccurate judgments. Results showed evidence of conformity on all three tasks, but conformity was stronger on the social-conventional task than on the moral and visual tasks. Older children were less susceptible to pressure for social conformity for the moral and visual tasks but not for the conventional task.

  9. A person-centered approach to moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Uhlmann, Eric Luis; Pizarro, David A; Diermeier, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Both normative theories of ethics in philosophy and contemporary models of moral judgment in psychology have focused almost exclusively on the permissibility of acts, in particular whether acts should be judged on the basis of their material outcomes (consequentialist ethics) or on the basis of rules, duties, and obligations (deontological ethics). However, a longstanding third perspective on morality, virtue ethics, may offer a richer descriptive account of a wide range of lay moral judgments. Building on this ethical tradition, we offer a person-centered account of moral judgment, which focuses on individuals as the unit of analysis for moral evaluations rather than on acts. Because social perceivers are fundamentally motivated to acquire information about the moral character of others, features of an act that seem most informative of character often hold more weight than either the consequences of the act or whether a moral rule has been broken. This approach, we argue, can account for numerous empirical findings that are either not predicted by current theories of moral psychology or are simply categorized as biases or irrational quirks in the way individuals make moral judgments.

  10. Hidden Paths from Morality to Cooperation: Moral Judgments Promote Trust and Trustworthiness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, Brent; Harrell, Ashley; Willer, Robb

    2013-01-01

    Classic sociological solutions to cooperation problems were rooted in the moral judgments group members make about one another's behaviors, but more recent research on prosocial behaviors has largely ignored this foundational work. Here, we extend theoretical accounts of the social effect of moral judgments. Where scholars have emphasized the…

  11. The Effect of Modeled Rationales on Moral Behavior, Moral Choice, and Level of Moral Judgment in Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toner, Ignatius J.; Potts, C. Richard

    The impact of adult models on the moralities of seventy-two 5- to 7-year-old boys was assessed in this study. Each subject was exposed to a televised adult model and was then administered tests of moral behavior (resistance to deviation in a laboratory situation), moral choice (in a hypothetical situation) and moral judgment level (on an…

  12. Effects of Experienced Disgust on Morally-Relevant Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Olatunji, Bunmi O.; David Puncochar, Bieke; Cox, Rebecca

    2016-01-01

    Although disgust has been implicated in moral judgments, the extent to which the influence of disgust on moral judgment is distinct from other negative affective states remains unclear. To address this gap in knowledge, participants in Study 1 were randomized to a disgust (hand submersion in imitation vomit), discomfort (hand submersion in ice water), or neutral (hand submersion in room temperature water) affect condition while moral judgments of offenses were simultaneously assessed. The results showed that participants in the discomfort condition made the most severe moral judgments, particularly for moderate offenses. To examine if disgust may have more of an effect on some moral violations than others, participants in Study 2 were randomized to similar affect inductions while judgments of purity and non-purity offenses were simultaneously assessed. The results showed that those who had their hand submerged in imitation vomit recommended harsher punishment for purity violations relative to moral violations unrelated to purity. The opposite was true for those who submerged their hands in ice water, whereas punishment ratings for purity and non-purity violations did not significantly differ for those who submerged their hands in room temperature water. The implications of these findings for further delineating the specific role of experienced disgust in moral decision-making are discussed. PMID:27482909

  13. Developmental Changes and Individual Differences in Young Children's Moral Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smetana, Judith G.; Rote, Wendy M.; Jambon, Marc; Tasopoulos-Chan, Marina; Villalobos, Myriam; Comer, Jessamy

    2012-01-01

    Developmental trajectories and individual differences in 70 American middle-income 2.5- to 4-year olds' moral judgments were examined 3 times across 1 year using latent growth modeling. At Wave 1, children distinguished hypothetical moral from conventional transgressions on all criteria, but only older preschoolers did so when rating deserved…

  14. Moral Judgment Intervention Studies Using the Defining Issues Test.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawrence, Jeanette A.

    Fourteen moral judgment intervention studies, representing all those presently known to the author, were reviewed and evaluated. All used Rest's Defining Issues Test (DIT) to evaluate Kolhberg's stage theory of moral development. The DIT had been administered in programs for social studies and civics, general psychological development, and moral…

  15. Low Levels of Empathic Concern Predict Utilitarian Moral Judgment

    PubMed Central

    Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Young, Liane

    2013-01-01

    Is it permissible to harm one to save many? Classic moral dilemmas are often defined by the conflict between a putatively rational response to maximize aggregate welfare (i.e., the utilitarian judgment) and an emotional aversion to harm (i.e., the non-utilitarian judgment). Here, we address two questions. First, what specific aspect of emotional responding is relevant for these judgments? Second, is this aspect of emotional responding selectively reduced in utilitarians or enhanced in non-utilitarians? The results reveal a key relationship between moral judgment and empathic concern in particular (i.e., feelings of warmth and compassion in response to someone in distress). Utilitarian participants showed significantly reduced empathic concern on an independent empathy measure. These findings therefore reveal diminished empathic concern in utilitarian moral judges. PMID:23593213

  16. Integrative moral judgment: dissociating the roles of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Shenhav, Amitai; Greene, Joshua D

    2014-03-26

    A decade's research highlights a critical dissociation between automatic and controlled influences on moral judgment, which is subserved by distinct neural structures. Specifically, negative automatic emotional responses to prototypically harmful actions (e.g., pushing someone off of a footbridge) compete with controlled responses favoring the best consequences (e.g., saving five lives instead of one). It is unknown how such competitions are resolved to yield "all things considered" judgments. Here, we examine such integrative moral judgments. Drawing on insights from research on self-interested, value-based decision-making in humans and animals, we test a theory concerning the respective contributions of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) to moral judgment. Participants undergoing fMRI responded to moral dilemmas, separately evaluating options for their utility (Which does the most good?), emotional aversiveness (Which feels worse?), and overall moral acceptability. Behavioral data indicate that emotional aversiveness and utility jointly predict "all things considered" integrative judgments. Amygdala response tracks the emotional aversiveness of harmful utilitarian actions and overall disapproval of such actions. During such integrative moral judgments, the vmPFC is preferentially engaged relative to utilitarian and emotional assessments. Amygdala-vmPFC connectivity varies with the role played by emotional input in the task, being the lowest for pure utilitarian assessments and the highest for pure emotional assessments. These findings, which parallel those of research on self-interested economic decision-making, support the hypothesis that the amygdala provides an affective assessment of the action in question, whereas the vmPFC integrates that signal with a utilitarian assessment of expected outcomes to yield "all things considered" moral judgments.

  17. Latent Fairness in Adults' Relationship-Based Moral Judgments.

    PubMed

    Hao, Jian; Liu, Yanchun; Li, Jiafeng

    2015-01-01

    Can adults make fair moral judgments when individuals with whom they have different relationships are involved? The present study explored the fairness of adults' relationship-based moral judgments in two respects by performing three experiments involving 999 participants. In Experiment 1, 65 adults were asked to decide whether to harm a specific person to save five strangers in the footbridge and trolley dilemmas in a within-subject design. The lone potential victim was a relative, a best friend, a person they disliked, a criminal or a stranger. Adults' genetic relatedness to, familiarity with and affective relatedness to the lone potential victims varied. The results indicated that adults made different moral judgments involving the lone potential victims with whom they had different relationships. In Experiment 2, 306 adults responded to the footbridge and trolley dilemmas involving five types of lone potential victims in a within-subject design, and the extent to which they were familiar with and affectively related to the lone potential victim was measured. The results generally replicated those of Experiment 1. In addition, for close individuals, adults' moral judgments were less deontological relative to their familiarity with or positive affect toward these individuals. For individuals they were not close to, adults made deontological choices to a larger extent relative to their unfamiliarity with or negative affect toward these individuals. Moreover, for familiar individuals, the extent to which adults made deontological moral judgments more closely approximated the extent to which they were familiar with the individual. The adults' deontological moral judgments involving unfamiliar individuals more closely approximated their affective relatedness to the individuals. In Experiment 3, 628 adults were asked to make moral judgments with the type of lone potential victim as the between-subject variable. The results generally replicated those of the previous

  18. Latent Fairness in Adults’ Relationship-Based Moral Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Jian; Liu, Yanchun; Li, Jiafeng

    2015-01-01

    Can adults make fair moral judgments when individuals with whom they have different relationships are involved? The present study explored the fairness of adults’ relationship-based moral judgments in two respects by performing three experiments involving 999 participants. In Experiment 1, 65 adults were asked to decide whether to harm a specific person to save five strangers in the footbridge and trolley dilemmas in a within-subject design. The lone potential victim was a relative, a best friend, a person they disliked, a criminal or a stranger. Adults’ genetic relatedness to, familiarity with and affective relatedness to the lone potential victims varied. The results indicated that adults made different moral judgments involving the lone potential victims with whom they had different relationships. In Experiment 2, 306 adults responded to the footbridge and trolley dilemmas involving five types of lone potential victims in a within-subject design, and the extent to which they were familiar with and affectively related to the lone potential victim was measured. The results generally replicated those of Experiment 1. In addition, for close individuals, adults’ moral judgments were less deontological relative to their familiarity with or positive affect toward these individuals. For individuals they were not close to, adults made deontological choices to a larger extent relative to their unfamiliarity with or negative affect toward these individuals. Moreover, for familiar individuals, the extent to which adults made deontological moral judgments more closely approximated the extent to which they were familiar with the individual. The adults’ deontological moral judgments involving unfamiliar individuals more closely approximated their affective relatedness to the individuals. In Experiment 3, 628 adults were asked to make moral judgments with the type of lone potential victim as the between-subject variable. The results generally replicated those of the

  19. Can model-free reinforcement learning explain deontological moral judgments?

    PubMed

    Ayars, Alisabeth

    2016-05-01

    Dual-systems frameworks propose that moral judgments are derived from both an immediate emotional response, and controlled/rational cognition. Recently Cushman (2013) proposed a new dual-system theory based on model-free and model-based reinforcement learning. Model-free learning attaches values to actions based on their history of reward and punishment, and explains some deontological, non-utilitarian judgments. Model-based learning involves the construction of a causal model of the world and allows for far-sighted planning; this form of learning fits well with utilitarian considerations that seek to maximize certain kinds of outcomes. I present three concerns regarding the use of model-free reinforcement learning to explain deontological moral judgment. First, many actions that humans find aversive from model-free learning are not judged to be morally wrong. Moral judgment must require something in addition to model-free learning. Second, there is a dearth of evidence for central predictions of the reinforcement account-e.g., that people with different reinforcement histories will, all else equal, make different moral judgments. Finally, to account for the effect of intention within the framework requires certain assumptions which lack support. These challenges are reasonable foci for future empirical/theoretical work on the model-free/model-based framework.

  20. Does Incidental Disgust Amplify Moral Judgment? A Meta-Analytic Review of Experimental Evidence.

    PubMed

    Landy, Justin F; Goodwin, Geoffrey P

    2015-07-01

    The role of emotion in moral judgment is currently a topic of much debate in moral psychology. One specific claim made by many researchers is that irrelevant feelings of disgust can amplify the severity of moral condemnation. Numerous researchers have found this effect, but there have also been several published failures to replicate it. Clarifying this issue would inform important theoretical debates among rival accounts of moral judgment. We meta-analyzed all available studies--published and unpublished--in which incidental disgust was manipulated prior to or concurrent with a moral judgment task (k = 50). We found evidence for a small amplification effect of disgust (d = 0.11), which is strongest for gustatory/olfactory modes of disgust induction. However, there is also some suggestion of publication bias in this literature, and when this is accounted for, the effect disappears entirely (d = -0.01). Moreover, prevalent confounds mean that the effect size that we estimate is best interpreted as an upper bound on the size of the amplification effect. On the basis of the results of this meta-analysis, we argue against strong claims about the causal role of affect in moral judgment and suggest a need for new, more rigorous research on this topic.

  1. Divergent roles of autistic and alexithymic traits in utilitarian moral judgments in adults with autism

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Indrajeet; Melsbach, Jens; Hennig-Fast, Kristina; Silani, Giorgia

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated hypothetical moral choices in adults with high-functioning autism and the role of empathy and alexithymia in such choices. We used a highly emotionally salient moral dilemma task to investigate autistics’ hypothetical moral evaluations about personally carrying out harmful utilitarian behaviours aimed at maximizing welfare. Results showed that they exhibited a normal pattern of moral judgments despite the deficits in social cognition and emotional processing. Further analyses revealed that this was due to mutually conflicting biases associated with autistic and alexithymic traits after accounting for shared variance: (a) autistic traits were associated with reduced utilitarian bias due to elevated personal distress of demanding social situations, while (b) alexithymic traits were associated with increased utilitarian bias on account of reduced empathic concern for the victim. Additionally, autistics relied on their non-verbal reasoning skills to rigidly abide by harm-norms. Thus, utilitarian moral judgments in autism were spared due to opposite influences of autistic and alexithymic traits and compensatory intellectual strategies. These findings demonstrate the importance of empathy and alexithymia in autistic moral cognition and have methodological implications for studying moral judgments in several other clinical populations. PMID:27020307

  2. Divergent roles of autistic and alexithymic traits in utilitarian moral judgments in adults with autism.

    PubMed

    Patil, Indrajeet; Melsbach, Jens; Hennig-Fast, Kristina; Silani, Giorgia

    2016-03-29

    This study investigated hypothetical moral choices in adults with high-functioning autism and the role of empathy and alexithymia in such choices. We used a highly emotionally salient moral dilemma task to investigate autistics' hypothetical moral evaluations about personally carrying out harmful utilitarian behaviours aimed at maximizing welfare. Results showed that they exhibited a normal pattern of moral judgments despite the deficits in social cognition and emotional processing. Further analyses revealed that this was due to mutually conflicting biases associated with autistic and alexithymic traits after accounting for shared variance: (a) autistic traits were associated with reduced utilitarian bias due to elevated personal distress of demanding social situations, while (b) alexithymic traits were associated with increased utilitarian bias on account of reduced empathic concern for the victim. Additionally, autistics relied on their non-verbal reasoning skills to rigidly abide by harm-norms. Thus, utilitarian moral judgments in autism were spared due to opposite influences of autistic and alexithymic traits and compensatory intellectual strategies. These findings demonstrate the importance of empathy and alexithymia in autistic moral cognition and have methodological implications for studying moral judgments in several other clinical populations.

  3. Assessing Medical Students' Moral Judgment over the Course of a Four-Year Professionalism and Humanism Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riegle, Sandra E.; Frye, Ann W.; Glenn, Jason; Smith, Kirk L.

    2012-01-01

    Teachers tasked with developing moral character in future physicians face an array of pedagogic challenges, among them identifying tools to measure progress in instilling the requisite skill set. One validated instrument for assessing moral judgment is the Defining Issues Test (DIT-2). Based on the work of Lawrence Kohlberg, the test's main…

  4. How clinicians make (or avoid) moral judgments of patients: implications of the evidence for relationships and research

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Physicians, nurses, and other clinicians readily acknowledge being troubled by encounters with patients who trigger moral judgments. For decades social scientists have noted that moral judgment of patients is pervasive, occurring not only in egregious and criminal cases but also in everyday situations in which appraisals of patients' social worth and culpability are routine. There is scant literature, however, on the actual prevalence and dynamics of moral judgment in healthcare. The indirect evidence available suggests that moral appraisals function via a complex calculus that reflects variation in patient characteristics, clinician characteristics, task, and organizational factors. The full impact of moral judgment on healthcare relationships, patient outcomes, and clinicians' own well-being is yet unknown. The paucity of attention to moral judgment, despite its significance for patient-centered care, communication, empathy, professionalism, healthcare education, stereotyping, and outcome disparities, represents a blind spot that merits explanation and repair. New methodologies in social psychology and neuroscience have yielded models for how moral judgment operates in healthcare and how research in this area should proceed. Clinicians, educators, and researchers would do well to recognize both the legitimate and illegitimate moral appraisals that are apt to occur in healthcare settings. PMID:20618947

  5. The Impact of Gender and Role Perspective on Moral Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oakes, Ruth; Quina, Katherine

    A study was made of the effects of role perspective and gender on the moral judgments of children. Because they represent a transitional period in cognitive development from heteronomy to autonomy, a total of 25 male and 38 female third-grade students of approximately 9 years of age were selected for participation. The effect of perspective taking…

  6. Crime and Punishment: Distinguishing the Roles of Causal and Intentional Analyses in Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cushman, Fiery

    2008-01-01

    Recent research in moral psychology has attempted to characterize patterns of moral judgments of actions in terms of the causal and intentional properties of those actions. The present study directly compares the roles of consequence, causation, belief and desire in determining moral judgments. Judgments of the wrongness or permissibility of…

  7. Equity or equality? Moral judgments follow the money.

    PubMed

    DeScioli, Peter; Massenkoff, Maxim; Shaw, Alex; Petersen, Michael Bang; Kurzban, Robert

    2014-12-22

    Previous research emphasizes people's dispositions as a source of differences in moral views. We investigate another source of moral disagreement, self-interest. In three experiments, participants played a simple economic game in which one player divides money with a partner according to the principle of equality (same payoffs) or the principle of equity (pay-offs proportional to effort expended). We find, first, that people's moral judgment of an allocation rule depends on their role in the game. People not only prefer the rule that most benefits them but also judge it to be more fair and moral. Second, we find that participants' views about equality and equity change in a matter of minutes as they learn where their interests lie. Finally, we find limits to self-interest: when the justification for equity is removed, participants no longer show strategic advocacy of the unequal division. We discuss implications for understanding moral debate and disagreement.

  8. Equity or equality? Moral judgments follow the money

    PubMed Central

    DeScioli, Peter; Massenkoff, Maxim; Shaw, Alex; Petersen, Michael Bang; Kurzban, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Previous research emphasizes people's dispositions as a source of differences in moral views. We investigate another source of moral disagreement, self-interest. In three experiments, participants played a simple economic game in which one player divides money with a partner according to the principle of equality (same payoffs) or the principle of equity (payoffs proportional to effort expended). We find, first, that people's moral judgment of an allocation rule depends on their role in the game. People not only prefer the rule that most benefits them but also judge it to be more fair and moral. Second, we find that participants' views about equality and equity change in a matter of minutes as they learn where their interests lie. Finally, we find limits to self-interest: when the justification for equity is removed, participants no longer show strategic advocacy of the unequal division. We discuss implications for understanding moral debate and disagreement. PMID:25355480

  9. Assessment of moral judgment and empathy in young sex offenders: a comparison of clinical judgment and test results.

    PubMed

    van Vugt, Eveline; Asscher, Jessica; Hendriks, Jan; Stams, Geert Jan; Bijleveld, Catrien; van der Laan, Peter

    2012-10-01

    Professional decision making in forensic clinical practice may have lifelong consequences for offenders. Although information on moral development is important for prediction of reoffending and referral to adequate treatment, conclusions regarding moral development are still largely based on unstructured clinical judgment instead of assessment instruments. For this study, the authors examined to what extent unstructured clinical judgment of both moral judgment and victim empathy concurred with test results in a group of young sex offenders. Moral judgment was measured with the Sociomoral Reflection Measure-Short Form (SRM-SF), whereas victim empathy was measured with an extended version of the Basic Empathy Scale (BES). No significant associations were found between clinical judgment of moral judgment and the mean scores on the SRM-SF. However, clinical judgment of victim empathy was significantly associated with victim empathy on the Victim Empathy Scale but not consistently in the expected direction. Juvenile sex offenders, who were judged by clinicians to show little victim empathy, displayed lower mean scores on the Victim Empathy Scale than juvenile sex offenders who were evaluated to lack victim empathy or to have intact victim empathy. This study showed unstructured clinical judgment of moral development not to concur with test results. To improve decision-making processes regarding moral development, clinicians are advised to rely on instruments that assess moral development to inform clinical judgment. Further research is needed to examine which predictions are more accurate and to establish the predictive validity of moral development evaluations.

  10. A Mind-Reader Does Not Always Have Deontological Moral Judgments and Prosocial Behavior: A Developmental Perspective.

    PubMed

    Hao, Jian; Liu, Yanchun

    2016-01-01

    The rationalistic theories of morality emphasize that reasoning plays an important role in moral judgments and prosocial behavior. Theory of mind as a reasoning ability in the mental domain has been considered a facilitator of moral development. The present study examined whether theory of mind was consistently positively associated with morality from middle childhood to late adulthood. Two hundred and four participants, including 48 elementary school children, 45 adolescents, 62 younger adults, and 49 older adults, completed theory of mind, moral judgment and prosocial behavior tasks. Theory of mind was measured with strange stories that tapped into an understanding of lies, white lies, double bluffs, irony, and persuasion. Moral judgments were measured with variants of the trolley dilemma. Prosocial behavior was measured through participants' performance in an interactive situation in which a helping request was made. The results indicated specific rather than similar developmental trajectories of theory of mind, moral judgments, and prosocial behavior. There was a quadratic trend in theory of mind, a combination of quadratic and cubic trends in deontological moral judgments and a linear decline in helping behavior. It is thus suggested that theory of mind may not be associated with morality in an unchanging way during development. Further results indicated that theory of mind and deontological moral judgments were negatively correlated for children, adolescents, and older adults but positively correlated for younger adults. Theory of mind and helping behavior were positively correlated for children but negatively correlated for adolescents. However, the relationships disappeared in adulthood. In sum, the present study reveals that theory of mind may be a nice tool for its facilitation of deontological moral judgments and prosocial behavior, but it may also be a nasty tool for its blocking of deontological moral judgments and prosocial behavior. Moreover, theory

  11. A Mind-Reader Does Not Always Have Deontological Moral Judgments and Prosocial Behavior: A Developmental Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Jian; Liu, Yanchun

    2016-01-01

    The rationalistic theories of morality emphasize that reasoning plays an important role in moral judgments and prosocial behavior. Theory of mind as a reasoning ability in the mental domain has been considered a facilitator of moral development. The present study examined whether theory of mind was consistently positively associated with morality from middle childhood to late adulthood. Two hundred and four participants, including 48 elementary school children, 45 adolescents, 62 younger adults, and 49 older adults, completed theory of mind, moral judgment and prosocial behavior tasks. Theory of mind was measured with strange stories that tapped into an understanding of lies, white lies, double bluffs, irony, and persuasion. Moral judgments were measured with variants of the trolley dilemma. Prosocial behavior was measured through participants' performance in an interactive situation in which a helping request was made. The results indicated specific rather than similar developmental trajectories of theory of mind, moral judgments, and prosocial behavior. There was a quadratic trend in theory of mind, a combination of quadratic and cubic trends in deontological moral judgments and a linear decline in helping behavior. It is thus suggested that theory of mind may not be associated with morality in an unchanging way during development. Further results indicated that theory of mind and deontological moral judgments were negatively correlated for children, adolescents, and older adults but positively correlated for younger adults. Theory of mind and helping behavior were positively correlated for children but negatively correlated for adolescents. However, the relationships disappeared in adulthood. In sum, the present study reveals that theory of mind may be a nice tool for its facilitation of deontological moral judgments and prosocial behavior, but it may also be a nasty tool for its blocking of deontological moral judgments and prosocial behavior. Moreover, theory

  12. How Large Is the Role of Emotion in Judgments of Moral Dilemmas?

    PubMed Central

    Horne, Zachary; Powell, Derek

    2016-01-01

    Moral dilemmas often pose dramatic and gut-wrenching emotional choices. It is now widely accepted that emotions are not simply experienced alongside people’s judgments about moral dilemmas, but that our affective processes play a central role in determining those judgments. However, much of the evidence purporting to demonstrate the connection between people’s emotional responses and their judgments about moral dilemmas has recently been called into question. In the present studies, we reexamined the role of emotion in people’s judgments about moral dilemmas using a validated self-report measure of emotion. We measured participants’ specific emotional responses to moral dilemmas and, although we found that moral dilemmas evoked strong emotional responses, we found that these responses were only weakly correlated with participants’ moral judgments. We argue that the purportedly strong connection between emotion and judgments of moral dilemmas may have been overestimated. PMID:27385365

  13. Alcohol Dependence Associated with Increased Utilitarian Moral Judgment: A Case Control Study

    PubMed Central

    Khemiri, Lotfi; Guterstam, Joar; Franck, Johan; Jayaram-Lindström, Nitya

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that emotional processes, mediated by the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC), are of great importance for moral judgment. Neurological patients with VMPC dysfunction have been shown to generate increased utilitarian moral judgments, i.e. are more likely to endorse emotionally aversive actions in order to maximize aggregate welfare, when faced with emotionally salient personal moral dilemmas. Patients with alcohol dependence (AD) also exhibit impairments in functions mediated by the prefrontal cortex, but whether they exhibit increased utilitarian moral reasoning has not previously been investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate moral judgment in AD patients (n = 20) compared to healthy controls (n = 20) matched by sex, age and education years. Each subject responded to a battery of 50 hypothetical dilemmas categorized as non-moral, moral impersonal and moral personal. They also responded to a questionnaire evaluating explicit knowledge of social and moral norms. Results confirmed our hypothesis that AD patients generated increased utilitarian moral judgment compared to controls when faced with moral personal dilemmas. Crucially, there was no difference in their responses to non-moral or impersonal moral dilemmas, nor knowledge of explicit social and moral norms. One possible explanation is that damage to the VMPC, caused by long term repeated exposure to alcohol results in emotional dysfunction, predisposing to utilitarian moral judgment. This work elucidates a novel aspect of the neuropsychological profile of AD patients, namely a tendency to generate utilitarian moral judgment when faced with emotionally salient moral personal dilemmas. PMID:22761922

  14. Increasing the role of belief information in moral judgments by stimulating the right temporoparietal junction.

    PubMed

    Sellaro, Roberta; Güroǧlu, Berna; Nitsche, Michael A; van den Wildenberg, Wery P M; Massaro, Valentina; Durieux, Jeffrey; Hommel, Bernhard; Colzato, Lorenza S

    2015-10-01

    Morality plays a vital role in our social life. A vast body of research has suggested that moral judgments rely on cognitive processes mediated by the right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ), an area thought to be involved in belief attribution. Here we assessed the role of the rTPJ in moral judgments directly by means of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)--a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that, by applying a weak current to the scalp, allows modulating cortical excitability of the area being stimulated. Participants were randomly and equally assigned to receive anodal stimulation (to increase cortical excitability), cathodal stimulation (to decrease cortical excitability), or sham (placebo) stimulation over the rTPJ before completing a moral judgment task. Participants read stories in which protagonists produced either a negative or a neutral outcome based on either a negative or a neutral belief that they were causing harm or no harm, respectively. Results revealed a selective group difference when judging the moral permissibility of accidental harms (belief neutral, outcome negative), but not intentional harms (belief negative, outcome negative), attempted harms (belief negative, outcome neutral), or neutral acts (belief neutral, outcome neutral). Specifically, participants who received anodal stimulation assigned less blame to accidental harms compared to participants who received cathodal or sham stimulation. These results are consistent with previous findings showing that the degree of rTPJ activation reflects reliance on the agent's innocent intention. Crucially, our findings provide direct evidence supporting the critical role of the rTPJ in mediating belief attribution for moral judgment.

  15. Are children moral objectivists? Children's judgments about moral and response-dependent properties.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Shaun; Folds-Bennett, Trisha

    2003-12-01

    Researchers working on children's moral understanding maintain that the child's capacity to distinguish morality from convention shows that children regard moral violations as objectively wrong (e.g. Nucci, L. (2001). Education in the moral domain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). However, one traditional way to cast the issue of objectivism is to focus not on conventionality, but on whether moral properties depend on our responses, as with properties like icky and fun. This paper argues that the moral/conventional task is inadequate for assessing whether children regard moral properties as response-dependent. Unfortunately, children's understanding of response-dependent properties has been neglected in recent research. Two experiments are reported showing that children are more likely to treat properties like fun and icky as response-dependent than moral properties like good and bad. Hence, this helps support the claim that children are moral objectivists.

  16. Intuition and Moral Decision-Making – The Effect of Time Pressure and Cognitive Load on Moral Judgment and Altruistic Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Bonn, Caroline; Johannesson, Magnus; Kirchler, Michael; Koppel, Lina; Västfjäll, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Do individuals intuitively favor certain moral actions over others? This study explores the role of intuitive thinking—induced by time pressure and cognitive load—in moral judgment and behavior. We conduct experiments in three different countries (Sweden, Austria, and the United States) involving over 1,400 subjects. All subjects responded to four trolley type dilemmas and four dictator games involving different charitable causes. Decisions were made under time pressure/time delay or while experiencing cognitive load or control. Overall we find converging evidence that intuitive states do not influence moral decisions. Neither time-pressure nor cognitive load had any effect on moral judgments or altruistic behavior. Thus we find no supporting evidence for the claim that intuitive moral judgments and dictator game giving differ from more reflectively taken decisions. Across all samples and decision tasks men were more likely to make utilitarian moral judgments and act selfishly compared to women, providing further evidence that there are robust gender differences in moral decision-making. However, there were no significant interactions between gender and the treatment manipulations of intuitive versus reflective decision-making. PMID:27783704

  17. Sound Morality: Irritating and Icky Noises Amplify Judgments in Divergent Moral Domains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seidel, Angelika; Prinz, Jesse

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical models and correlational research suggest that anger and disgust play different roles in moral judgment. Anger is theorized to underlie reactions to crimes against persons, such as battery and unfairness, and disgust is theorized to underlie reactions to crimes against nature, such as sexual transgressions and cannibalism. To date,…

  18. The Impact of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Alexithymia on Judgments of Moral Acceptability

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    One’s own emotional response toward a hypothetical action can influence judgments of its moral acceptability. Some individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit atypical emotional processing, and moral judgments. Research suggests, however, that emotional deficits in ASD are due to co-occurring alexithymia, meaning atypical moral judgments in ASD may be due to alexithymia also. Individuals with and without ASD (matched for alexithymia) judged the moral acceptability of emotion-evoking statements and identified the emotion evoked. Moral acceptability judgments were predicted by alexithymia. Crucially, however, this relationship held only for individuals without ASD. While ASD diagnostic status did not directly predict either judgment, those with ASD did not base their moral acceptability judgments on emotional information. Findings are consistent with evidence demonstrating that decision-making is less subject to emotional biases in those with ASD. PMID:26375827

  19. The impact of autism spectrum disorder and alexithymia on judgments of moral acceptability.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Rebecca; Marsh, Abigail A; Catmur, Caroline; Cardinale, Elise M; Stoycos, Sarah; Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey

    2015-08-01

    One's own emotional response toward a hypothetical action can influence judgments of its moral acceptability. Some individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit atypical emotional processing, and moral judgments. Research suggests, however, that emotional deficits in ASD are due to co-occurring alexithymia, meaning atypical moral judgments in ASD may be due to alexithymia also. Individuals with and without ASD (matched for alexithymia) judged the moral acceptability of emotion-evoking statements and identified the emotion evoked. Moral acceptability judgments were predicted by alexithymia. Crucially, however, this relationship held only for individuals without ASD. While ASD diagnostic status did not directly predict either judgment, those with ASD did not base their moral acceptability judgments on emotional information. Findings are consistent with evidence demonstrating that decision-making is less subject to emotional biases in those with ASD.

  20. At the heart of morality lies neuro-visceral integration: lower cardiac vagal tone predicts utilitarian moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Park, Gewnhi; Kappes, Andreas; Rho, Yeojin; Van Bavel, Jay J

    2016-10-01

    To not harm others is widely considered the most basic element of human morality. The aversion to harm others can be either rooted in the outcomes of an action (utilitarianism) or reactions to the action itself (deontology). We speculated that the human moral judgments rely on the integration of neural computations of harm and visceral reactions. The present research examined whether utilitarian or deontological aspects of moral judgment are associated with cardiac vagal tone, a physiological proxy for neuro-visceral integration. We investigated the relationship between cardiac vagal tone and moral judgment by using a mix of moral dilemmas, mathematical modeling and psychophysiological measures. An index of bipolar deontology-utilitarianism was correlated with resting heart rate variability (HRV)-an index of cardiac vagal tone-such that more utilitarian judgments were associated with lower HRV. Follow-up analyses using process dissociation, which independently quantifies utilitarian and deontological moral inclinations, provided further evidence that utilitarian (but not deontological) judgments were associated with lower HRV. Our results suggest that the functional integration of neural and visceral systems during moral judgments can restrict outcome-based, utilitarian moral preferences. Implications for theories of moral judgment are discussed.

  1. To Push or Not to Push? Affective Influences on Moral Judgment Depend on Decision Frame

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pastotter, Bernhard; Gleixner, Sabine; Neuhauser, Theresa; Bauml, Karl-Heinz T.

    2013-01-01

    People's moods can influence moral judgment. Such influences may arise because moods affect moral emotion, or because moods affect moral thought. The present study provides evidence that, at least in the footbridge dilemma, moods affect moral thought. The results of two experiments are reported in which, after induction of positive, negative, or…

  2. Dirty Money: The Role of Moral History in Economic Judgments.

    PubMed

    Tasimi, Arber; Gelman, Susan A

    2016-12-21

    Although traditional economic models posit that money is fungible, psychological research abounds with examples that deviate from this assumption. Across eight experiments, we provide evidence that people construe physical currency as carrying traces of its moral history. In Experiments 1 and 2, people report being less likely to want money with negative moral history (i.e., stolen money). Experiments 3-5 provide evidence against an alternative account that people's judgments merely reflect beliefs about the consequences of accepting stolen money rather than moral sensitivity. Experiment 6 examines whether an aversion to stolen money may reflect contamination concerns, and Experiment 7 indicates that people report they would donate stolen money, thereby counteracting its negative history with a positive act. Finally, Experiment 8 demonstrates that, even in their recall of actual events, people report a reduced tendency to accept tainted money. Altogether, these findings suggest a robust tendency to evaluate money based on its moral history, even though it is designed to participate in exchanges that effectively erase its origins.

  3. Validity study of the Moral Judgment Test in Physical Education: development and preliminary validation.

    PubMed

    Chatzopoulos, Dimitrios; Mouratidou, Katerina; Karamavrou, Sofia

    2008-02-01

    Teaching ethical behavior is an aspect of physical education. The purpose of the study was to present the construction and to estimate validity of a test which assesses physical education students' moral judgment, the Moral Judgment Test in Physical Education. The sample comprised 281 male and female participants (95 in Grades 7 to 9, 92 in Grades 10 to 12, and 94 university students), who completed Lind's Moral Judgment Test and the Moral Judgment Test-PE version. The validity of the latter was assessed using four criteria of Lind's moral theory. Analysis indicated that the Moral Judgment Test-PE had adequate construct validity and correlated positively, although relatively weakly, with the original test, so the new version has sufficient construct validity to be used in physical education.

  4. Development of a moral judgment measure for veterinary education.

    PubMed

    Verrinder, Joy M; Phillips, Clive J C

    2014-01-01

    Veterinarians increasingly face animal ethics issues, conflicts, and dilemmas, both in practice and in policy, such as the tension between clients' and animals' interests. Little has been done to measure the capacity of veterinarians to make ethical judgments to prevent and address these issues or to identify the effectiveness of strategies to build this capacity. The objectives of this study were, first, to develop a test to identify the capacity of veterinarians to make ethical decisions in relation to animal ethics issues and, second, to assess students' perceptions of the usefulness of three methods for the development of ethical decision making. The Veterinary Defining Issues Test (VetDIT) was piloted with 88 first-year veterinary students at an Australian university. The veterinary students were at a variety of reasoning stages in their use of the Personal Interest (PI), Maintaining Norms (MN), and Universal Principles (UP) reasoning methods in relation to both human ethics and animal ethics issues and operated at a higher level of reasoning for animal than human ethics. Thirty-eight students assessed three methods for developing ethical decision-making skills and identified these as being helpful in clarifying their positions, clarifying others' positions, increasing awareness of the complexity of making ethical decisions, using ethical frameworks and principles, and improving moral reasoning skills, with two methods identified as most helpful. These methods and the VetDIT have the potential to be used as tools for development and assessment of moral judgment in veterinary education to address animal ethics issues.

  5. Moral Judgment of Young Sex Offenders with and without Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Vugt, Eveline; Asscher, Jessica; Stams, Geert Jan; Hendriks, Jan; Bijleveld, Catrien; van der Laan, Peter

    2011-01-01

    This study examined differences in moral judgment between juvenile sex offenders with and without intellectual disabilities. The Sociomoral Reflection Measure-Short Form (SRM-SF) was used to assess moral judgment, and was extended with questions referring to general sexual situations and to the offenders' abuse victim(s). Juvenile sex offenders…

  6. Moral Judgments of Chief Academic Officers at Institutions of Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Megan D.

    2012-01-01

    Chief Academic Officers (CAO) are leaders in institutions of higher education and have wide decision-making scope. Previous research has clearly demonstrated the need for leaders to engage in ethical decision-making. Moral judgments are an aspect of ethical decision-making, so it is important for CAOs to make moral judgments. This study examined…

  7. Bible Knowledge and Moral Judgment: Knowing Scripture and Using Ethical Reasoning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Daniel

    2004-01-01

    The relationship between moral judgment and religious knowledge was investigated, with an analysis of the impact of academic skill on both domains. Fifty-six Bible college seniors completed measures of moral judgment (Defining Issues Test), Bible knowledge (Standardized Bible Content Test), and academic skill (Academic Profile). Results indicate…

  8. A Study on the Link between Moral Judgment Competences and Critical Thinking Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samanci, Nilay Keskin

    2015-01-01

    Although many studies have established a direct link between moral judgment competences and critical thinking skills, none has been found to reveal the nature of the link between these two skills in the national and international literature. The present study looked at biology and primary education teacher candidates' moral judgment and critical…

  9. The Application of Moral Judgments to Other Cultures: Relativism and Universality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wainryb, Cecilia

    1993-01-01

    Sixth and tenth graders and college students were asked to apply moral judgments which they had made about a familiar context to contexts in cultures different from their own. Most subjects contextualized their judgments with respect to cultures with different informational beliefs but made nonrelativistic judgments with respect to cultures with…

  10. For whom do the ends justify the means? Social class and utilitarian moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Côté, Stéphane; Piff, Paul K; Willer, Robb

    2013-03-01

    Though scholars have speculated for centuries on links between individuals' social class standing and approach to moral reasoning, little systematic research exists on how class and morality are associated. Here, we investigate whether the tendency of upper-class individuals to exhibit reduced empathy makes them more likely to resist intuitionist options in moral dilemmas, instead favoring utilitarian choices that maximize the greatest good for the greatest number. In Study 1, upper-class participants were more likely than lower-class participants to choose the utilitarian option in the footbridge dilemma, which evokes relatively strong moral intuitions, but not in the standard trolley dilemma, which evokes relatively weak moral intuitions. In Study 2, upper-class participants were more likely to take resources from one person to benefit several others in an allocation task, and this association was explained by their lower empathy for the person whose resources were taken. Finally, in Study 3, the association between social class and utilitarian judgment was reduced in a condition in which empathy was induced, but not in a control condition, suggesting that reduced empathy helps account for the utilitarianism of upper-class individuals.

  11. Neural development of mentalizing in moral judgment from adolescence to adulthood.

    PubMed

    Harenski, Carla L; Harenski, Keith A; Shane, Matthew S; Kiehl, Kent A

    2012-01-01

    The neural mechanisms underlying moral judgment have been extensively studied in healthy adults. How these mechanisms evolve from adolescence to adulthood has received less attention. Brain regions that have been consistently implicated in moral judgment in adults, including the superior temporal cortex and prefrontal cortex, undergo extensive developmental changes from adolescence to adulthood. Thus, their role in moral judgment may also change over time. In the present study, 51 healthy male participants age 13–53 were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they viewed pictures that did or did not depict situations considered by most individuals to represent moral violations, and rated their degree of moral violation severity. Consistent with predictions, a regression analysis revealed a positive correlation between age and hemodynamic activity in the temporo-parietal junction when participants made decisions regarding moral severity.This region is known to contribute to mentalizing processes during moral judgment in adults and suggests that adolescents use these types of inferences less during moral judgment than do adults. A positive correlation with age was also present in the posterior cingulate. Overall, the results suggest that the brain regions utilized in moral judgment change over development.

  12. Assessing Veterinary and Animal Science Students' Moral Judgment Development on Animal Ethics Issues.

    PubMed

    Verrinder, Joy M; Phillips, Clive J C

    2015-01-01

    Little has been done to assess veterinarians' moral judgment in relation to animal ethics issues. Following development of the VetDIT, a new moral judgment measure for animal ethics issues, this study aimed to refine and further validate the VetDIT, and to identify effects of teaching interventions on moral judgment and changes in moral judgment over time. VetDIT-V1 was refined into VetDIT-V2, and V3 was developed as a post-intervention test to prevent repetition. To test these versions for comparability, veterinary and animal science students (n=271) were randomly assigned to complete different versions. The VetDIT discriminates between stages of moral judgment, condensed into three schemas: Personal Interest (PI), Maintaining Norms (MN), and Universal Principles (UP). There were no differences in the scores for MN and UP between the versions, and we equated PI scores to account for differences between versions. Veterinary science students (n=130) who completed a three-hour small-group workshop on moral development theory and ethical decision making increased their use of UP in moral reasoning, whereas students (n=271) who received similar information in a 50-minute lecture did not. A longitudinal comparison of matched first- and third-year students (n=39) revealed no moral judgment development toward greater use of UP. The VetDIT is therefore useful for assessing moral judgment of animal and human ethics issues in veterinary and other animal-related professions. Intensive small-group workshops using moral development knowledge and skills, rather than lectures, are conducive to developing veterinary students' moral judgment.

  13. Modulation of Neural Activity in the Temporoparietal Junction with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Changes the Role of Beliefs in Moral Judgment

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Hang; Chen, Shu; Huang, Daqiang; Zheng, Haoli; Jia, Yongmin; Luo, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Judgments about whether an action is morally right or wrong typically depend on our capacity to infer the actor’s beliefs and the outcomes of the action. Prior neuroimaging studies have found that mental state (e.g., beliefs, intentions) attribution for moral judgment involves a complex neural network that includes the temporoparietal junction (TPJ). However, neuroimaging studies cannot demonstrate a direct causal relationship between the activity of this brain region and mental state attribution for moral judgment. In the current study, we used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to transiently alter neural activity in the TPJ. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three stimulation treatments (right anodal/left cathodal tDCS, left anodal/right cathodal tDCS, or sham stimulation). Each participant was required to complete two similar tasks of moral judgment before receiving tDCS and after receiving tDCS. We studied whether tDCS to the TPJ altered mental state attribution for moral judgment. The results indicated that restraining the activity of the right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ) or the left the temporoparietal junction (LTPJ) decreased the role of beliefs in moral judgments and led to an increase in the dependance of the participants’ moral judgments on the action’s consequences. We also found that the participants exhibited reduced reaction times both in the cases of intentional harms and attempted harms after receiving right cathodal/left anodal tDCS to the TPJ. These findings inform and extend the current neural models of moral judgment and moral development in typically developing people and in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. PMID:26696868

  14. Similar Task Features Shape Judgment and Categorization Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffmann, Janina A.; von Helversen, Bettina; Rieskamp, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    The distinction between similarity-based and rule-based strategies has instigated a large body of research in categorization and judgment. Within both domains, the task characteristics guiding strategy shifts are increasingly well documented. Across domains, past research has observed shifts from rule-based strategies in judgment to…

  15. The Foreign Language Effect on Moral Judgment: The Role of Emotions and Norms

    PubMed Central

    Geipel, Janet; Hadjichristidis, Constantinos; Surian, Luca

    2015-01-01

    We investigated whether and why the use of a foreign language influences moral judgment. We studied the trolley and footbridge dilemmas, which propose an action that involves killing one individual to save five. In line with prior work, the use of a foreign language increased the endorsement of such consequentialist actions for the footbridge dilemma, but not for the trolley dilemma. But contrary to recent theorizing, this effect was not driven by an attenuation of emotions. An attenuation of emotions was found in both dilemmas, and it did not mediate the foreign language effect on moral judgment. An examination of additional scenarios revealed that foreign language influenced moral judgment when the proposed action involved a social or moral norm violation. We propose that foreign language influences moral judgment by reducing access to normative knowledge. PMID:26177508

  16. The Foreign Language Effect on Moral Judgment: The Role of Emotions and Norms.

    PubMed

    Geipel, Janet; Hadjichristidis, Constantinos; Surian, Luca

    2015-01-01

    We investigated whether and why the use of a foreign language influences moral judgment. We studied the trolley and footbridge dilemmas, which propose an action that involves killing one individual to save five. In line with prior work, the use of a foreign language increased the endorsement of such consequentialist actions for the footbridge dilemma, but not for the trolley dilemma. But contrary to recent theorizing, this effect was not driven by an attenuation of emotions. An attenuation of emotions was found in both dilemmas, and it did not mediate the foreign language effect on moral judgment. An examination of additional scenarios revealed that foreign language influenced moral judgment when the proposed action involved a social or moral norm violation. We propose that foreign language influences moral judgment by reducing access to normative knowledge.

  17. Blaming, praising, and protecting our humanity: the implications of everyday dehumanization for judgments of moral status.

    PubMed

    Bastian, Brock; Laham, Simon M; Wilson, Sam; Haslam, Nick; Koval, Peter

    2011-09-01

    Being human implies a particular moral status: having moral value, agency, and responsibility. However, people are not seen as equally human. Across two studies, we examine the consequences that subtle variations in the perceived humanness of actors or groups have for their perceived moral status. Drawing on Haslam's two-dimensional model of humanness and focusing on three ways people may be considered to have moral status - moral patiency (value), agency, or responsibility - we demonstrate that subtly denying humanness to others has implications for whether they are blamed, praised, or considered worthy of moral concern and rehabilitation. Moreover, we show that distinct human characteristics are linked to specific judgments of moral status. This work demonstrates that everyday judgments of moral status are influenced by perceptions of humanness.

  18. The neural bases of cognitive conflict and control in moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Greene, Joshua D; Nystrom, Leigh E; Engell, Andrew D; Darley, John M; Cohen, Jonathan D

    2004-10-14

    Traditional theories of moral psychology emphasize reasoning and "higher cognition," while more recent work emphasizes the role of emotion. The present fMRI data support a theory of moral judgment according to which both "cognitive" and emotional processes play crucial and sometimes mutually competitive roles. The present results indicate that brain regions associated with abstract reasoning and cognitive control (including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex) are recruited to resolve difficult personal moral dilemmas in which utilitarian values require "personal" moral violations, violations that have previously been associated with increased activity in emotion-related brain regions. Several regions of frontal and parietal cortex predict intertrial differences in moral judgment behavior, exhibiting greater activity for utilitarian judgments. We speculate that the controversy surrounding utilitarian moral philosophy reflects an underlying tension between competing subsystems in the brain.

  19. Temporal Dynamics of the Integration of Intention and Outcome in Harmful and Helpful Moral Judgment

    PubMed Central

    Gan, Tian; Lu, Xiaping; Li, Wanqing; Gui, Danyang; Tang, Honghong; Mai, Xiaoqin; Liu, Chao; Luo, Yue-Jia

    2016-01-01

    The ability to integrate the moral intention information with the outcome of an action plays a crucial role in mature moral judgment. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies implicated that both prefrontal and temporo-parietal cortices are involved in moral intention and outcome processing. Here, we used the event-related potentials (ERPs) technique to investigate the temporal dynamics of the processing of the integration between intention and outcome information in harmful and helpful moral judgment. In two experiments, participants were asked to make moral judgments for agents who produced either negative/neutral outcomes with harmful/neutral intentions (harmful judgment) or positive/neutral outcomes with helpful/neutral intentions (helpful judgment). Significant ERP differences between attempted and successful actions over prefrontal and bilateral temporo-parietal regions were found in both harmful and helpful moral judgment, which suggest a possible time course of the integration processing in the brain, starting from the right temporo-parietal area (N180) to the left temporo-parietal area (N250), then the prefrontal area (FSW) and the right temporo-parietal area (TP450 and TPSW) again. These results highlighted the fast moral intuition reaction and the late integration processing over the right temporo-parietal area. PMID:26793144

  20. Children's moral judgments and moral emotions following exclusion of children with disabilities: relations with inclusive education, age, and contact intensity.

    PubMed

    Gasser, Luciano; Malti, Tina; Buholzer, Alois

    2013-03-01

    We investigated relations between children's moral judgments and moral emotions following disability-based exclusion and inclusive education, age, and contact intensity. Nine- and 12-year-old Swiss children (N=351) from inclusive and noninclusive classrooms provided moral judgments and moral emotion attributions following six vignettes about social exclusion of children with disabilities. Children also reported on their level of sympathy towards children with disabilities and their contact intensity with children with disabilities. Overall, children condemned disability-based exclusion, attributed few positive emotions to excluder targets, and expressed high sympathy for children with disabilities, independent of age and educational setting. However, younger children from inclusive classrooms exhibited more moral judgments and moral emotions than younger children from noninclusive classrooms. Moreover, children who expressed high sympathy towards children with disabilities were more likely to report frequent contact with children with disabilities. The findings extend existing research on social exclusion by examining disability-based exclusion and are discussed with respect to developmental research on social and moral judgments and emotions following children's inclusion and exclusion decisions.

  1. The road to heaven is paved with effort: Perceived effort amplifies moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Bigman, Yochanan E; Tamir, Maya

    2016-12-01

    If good intentions pave the road to hell, what paves the road to heaven? We propose that moral judgments are based, in part, on the degree of effort exerted in performing the immoral or moral act. Because effort can serve as an index of goal importance, greater effort in performing immoral acts would lead to more negative judgments, whereas greater effort in performing moral acts would lead to more positive judgments. In support of these ideas, we found that perceived effort intensified judgments of both immoral (Studies 1-2) and moral (Studies 2-7) agents. The effect of effort on judgment was independent of the outcome (Study 3) and of perceptions of the outcome extremity (Study 6). Furthermore, the effect of effort on judgment was mediated by perceived goal importance (Studies 4-6), even when controlling for perceived intentions (Studies 5-6). Finally, we demonstrate that perceived effort can influence actual behavior, such as the assignment of monetary rewards (Study 7). We discuss the possible implications of effort as a causal motivational factor in moral judgment and social retribution. (PsycINFO Database Record

  2. Enough Skill to Kill: Intentionality Judgments and the Moral Valence of Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guglielmo, Steve; Malle, Bertram F.

    2010-01-01

    Extant models of moral judgment assume that an action's intentionality precedes assignments of blame. Knobe (2003b) challenged this fundamental order and proposed instead that the badness or blameworthiness of an action directs (and thus unduly biases) people's intentionality judgments. His and other researchers' studies suggested that blameworthy…

  3. Moral Judgment among Black Adolescents and White Adolescents from Different Socioeconomic Levels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Edward D.; Hambright, Jerold E.

    1984-01-01

    Major findings were (1) White subjects and males in this investigation were reared in an ideologically nondirectional situation, making them relativistic in their moral judgments; (2) Black subjects and females followed a directional process resulting in a moral realistic orientation; and (3) socioeconomic factors did not bear strongly on the type…

  4. An Empirical Investigation of the Moral Judgment Development of a Sample of High School Kuwaiti Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Shurai, Saad

    2012-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the moral development of one hundred Kuwaiti high school teachers. They ranged in age from 23 to 48 years with a mean of 28.6 years and a standard deviation of 8.3 years. The teachers' individual moral judgment levels were assessed by the Defining Issues Test (DIT)--an objective test designed by James Rest…

  5. Understanding the Role of Dispositional and Situational Threat Sensitivity in Our Moral Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Jennifer Cole; Baril, Galen L.

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has identified different moral judgments in liberals and conservatives. While both care about harm/fairness ("individualizing" foundations), conservatives emphasize in-group/authority/purity ("binding" foundations) more than liberals. Thus, some argue that conservatives have a more complex morality. We suggest…

  6. What Are They Thinking? The Moral Judgment of Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardman, Elizabeth L.

    2015-01-01

    This study was conducted to describe the moral judgment of 12 third- through fifth-grade children with and without emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) and to explore how feelings affected their thought processes. Data were gathered via three individually conducted moral dilemma interviews with each child participant. These procedures produced…

  7. Variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is associated with differences in moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Bernhard, Regan M; Chaponis, Jonathan; Siburian, Richie; Gallagher, Patience; Ransohoff, Katherine; Wikler, Daniel; Perlis, Roy H; Greene, Joshua D

    2016-12-01

    Moral judgments are produced through the coordinated interaction of multiple neural systems, each of which relies on a characteristic set of neurotransmitters. Genes that produce or regulate these neurotransmitters may have distinctive influences on moral judgment. Two studies examined potential genetic influences on moral judgment using dilemmas that reliably elicit competing automatic and controlled responses, generated by dissociable neural systems. Study 1 (N = 228) examined 49 common variants (SNPs) within 10 candidate genes and identified a nominal association between a polymorphism (rs237889) of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and variation in deontological vs utilitarian moral judgment (that is, judgments favoring individual rights vs the greater good). An association was likewise observed for rs1042615 of the arginine vasopressin receptor gene (AVPR1A). Study 2 (N = 322) aimed to replicate these findings using the aforementioned dilemmas as well as a new set of structurally similar medical dilemmas. Study 2 failed to replicate the association with AVPR1A, but replicated the OXTR finding using both the original and new dilemmas. Together, these findings suggest that moral judgment is influenced by variation in the oxytocin receptor gene and, more generally, that single genetic polymorphisms can have a detectable effect on complex decision processes.

  8. Variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is associated with differences in moral judgment

    PubMed Central

    Chaponis, Jonathan; Siburian, Richie; Gallagher, Patience; Ransohoff, Katherine; Wikler, Daniel; Perlis, Roy H.; Greene, Joshua D.

    2016-01-01

    Moral judgments are produced through the coordinated interaction of multiple neural systems, each of which relies on a characteristic set of neurotransmitters. Genes that produce or regulate these neurotransmitters may have distinctive influences on moral judgment. Two studies examined potential genetic influences on moral judgment using dilemmas that reliably elicit competing automatic and controlled responses, generated by dissociable neural systems. Study 1 (N = 228) examined 49 common variants (SNPs) within 10 candidate genes and identified a nominal association between a polymorphism (rs237889) of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and variation in deontological vs utilitarian moral judgment (that is, judgments favoring individual rights vs the greater good). An association was likewise observed for rs1042615 of the arginine vasopressin receptor gene (AVPR1A). Study 2 (N = 322) aimed to replicate these findings using the aforementioned dilemmas as well as a new set of structurally similar medical dilemmas. Study 2 failed to replicate the association with AVPR1A, but replicated the OXTR finding using both the original and new dilemmas. Together, these findings suggest that moral judgment is influenced by variation in the oxytocin receptor gene and, more generally, that single genetic polymorphisms can have a detectable effect on complex decision processes. PMID:27497314

  9. Exploring the Role of Theory of Mind in Moral Judgment: The Case of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Fadda, Roberta; Parisi, Marinella; Ferretti, Luca; Saba, Gessica; Foscoliano, Maria; Salvago, Azzurra; Doneddu, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    This paper adds to the growing research on moral judgment (MJ) by considering whether theory of mind (ToM) might foster children’s autonomous MJ achievement. A group of 30 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was compared in MJ and ToM with 30 typically developing (TD) children. Participants were tested for MJ with a classical Piaget’s task and for ToM with a second order False Belief task. In the moral task, children were told two versions of a story: in one version the protagonist acted according to a moral intention but the action resulted in a harmful consequence; in the other version the protagonist acted according to an immoral intention, but the action resulted in a harmless consequence. Children were asked which of the two protagonists was the “naughtier.” In line with previous studies, the results indicated that, while the majority of TD participants succeeded in the second order False Belief task, only few individuals with ASD showed intact perspective taking abilities. The analysis of the MJ in relation to ToM showed that children with ASD lacking ToM abilities judged guilty the protagonists of the two versions of the story in the moral task because both of them violated a moral rule or because they considered the consequences of the actions, ignoring any psychological information. These results indicate a heteronomous morality in individuals with ASD, based on the respect of learned moral rules and outcomes rather than others’ subjective states. PMID:27148131

  10. Improving epistemological beliefs and moral judgment through an STS-based science ethics education program.

    PubMed

    Han, Hyemin; Jeong, Changwoo

    2014-03-01

    This study develops a Science-Technology-Society (STS)-based science ethics education program for high school students majoring in or planning to major in science and engineering. Our education program includes the fields of philosophy, history, sociology and ethics of science and technology, and other STS-related theories. We expected our STS-based science ethics education program to promote students' epistemological beliefs and moral judgment development. These psychological constructs are needed to properly solve complicated moral and social dilemmas in the fields of science and engineering. We applied this program to a group of Korean high school science students gifted in science and engineering. To measure the effects of this program, we used an essay-based qualitative measurement. The results indicate that there was significant development in both epistemological beliefs and moral judgment. In closing, we briefly discuss the need to develop epistemological beliefs and moral judgment using an STS-based science ethics education program.

  11. TMS affects moral judgment, showing the role of DLPFC and TPJ in cognitive and emotional processing

    PubMed Central

    Jeurissen, Danique; Sack, Alexander T.; Roebroeck, Alard; Russ, Brian E.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2014-01-01

    Decision-making involves a complex interplay of emotional responses and reasoning processes. In this study, we use TMS to explore the neurobiological substrates of moral decisions in humans. To examining the effects of TMS on the outcome of a moral-decision, we compare the decision outcome of moral-personal and moral-impersonal dilemmas to each other and examine the differential effects of applying TMS over the right DLPFC or right TPJ. In this comparison, we find that the TMS-induced disruption of the DLPFC during the decision process, affects the outcome of the moral-personal judgment, while TMS-induced disruption of TPJ affects only moral-impersonal conditions. In other words, we find a double-dissociation between DLPFC and TPJ in the outcome of a moral decision. Furthermore, we find that TMS-induced disruption of the DLPFC during non-moral, moral-impersonal, and moral-personal decisions lead to lower ratings of regret about the decision. Our results are in line with the dual-process theory and suggest a role for both the emotional response and cognitive reasoning process in moral judgment. Both the emotional and cognitive processes were shown to be involved in the decision outcome. PMID:24592204

  12. The sadistic trait predicts minimization of intention and causal responsibility in moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Trémolière, Bastien; Djeriouat, Hakim

    2016-01-01

    The present research tests the hypothesis that specific socially aversive traits-subclinical sadism in particular-are associated with an impaired judgment of moral wrongness, guilt, and punishment in various moral scenarios manipulating intent, cause and consequence of harm. In three online studies (total N=1069), participants completed a battery of tests scaled to assess sadism and the Dark Triad constructs, then faced different situations involving moral issues (attempted harm, intentional harm, accidental harm). Study 1 revealed that a sadistic personality trait was associated with minimization of the importance of harmful intent in moral judgment. Study 2 showed that a sadistic personality trait predicted minimization of the importance of causal mechanisms to harmful consequences in moral judgment. Study 3 showed that these effects were mediated by enjoyment of cruelty, a characteristic unique to sadists. In the light of Cushman's (2008) two-process model of moral judgment, this set of studies provides the first evidence that deficits in the integration of the theory of mind and causality can be observed in personality traits. The independent predictive value of sadism highlights that features other than emotional deficits are essential in explaining impaired moral evaluations.

  13. The impact of one night of sleep deprivation on moral judgments.

    PubMed

    Tempesta, D; Couyoumdjian, A; Moroni, F; Marzano, C; De Gennaro, L; Ferrara, M

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have shown the existence of a relationship between sleep and moral judgment. In this study, we investigated whether one night of sleep deprivation affects the ability to judge the appropriateness of moral dilemmas. Forty-eight students had to judge 30 moral dilemmas at test, after a night of home sleep, and another 30 dilemmas at retest, following one night of continuous wakefulness. The 60 dilemmas (20 moral impersonal, 20 moral personal, and 20 non-moral) were selected from Greene's dilemmas. Both groups judged the appropriateness of personal and impersonal dilemmas in the same way. A close to significant effect of sleep deprivation was observed on the reaction times for impersonal moral dilemmas, to which the deprived subjects responded faster (p = .05) than the control subjects. However, this was not the case for personal ones, for which no difference was significant. This result shows a greater ease/speed in responding to the (impersonal) dilemmas, which induce low emotional engagement after sleep deprivation, although the willingness to accept moral violations is not affected. This suggests that one night of sleep loss selectively influences the response speed only for moral impersonal dilemmas, probably due to disinhibition processes. The quality of moral judgment dilemmas does not seem to be easily influenced by a single night of sleep deprivation, but only by a longer lack of sleep.

  14. Selective impairment of cognitive empathy for moral judgment in adults with high functioning autism.

    PubMed

    Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Torralva, Teresa; Rattazzi, Alexia; Marenco, Victoria; Roca, María; Manes, Facundo

    2013-10-01

    Faced with a moral dilemma, conflict arises between a cognitive controlled response aimed at maximizing welfare, i.e. the utilitarian judgment, and an emotional aversion to harm, i.e. the deontological judgment. In the present study, we investigated moral judgment in adult individuals with high functioning autism/Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS), a clinical population characterized by impairments in prosocial emotions and social cognition. In Experiment 1, we compared the response patterns of HFA/AS participants and neurotypical controls to moral dilemmas with low and high emotional saliency. We found that HFA/AS participants more frequently delivered the utilitarian judgment. Their perception of appropriateness of moral transgression was similar to that of controls, but HFA/AS participants reported decreased levels of emotional reaction to the dilemma. In Experiment 2, we explored the way in which demographic, clinical and social cognition variables including emotional and cognitive aspects of empathy and theory of mind influenced moral judgment. We found that utilitarian HFA/AS participants showed a decreased ability to infer other people's thoughts and to understand their intentions, as measured both by performance on neuropsychological tests and through dispositional measures. We conclude that greater prevalence of utilitarianism in HFA/AS is associated with difficulties in specific aspects of social cognition.

  15. Selective impairment of cognitive empathy for moral judgment in adults with high functioning autism

    PubMed Central

    Torralva, Teresa; Rattazzi, Alexia; Marenco, Victoria; Roca, María; Manes, Facundo

    2013-01-01

    Faced with a moral dilemma, conflict arises between a cognitive controlled response aimed at maximizing welfare, i.e. the utilitarian judgment, and an emotional aversion to harm, i.e. the deontological judgment. In the present study, we investigated moral judgment in adult individuals with high functioning autism/Asperger syndrome (HFA/AS), a clinical population characterized by impairments in prosocial emotions and social cognition. In Experiment 1, we compared the response patterns of HFA/AS participants and neurotypical controls to moral dilemmas with low and high emotional saliency. We found that HFA/AS participants more frequently delivered the utilitarian judgment. Their perception of appropriateness of moral transgression was similar to that of controls, but HFA/AS participants reported decreased levels of emotional reaction to the dilemma. In Experiment 2, we explored the way in which demographic, clinical and social cognition variables including emotional and cognitive aspects of empathy and theory of mind influenced moral judgment. We found that utilitarian HFA/AS participants showed a decreased ability to infer other people’s thoughts and to understand their intentions, as measured both by performance on neuropsychological tests and through dispositional measures. We conclude that greater prevalence of utilitarianism in HFA/AS is associated with difficulties in specific aspects of social cognition. PMID:22689217

  16. Crime and punishment: distinguishing the roles of causal and intentional analyses in moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Cushman, Fiery

    2008-08-01

    Recent research in moral psychology has attempted to characterize patterns of moral judgments of actions in terms of the causal and intentional properties of those actions. The present study directly compares the roles of consequence, causation, belief and desire in determining moral judgments. Judgments of the wrongness or permissibility of action were found to rely principally on the mental states of an agent, while judgments of blame and punishment are found to rely jointly on mental states and the causal connection of an agent to a harmful consequence. Also, selectively for judgments of punishment and blame, people who attempt but fail to cause harm more are judged more leniently if the harm occurs by independent means than if the harm does not occur at all. An account of these phenomena is proposed that distinguishes two processes of moral judgment: one which begins with harmful consequences and seeks a causally responsible agent, and the other which begins with an action and analyzes the mental states responsible for that action.

  17. Cold-hearted or cool-headed: physical coldness promotes utilitarian moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Hiroko; Ito, Yuichi; Honma, Yoshiko; Mori, Takuya; Kawaguchi, Jun

    2014-01-01

    In the current study, we examine the effect of physical coldness on personal moral dilemma judgment. Previous studies have indicated that utilitarian moral judgment-sacrificing a few people to achieve the greater good for others-was facilitated when: (1) participants suppressed an initial emotional response and deliberately thought about the utility of outcomes; (2) participants had a high-level construal mindset and focused on abstract goals (e.g., save many); or (3) there was a decreasing emotional response to sacrificing a few. In two experiments, we exposed participants to extreme cold or typical room temperature and then asked them to make personal moral dilemma judgments. The results of Experiment 1 indicated that coldness prompted utilitarian judgment, but the effect of coldness was independent from deliberate thought or abstract high-level construal mindset. As Experiment 2 revealed, coldness facilitated utilitarian judgment via reduced empathic feelings. Therefore, physical coldness did not affect the "cool-headed" deliberate process or the abstract high-level construal mindset. Rather, coldness biased people toward being "cold-hearted," reduced empathetic concern, and facilitated utilitarian moral judgments.

  18. Impact of Psychopathy on Moral Judgments about Causing Fear and Physical Harm

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality variable associated with persistent immoral behaviors. Despite this, attempts to link moral reasoning deficits to psychopathic traits have yielded mixed results with many findings supporting intact moral reasoning in individuals with psychopathic traits. Abundant evidence shows that psychopathy impairs responses to others’ emotional distress. However, most studies of morality and psychopathy focus on judgments about causing others physical harm. Results of such studies may be inconsistent because physical harm is an imperfect proxy for emotional distress. No previous paradigm has explicitly separated judgments about physical harm and emotional distress and assessed how psychopathy affects each type of judgment. In three studies we found that psychopathy impairs judgments about causing others emotional distress (specifically fear) but minimally affects judgments about causing physical harm and that judgments about causing fear predict instrumental aggression in psychopathy. These findings are consistent with reports linking psychopathy to insensitivity to others’ fear, and suggest that sensitivity to others’ fear may play a fundamental role in the types of moral decision-making impaired by psychopathy. PMID:25992566

  19. Individual Differences in Prototypical Moral and Conventional Judgments and Children's Proactive and Reactive Aggression.

    PubMed

    Jambon, Marc; Smetana, Judith G

    2017-02-13

    This article examined links between 4- and 6-year-olds' (n = 101; Mage  = 5.12 years, SD = 0.67; 53% male) ability to distinguish moral and conventional transgressions along different criteria and teacher ratings of proactive and reactive aggression. Latent difference score modeling revealed that moral transgressions were judged more unacceptable and wrong independent of rules and authority than conventional violations, but significant variability in moral-conventional distinctions was also observed. Proactive aggression was associated with less-and reactive aggression was associated with greater-differentiation in moral and conventional concepts. Proactive aggression was not associated with deficits in moral knowledge when other common assessments of early moral understanding were employed, highlighting the importance of using theoretically informed measures of moral judgments and aggression.

  20. Can cognitive psychological research on reasoning enhance the discussion around moral judgments?

    PubMed

    Bialek, Michal; Terbeck, Sylvia

    2016-08-01

    In this article we will demonstrate how cognitive psychological research on reasoning and decision making could enhance discussions and theories of moral judgments. In the first part, we will present recent dual-process models of moral judgments and describe selected studies which support these approaches. However, we will also present data that contradict the model predictions, suggesting that approaches to moral judgment might be more complex. In the second part, we will show how cognitive psychological research on reasoning might be helpful in understanding moral judgments. Specifically, we will highlight approaches addressing the interaction between intuition and reflection. Our data suggest that a sequential model of engaging in deliberation might have to be revised. Therefore, we will present an approach based on Signal Detection Theory and on intuitive conflict detection. We predict that individuals arrive at the moral decisions by comparing potential action outcomes (e.g., harm caused and utilitarian gain) simultaneously. The response criterion can be influenced by intuitive processes, such as heuristic moral value processing, or considerations of harm caused.

  1. 'Utilitarian' judgments in sacrificial moral dilemmas do not reflect impartial concern for the greater good.

    PubMed

    Kahane, Guy; Everett, Jim A C; Earp, Brian D; Farias, Miguel; Savulescu, Julian

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of research has focused on so-called 'utilitarian' judgments in moral dilemmas in which participants have to choose whether to sacrifice one person in order to save the lives of a greater number. However, the relation between such 'utilitarian' judgments and genuine utilitarian impartial concern for the greater good remains unclear. Across four studies, we investigated the relationship between 'utilitarian' judgment in such sacrificial dilemmas and a range of traits, attitudes, judgments and behaviors that either reflect or reject an impartial concern for the greater good of all. In Study 1, we found that rates of 'utilitarian' judgment were associated with a broadly immoral outlook concerning clear ethical transgressions in a business context, as well as with sub-clinical psychopathy. In Study 2, we found that 'utilitarian' judgment was associated with greater endorsement of rational egoism, less donation of money to a charity, and less identification with the whole of humanity, a core feature of classical utilitarianism. In Studies 3 and 4, we found no association between 'utilitarian' judgments in sacrificial dilemmas and characteristic utilitarian judgments relating to assistance to distant people in need, self-sacrifice and impartiality, even when the utilitarian justification for these judgments was made explicit and unequivocal. This lack of association remained even when we controlled for the antisocial element in 'utilitarian' judgment. Taken together, these results suggest that there is very little relation between sacrificial judgments in the hypothetical dilemmas that dominate current research, and a genuine utilitarian approach to ethics.

  2. Spatiotemporal neural dynamics of moral judgment: A high-density ERP study

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, Keith J.

    2014-01-01

    Morality is a pervasive aspect of human nature across all cultures, and neuroscience investigations are necessary for identifying what computational mechanisms underpin moral cognition. The current study used high-density ERPs to examine how moral evaluations are mediated by automatic and controlled processes as well as how quickly information and causal-intentional representations can be extracted when viewing morally laden behavior. The study also explored the extent to which individual dispositions in affective and cognitive empathy as well as justice sensitivity influence the encoding of moral valence when healthy participants make moral judgments about prosocial (interpersonal assistance) and antisocial (interpersonal harm) actions. Moral judgment differences were reflected in differential amplitudes for components associated with cognitive appraisal (LPP) as well as early components associated with emotional salience (N1 and N2). Moreover, source estimation was performed to indicate potential neural generators. A posterior-to-anterior shift was observed, with current density peaks first in right inferior parietal cortex (at the temporoparietal junction), then later in medial prefrontal cortex. Cognitive empathy scores predicted behavioral ratings of blame as well as differential amplitudes in LPP and component activity at posterior sites. Overall, this study offers important insights into the temporal unfolding of moral evaluations, including when in time individual differences in empathy influence neural encoding of moral valence. PMID:24905282

  3. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Shifts Preference of Moral Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Kuehne, Maria; Heimrath, Kai; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Zaehle, Tino

    2015-01-01

    Attitude to morality, reflecting cultural norms and values, is considered unique to human social behavior. Resulting moral behavior in a social environment is controlled by a widespread neural network including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which plays an important role in decision making. In the present study we investigate the influence of neurophysiological modulation of DLPFC reactivity by means of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on moral reasoning. For that purpose we administered anodal, cathodal, and sham stimulation of the left DLPFC while subjects judged the appropriateness of hard moral personal dilemmas. In contrast to sham and cathodal stimulation, anodal stimulation induced a shift in judgment of personal moral dilemmas towards more non-utilitarian actions. Our results demonstrate that alterations of left DLPFC activity can change moral judgments and, in consequence, provide a causal link between left DLPFC activity and moral reasoning. Most important, the observed shift towards non-utilitarian actions suggests that moral decision making is not a permanent individual trait but can be manipulated; consequently individuals with boundless, uncontrollable, and maladaptive moral behavior, such as found in psychopathy, might benefit from neuromodulation-based approaches. PMID:25985442

  4. Transcranial direct current stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex shifts preference of moral judgments.

    PubMed

    Kuehne, Maria; Heimrath, Kai; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Zaehle, Tino

    2015-01-01

    Attitude to morality, reflecting cultural norms and values, is considered unique to human social behavior. Resulting moral behavior in a social environment is controlled by a widespread neural network including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which plays an important role in decision making. In the present study we investigate the influence of neurophysiological modulation of DLPFC reactivity by means of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on moral reasoning. For that purpose we administered anodal, cathodal, and sham stimulation of the left DLPFC while subjects judged the appropriateness of hard moral personal dilemmas. In contrast to sham and cathodal stimulation, anodal stimulation induced a shift in judgment of personal moral dilemmas towards more non-utilitarian actions. Our results demonstrate that alterations of left DLPFC activity can change moral judgments and, in consequence, provide a causal link between left DLPFC activity and moral reasoning. Most important, the observed shift towards non-utilitarian actions suggests that moral decision making is not a permanent individual trait but can be manipulated; consequently individuals with boundless, uncontrollable, and maladaptive moral behavior, such as found in psychopathy, might benefit from neuromodulation-based approaches.

  5. Spatiotemporal neural dynamics of moral judgment: a high-density ERP study.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Keith J; Decety, Jean

    2014-07-01

    Morality is a pervasive aspect of human nature across all cultures, and neuroscience investigations are necessary for identifying what computational mechanisms underpin moral cognition. The current study used high-density ERPs to examine how moral evaluations are mediated by automatic and controlled processes as well as how quickly information and causal-intentional representations can be extracted when viewing morally laden behavior. The study also explored the extent to which individual dispositions in affective and cognitive empathy as well as justice sensitivity influence the encoding of moral valence when healthy participants make moral judgments about prosocial (interpersonal assistance) and antisocial (interpersonal harm) actions. Moral judgment differences were reflected in differential amplitudes for components associated with cognitive appraisal (LPP) as well as early components associated with emotional salience (N1 and N2). Moreover, source estimation was performed to indicate potential neural generators. A posterior-to-anterior shift was observed, with current density peaks first in right inferior parietal cortex (at the temporoparietal junction), then later in medial prefrontal cortex. Cognitive empathy scores predicted behavioral ratings of blame as well as differential amplitudes in LPP and component activity at posterior sites. Overall, this study offers important insights into the temporal unfolding of moral evaluations, including when in time individual differences in empathy influence neural encoding of moral valence.

  6. To push or not to push? Affective influences on moral judgment depend on decision frame.

    PubMed

    Pastötter, Bernhard; Gleixner, Sabine; Neuhauser, Theresa; Bäuml, Karl-Heinz T

    2013-03-01

    People's moods can influence moral judgment. Such influences may arise because moods affect moral emotion, or because moods affect moral thought. The present study provides evidence that, at least in the footbridge dilemma, moods affect moral thought. The results of two experiments are reported in which, after induction of positive, negative, or neutral moods and presentation of the footbridge scenario, participants were asked one of two differentially framed closing questions. In the active frame, participants were asked whether they would be active and push the man, making thoughts about pushing accessible; in the passive frame, they were asked whether they would be passive and not push the man, making thoughts about not pushing accessible. The results show that affective influences on moral judgment depended on participants' decision frame. Compared to neutral moods, positive moods induced utilitarian responding - i.e., deciding to push - in the active decision frame, but induced nonutilitarian responding - i.e., deciding to not push - in the passive decision frame; in negative moods, exactly the opposite picture arose. The results suggest that people's moods affect moral judgment by conferring value on moral thought. Positive moods promote and negative moods inhibit accessible thoughts.

  7. Moral judgments and emotions: adolescents' evaluations in intergroup social exclusion contexts.

    PubMed

    Cooley, Shelby; Elenbaas, Laura; Killen, Melanie

    2012-01-01

    This article examines children's moral judgments and emotional evaluations in the context of social exclusion. As they age, children and adolescents face increasingly complex situations in which group membership and allegiance are in opposition with morally relevant decisions, such as the exclusion of an individual from a group. While adolescents are often characterized as being conformists to group norms, research demonstrates that their judgments about fairness, justice, and rights can supersede negative or exclusive norms espoused by groups. Additionally, young people's emotional evaluations of members who do not conform to a group norm are in concert with these fairness judgments. Implications for social and moral development will be discussed in the context of empirical findings.

  8. Moral judgments and emotions: Adolescents' evaluations in intergroup social exclusion contexts

    PubMed Central

    Cooley, Shelby; Elenbaas, Laura; Killen, Melanie

    2014-01-01

    This chapter examines children's moral judgments and emotional evaluations in the context of social exclusion. With age, children and adolescents face increasingly complex situations in which group membership and allegiance are in contrast to morally relevant decisions, such as the exclusion of a individual from a group 16. While adolescents are often characterized as being conformists to group norms, research demonstrates that youth's judgments about fairness, justice, and rights can supersede negative or exclusive norms espoused by groups. Additionally, youth's emotional evaluations of members who do not conform to a group norm are in concert with these fairness judgments. Implications for social and moral development will be discussed in the context of empirical findings. PMID:23359443

  9. Homogeneity of Moral Judgment? Apprentices Solving Business Conflicts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beck, Klaus; Heinrichs, Karin; Minnameier, Gerhard; Parche-Kawik, Kirsten

    In an ongoing longitudinal study that started in 1994, the moral development of business apprentices is being studied. The focal point of this project is a critical analysis of L. Kohlberg's thesis of homogeneity, according to which people should judge every moral issue from the point of view of their "modal" stage (the most frequently…

  10. Sociocultural Influences on Moral Judgments: East–West, Male–Female, and Young–Old

    PubMed Central

    Arutyunova, Karina R.; Alexandrov, Yuri I.; Hauser, Marc D.

    2016-01-01

    Gender, age, and culturally specific beliefs are often considered relevant to observed variation in social interactions. At present, however, the scientific literature is mixed with respect to the significance of these factors in guiding moral judgments. In this study, we explore the role of each of these factors in moral judgment by presenting the results of a web-based study of Eastern (i.e., Russia) and Western (i.e., USA, UK, Canada) subjects, male and female, and young and old. Participants (n = 659) responded to hypothetical moral scenarios describing situations where sacrificing one life resulted in saving five others. Though men and women from both types of cultures judged (1) harms caused by action as less permissible than harms caused by omission, (2) means-based harms as less permissible than side-effects, and (3) harms caused by contact as less permissible than by non-contact, men in both cultures delivered more utilitarian judgments (save the five, sacrifice one) than women. Moreover, men from Western cultures were more utilitarian than Russian men, with no differences observed for women. In both cultures, older participants delivered less utilitarian judgments than younger participants. These results suggest that certain core principles may mediate moral judgments across different societies, implying some degree of universality, while also allowing a limited range of variation due to sociocultural factors. PMID:27656155

  11. Cold-hearted or cool-headed: physical coldness promotes utilitarian moral judgment

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Hiroko; Ito, Yuichi; Honma, Yoshiko; Mori, Takuya; Kawaguchi, Jun

    2014-01-01

    In the current study, we examine the effect of physical coldness on personal moral dilemma judgment. Previous studies have indicated that utilitarian moral judgment—sacrificing a few people to achieve the greater good for others—was facilitated when: (1) participants suppressed an initial emotional response and deliberately thought about the utility of outcomes; (2) participants had a high-level construal mindset and focused on abstract goals (e.g., save many); or (3) there was a decreasing emotional response to sacrificing a few. In two experiments, we exposed participants to extreme cold or typical room temperature and then asked them to make personal moral dilemma judgments. The results of Experiment 1 indicated that coldness prompted utilitarian judgment, but the effect of coldness was independent from deliberate thought or abstract high-level construal mindset. As Experiment 2 revealed, coldness facilitated utilitarian judgment via reduced empathic feelings. Therefore, physical coldness did not affect the “cool-headed” deliberate process or the abstract high-level construal mindset. Rather, coldness biased people toward being “cold-hearted,” reduced empathetic concern, and facilitated utilitarian moral judgments. PMID:25324800

  12. Small-scale societies exhibit fundamental variation in the role of intentions in moral judgment

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, H. Clark; Bolyanatz, Alexander; Crittenden, Alyssa N.; Fessler, Daniel M. T.; Fitzpatrick, Simon; Gurven, Michael; Henrich, Joseph; Kanovsky, Martin; Kushnick, Geoff; Pisor, Anne; Scelza, Brooke A.; Stich, Stephen; von Rueden, Chris; Zhao, Wanying; Laurence, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Intent and mitigating circumstances play a central role in moral and legal assessments in large-scale industrialized societies. Although these features of moral assessment are widely assumed to be universal, to date, they have only been studied in a narrow range of societies. We show that there is substantial cross-cultural variation among eight traditional small-scale societies (ranging from hunter-gatherer to pastoralist to horticulturalist) and two Western societies (one urban, one rural) in the extent to which intent and mitigating circumstances influence moral judgments. Although participants in all societies took such factors into account to some degree, they did so to very different extents, varying in both the types of considerations taken into account and the types of violations to which such considerations were applied. The particular patterns of assessment characteristic of large-scale industrialized societies may thus reflect relatively recently culturally evolved norms rather than inherent features of human moral judgment. PMID:27035959

  13. Age and education in moral judgment of participants in team sports.

    PubMed

    Proios, Miltiadis; Doganis, George

    2006-02-01

    The present aim was to investigate the effect of age and education on the moral reasoning of the same 535 individuals in sports for whom nature of sport experience was reported. All 535 participants (M age = 24.9 yr., SD = 8.3) were involved in sports at the time of the study as athletes (n = 342), referees (n = 145), or coaches (n = 48), and had a wide range of education. Analysis of variance of scores on the Defining Issues Test of Rest showed moral judgment in sports differs significantly amongst different age groups (F5.510 = 5.37, p < .001) and amounts of education (F4.511 = 6.24, p < .001). Generally, with more education, higher moral judgment can be expected. It is apparent that moral development in sport is related to age and education, as also holds for a wider social setting.

  14. Small-scale societies exhibit fundamental variation in the role of intentions in moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Barrett, H Clark; Bolyanatz, Alexander; Crittenden, Alyssa N; Fessler, Daniel M T; Fitzpatrick, Simon; Gurven, Michael; Henrich, Joseph; Kanovsky, Martin; Kushnick, Geoff; Pisor, Anne; Scelza, Brooke A; Stich, Stephen; von Rueden, Chris; Zhao, Wanying; Laurence, Stephen

    2016-04-26

    Intent and mitigating circumstances play a central role in moral and legal assessments in large-scale industrialized societies. Although these features of moral assessment are widely assumed to be universal, to date, they have only been studied in a narrow range of societies. We show that there is substantial cross-cultural variation among eight traditional small-scale societies (ranging from hunter-gatherer to pastoralist to horticulturalist) and two Western societies (one urban, one rural) in the extent to which intent and mitigating circumstances influence moral judgments. Although participants in all societies took such factors into account to some degree, they did so to very different extents, varying in both the types of considerations taken into account and the types of violations to which such considerations were applied. The particular patterns of assessment characteristic of large-scale industrialized societies may thus reflect relatively recently culturally evolved norms rather than inherent features of human moral judgment.

  15. Effects of Suboptimally Presented Erotic Pictures on Moral Judgments: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

    PubMed Central

    Martí-Vilar, Manuel; Arango, Olber Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has identified a set of core factors that influence moral judgments. The present study addresses the interplay between moral judgments and four factors: (a) incidental affects, (b) sociocultural context, (c) type of dilemma, and (d) participant’s sex. We asked participants in two different countries (Colombia and Spain) to judge the acceptability of actions in response to personal and impersonal moral dilemmas. Before each dilemma an affective prime (erotic, pleasant or neutral pictures) was presented suboptimally. Our results show that: a) relative to neutral priming, erotic primes increase the acceptance of harm for a greater good (i.e., more utilitarian judgments), b) relative to Colombians, Spanish participants rated causing harm as less acceptable, c) relative to impersonal dilemmas, personal dilemmas reduced the acceptance of harm, and d) relative to men, women were less likely to consider harm acceptable. Our results are congruent with findings showing that sex is a crucial factor in moral cognition, and they extend previous research by showing the interaction between culture and incidental factors in the making of moral judgments. PMID:27367795

  16. Effects of Suboptimally Presented Erotic Pictures on Moral Judgments: A Cross-Cultural Comparison.

    PubMed

    Olivera-La Rosa, Antonio; Corradi, Guido; Villacampa, Javier; Martí-Vilar, Manuel; Arango, Olber Eduardo; Rosselló, Jaume

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has identified a set of core factors that influence moral judgments. The present study addresses the interplay between moral judgments and four factors: (a) incidental affects, (b) sociocultural context, (c) type of dilemma, and (d) participant's sex. We asked participants in two different countries (Colombia and Spain) to judge the acceptability of actions in response to personal and impersonal moral dilemmas. Before each dilemma an affective prime (erotic, pleasant or neutral pictures) was presented suboptimally. Our results show that: a) relative to neutral priming, erotic primes increase the acceptance of harm for a greater good (i.e., more utilitarian judgments), b) relative to Colombians, Spanish participants rated causing harm as less acceptable, c) relative to impersonal dilemmas, personal dilemmas reduced the acceptance of harm, and d) relative to men, women were less likely to consider harm acceptable. Our results are congruent with findings showing that sex is a crucial factor in moral cognition, and they extend previous research by showing the interaction between culture and incidental factors in the making of moral judgments.

  17. HARMING KIN TO SAVE STRANGERS: FURTHER EVIDENCE FOR ABNORMALLY UTILITARIAN MORAL JUDGMENTS AFTER VENTROMEDIAL PREFRONTAL DAMAGE

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Bradley C.; Croft, Katie E.; Tranel, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has been implicated as a critical neural substrate mediating the influence of emotion on moral reasoning. It has been shown that the vmPFC is especially important for making moral judgments about “high-conflict” moral dilemmas involving direct personal actions, i.e., scenarios that pit compelling utilitarian considerations of aggregate welfare against the highly emotionally aversive act of directly causing harm to others (Koenigs, Young et al., 2007). The current study was designed to elucidate further the role of the vmPFC in high-conflict moral judgments, including those that involve indirect personal actions, such as indirectly causing harm to one’s kin to save a group of strangers. We found that patients with vmPFC lesions were more likely than brain-damaged and healthy comparison participants to endorse utilitarian outcomes on high-conflict dilemmas regardless of whether the dilemmas (1) entailed direct versus indirect personal harms, and (2) were presented from the Self versus Other perspective. Additionally, all groups were more likely to endorse utilitarian outcomes in the Other perspective as compared to the Self perspective. These results provide important extensions of previous work, and the findings align with the proposal that the vmPFC is critical for reasoning about moral dilemmas in which anticipating the social-emotional consequences of an action (e.g., guilt or remorse) is crucial for normal moral judgments (Koenigs, Young et al., 2007; Greene 2007). PMID:20946057

  18. Intratask and Intertask Consistency of Moral Judgment Indices in First-, Third-, and Fifth-Grade Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larson, Sandra; Kurdek, Lawrence A.

    1979-01-01

    Damon's positive justice task, Selman's social-moral dilemmas, and a variation of Piaget's intent/consequence stories were administered to 72 elementary school students. Results showed that the level of moral reasoning increased with grade level, but inconsistencies in task performance were found at both the intratask and the intertask levels.…

  19. Moral Judgment, Self-Understanding, and Moral Actions: The Role of Multiple Constructs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derryberry, W. Pitt; Thoma, Stephen J.

    2005-01-01

    Current models of moral functioning such as those of Rest (1983) and Damon and Hart (1988) have maintained that optimal moral development and consistent moral action require the presence of multiple constructs. In order to examine the importance of the presence of multiple variables relevant to moral functioning, structural equation modeling was…

  20. Are Children Moral Objectivists? Children's Judgments about Moral and Response-Dependent Properties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nichols, Shaun; Folds-Bennett, Trisha

    2003-01-01

    Researchers working on children's moral understanding maintain that the child's capacity to distinguish morality from convention shows that children regard moral violations as objectively wrong (e.g. Nucci, L. (2001). "Education in the moral domain." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). However, one traditional way to cast the issue of…

  1. Selective deficit in personal moral judgment following damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Muccioli, Michela; Làdavas, Elisabetta

    2007-01-01

    Recent fMRI evidence has detected increased medial prefrontal activation during contemplation of personal moral dilemmas compared to impersonal ones, which suggests that this cortical region plays a role in personal moral judgment. However, functional imaging results cannot definitively establish that a brain area is necessary for a particular cognitive process. This requires evidence from lesion techniques, such as studies of human patients with focal brain damage. Here, we tested 7 patients with lesions in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and 12 healthy individuals in personal moral dilemmas, impersonal moral dilemmas and non-moral dilemmas. Compared to normal controls, patients were more willing to judge personal moral violations as acceptable behaviors in personal moral dilemmas, and they did so more quickly. In contrast, their performance in impersonal and non-moral dilemmas was comparable to that of controls. These results indicate that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is necessary to oppose personal moral violations, possibly by mediating anticipatory, self-focused, emotional reactions that may exert strong influence on moral choice and behavior. PMID:18985127

  2. The Concept of Cultural Relativity in Moral Judgments Concerning Gender-Related Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, D. R.; And Others

    The comparative study was designed to determine whether cultural relativism and ethical reasoning develop in a hierarchical manner when applied to culturally different phenomena. The phenomena investigated were moral judgments concerning gender-related issues. Thirty-six first through sixth-grade students from two private schools and 130…

  3. The Emotional Intelligence, Moral Judgment, and Leadership of Academically Gifted Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Seon-Young; Olszewski-Kubilius, Paula

    2006-01-01

    Using 3 psychological scales, this study examined the level of emotional intelligence, moral judgment, and leadership of more than 200 gifted high school students who participated in an accelerative academic program or an enrichment leadership program through a university-based gifted institute. Major findings include that on emotional…

  4. Role of Motivation in the Moral and Religious Judgment of Mathematically Gifted Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nokelainen, Petri; Tirri, Kirsi

    2010-01-01

    In this paper we investigate whether the level of motivation among mathematically gifted adolescents is related to their moral and religious judgment. The sample consists of first-year students (N = 20) at a Finnish private and independent boarding school specializing in mathematics. We formulated the following research questions: (RQ1) Is the…

  5. Analysis of the Relationship between Moral Judgment Competences and Empathic Skills of University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aridag, Nermin Ciftci; Yuksel, Asuman

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study is to analyse whether there is a significant relationship between moral judgment competence and empathic skills of the students studying at Uludag University. In this article, the results of two researches carried out on two different samples are presented. In the first research, data were collected using David's…

  6. Blind Ethics: Closing One's Eyes Polarizes Moral Judgments and Discourages Dishonest Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caruso, Eugene M.; Gino, Francesca

    2011-01-01

    Four experiments demonstrate that closing one's eyes affects ethical judgment and behavior because it induces people to mentally simulate events more extensively. People who considered situations with their eyes closed rather than open judged immoral behaviors as more unethical and moral behaviors as more ethical. In addition, considering…

  7. Changes in Emotional-Social Intelligence, Caring, Leadership and Moral Judgment during Health Science Education Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larin, Helene; Benson, Gerry; Wessel, Jean; Martin, Lynn; Ploeg, Jenny

    2014-01-01

    In addition to having academic knowledge and clinical skills, health professionals need to be caring, ethical practitioners able to understand the emotional concerns of their patients and to effect change. The purpose of this study was to determine whether emotional-social intelligence, caring, leadership and moral judgment of health science…

  8. Swiss Children's Moral and Psychological Judgments about Inclusion and Exclusion of Children with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gasser, Luciano; Malti, Tina; Buholzer, Alois

    2014-01-01

    Children's judgments about inclusion and exclusion of children with disabilities were investigated in a Swiss sample of 6-, 9-, and 12-year-old children from inclusive and noninclusive classrooms (N = 422). Overall, the majority of children judged it as morally wrong to exclude children with disabilities. Yet, participants were less likely to…

  9. Switching Away from Utilitarianism: The Limited Role of Utility Calculations in Moral Judgment.

    PubMed

    Sheskin, Mark; Baumard, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Our moral motivations might include a drive towards maximizing overall welfare, consistent with an ethical theory called "utilitarianism." However, people show non-utilitarian judgments in domains as diverse as healthcare decisions, income distributions, and penal laws. Rather than these being deviations from a fundamentally utilitarian psychology, we suggest that our moral judgments are generally non-utilitarian, even for cases that are typically seen as prototypically utilitarian. We show two separate deviations from utilitarianism in such cases: people do not think maximizing welfare is required (they think it is merely acceptable, in some circumstances), and people do not think that equal welfare tradeoffs are even acceptable. We end by discussing how utilitarian reasoning might play a restricted role within a non-utilitarian moral psychology.

  10. Switching Away from Utilitarianism: The Limited Role of Utility Calculations in Moral Judgment

    PubMed Central

    Baumard, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Our moral motivations might include a drive towards maximizing overall welfare, consistent with an ethical theory called “utilitarianism.” However, people show non-utilitarian judgments in domains as diverse as healthcare decisions, income distributions, and penal laws. Rather than these being deviations from a fundamentally utilitarian psychology, we suggest that our moral judgments are generally non-utilitarian, even for cases that are typically seen as prototypically utilitarian. We show two separate deviations from utilitarianism in such cases: people do not think maximizing welfare is required (they think it is merely acceptable, in some circumstances), and people do not think that equal welfare tradeoffs are even acceptable. We end by discussing how utilitarian reasoning might play a restricted role within a non-utilitarian moral psychology. PMID:27505424

  11. Deconfounding Distance Effects in Judgments of Moral Obligation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagel, Jonas; Waldmann, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    A heavily disputed question of moral philosophy is whether spatial distance between agent and victim is normatively relevant for the degree of obligation to help strangers in need. In this research, we focus on the associated descriptive question whether increased distance does in fact reduce individuals' sense of helping obligation. One problem…

  12. Parental Disciplinary Technique and the Development of Children's Moral Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montemayor, Raymond

    This study examined the relationship between parents' use of a person oriented disciplinary technique and their children's use of moral intentionality. Person oriented parents were characterized as those who emphasize their children's needs and intentions, in contrast to position oriented parents who expect children to adhere to socially accepted…

  13. Individual differences in moral judgment competence are related to activity of the prefrontal cortex when attributing blame to evil intention.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaojing; Yang, Juan; Li, Peng; Li, Hong

    2016-01-01

    The weighing of intentions and consequences is inconsistent in adult's moral judgments, and this is particularly prominent when assigning blame to the immoral intentions in the absence of negative outcomes. The current study extends previous research by examining how individual differences in moral judgment competence are reflected in the cortical network when making judgments about immoral intentions. Twenty-four participants were scanned, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, while making judgments about three kinds of moral scenarios: a neutral condition, an immoral intention condition, and an immoral condition. The result showed that comparing with making judgments about the other two conditions, making judgments about the immoral intentions takes longer time and was associated with significantly elevated activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Additionally, moral judgment competence scores were inversely correlated with activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex when assigning blame to the immoral intentions. Greater activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in participants with lower moral judgment competence possibly reflected increased recruitment of cognitive resource applied to control impulsive response and integrate competitive information in making judgments about the immoral intention.

  14. A Sorrow Shared Is a Sorrow Halved: Moral Judgments of Harm to Single versus Multiple Victims

    PubMed Central

    Konis, Daffie; Haran, Uriel; Saporta, Kelly; Ayal, Shahar

    2016-01-01

    We describe a bias in moral judgment in which the mere existence of other victims reduces assessments of the harm suffered by each harmed individual. Three experiments support the seemingly paradoxical relationship between the number of harmed individuals and the perceived severity of the harming act. In Experiment 1a, participants expressed lower punitive intentions toward a perpetrator of an unethical act that hurt multiple people and assigned lower monetary compensation to each victim than did those who judged a similar act that harmed only one person. In Experiment 1b, participants displayed greater emotional involvement in the case of a single victim than when there were multiple victims, regardless of whether the victims were unrelated and unaware of each other or constituted a group. Experiment 2 measured the responses of the victims themselves. Participants received false performance feedback on a task before being informed that they had been deceived. Victims who were deceived alone reported more negative feelings and judged the deception as more immoral than did those who knew that others had been deceived as well. Taken together, these results suggest that a victim’s plight is perceived as less severe when others share it, and this bias is common to both third-party judges and victims. PMID:27531988

  15. Moral judgments about Jewish-Arab intergroup exclusion: the role of cultural identity and contact.

    PubMed

    Brenick, Alaina; Killen, Melanie

    2014-01-01

    Prejudice and discrimination as justifications for social exclusion are often viewed as violations of the moral principles of welfare, justice, and equality, but intergroup exclusion can also often be viewed as a necessary and legitimate means to maintain group identity and cohesion (Rutland, Killen, & Abrams, 2010). The current study was guided by the social reasoning developmental perspective (Killen & Rutland, 2011) to examine the moral judgments of social exclusion encounters, and the degree to which cultural identity and actual contact with members of other cultural groups is related to social evaluations. Surprisingly, no research has examined how intergroup contact bears on moral judgments about Jewish-Arab encounters in the United States. The current study surveyed 241 Jewish and 249 non-Arab/non-Jewish (comparison group) 14- and 17-year-olds to assess their cultural identification, intergroup contact, and moral judgments regarding intergroup peer social exclusion situations between Jewish and Arab youth in peer, home, and community contexts. Participants overwhelmingly rejected exclusion of an outgroup member explicitly because of their group membership. Context effects emerged, and exclusion was rated as most acceptable in the community context and least acceptable in the peer context. Three factors of identity (i.e., exploration, commitment, and concern for relationships) were explored. Generally, higher identity commitment and lower identity concern for relationships were related to more inclusive evaluations. Interactions between the identity factors and intergroup contact and cultural group, however, differentially predicted evaluations of intergroup exclusion.

  16. Shared brain activity for aesthetic and moral judgments: implications for the Beauty-is-Good stereotype.

    PubMed

    Tsukiura, Takashi; Cabeza, Roberto

    2011-01-01

    The Beauty-is-Good stereotype refers to the assumption that attractive people possess sociably desirable personalities and higher moral standards. The existence of this bias suggests that the neural mechanisms for judging facial attractiveness and moral goodness overlap. To investigate this idea, we scanned participants with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they made attractiveness judgments about faces and goodness judgments about hypothetical actions. Activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex increased as a function of both attractiveness and goodness ratings, whereas activity in the insular cortex decreased with both attractiveness and goodness ratings. Within each of these regions, the activations elicited by attractiveness and goodness judgments were strongly correlated with each other, supporting the idea of similar contributions of each region to both judgments. Moreover, activations in orbitofrontal and insular cortices were negatively correlated with each other, suggesting an opposing relationship between these regions during attractiveness and goodness judgments. These findings have implications for understanding the neural mechanisms of the Beauty-is-Good stereotype.

  17. Sidetracked by trolleys: Why sacrificial moral dilemmas tell us little (or nothing) about utilitarian judgment.

    PubMed

    Kahane, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Research into moral decision-making has been dominated by sacrificial dilemmas where, in order to save several lives, it is necessary to sacrifice the life of another person. It is widely assumed that these dilemmas draw a sharp contrast between utilitarian and deontological approaches to morality, and thereby enable us to study the psychological and neural basis of utilitarian judgment. However, it has been previously shown that some sacrificial dilemmas fail to present a genuine contrast between utilitarian and deontological options. Here, I raise deeper problems for this research paradigm. Even when sacrificial dilemmas present a contrast between utilitarian and deontological options at a philosophical level, it is misleading to interpret the responses of ordinary folk in these terms. What is currently classified as "utilitarian judgment" does not in fact share essential features of a genuine utilitarian outlook, and is better explained in terms of commonsensical moral notions. When subjects deliberate about such dilemmas, they are not deciding between opposing utilitarian and deontological solutions, but engaging in a richer process of weighing opposing moral reasons. Sacrificial dilemmas therefore tell us little about utilitarian decision-making. An alternative approach to studying proto-utilitarian tendencies in everyday moral thinking is proposed.

  18. The good, the bad, and the timely: how temporal order and moral judgment influence causal selection.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Kevin; Kirfel, Lara; van Riel, Raphael; Barlassina, Luca

    2014-01-01

    Causal selection is the cognitive process through which one or more elements in a complex causal structure are singled out as actual causes of a certain effect. In this paper, we report on an experiment in which we investigated the role of moral and temporal factors in causal selection. Our results are as follows. First, when presented with a temporal chain in which two human agents perform the same action one after the other, subjects tend to judge the later agent to be the actual cause. Second, the impact of temporal location on causal selection is almost canceled out if the later agent did not violate a norm while the former did. We argue that this is due to the impact that judgments of norm violation have on causal selection-even if the violated norm has nothing to do with the obtaining effect. Third, moral judgments about the effect influence causal selection even in the case in which agents could not have foreseen the effect and did not intend to bring it about. We discuss our findings in connection to recent theories of the role of moral judgment in causal reasoning, on the one hand, and to probabilistic models of temporal location, on the other.

  19. Individual Differences in Moral Disgust Do Not Predict Utilitarian Judgments, Sexual and Pathogen Disgust Do

    PubMed Central

    Laakasuo, Michael; Sundvall, Jukka; Drosinou, Marianna

    2017-01-01

    The role of emotional disgust and disgust sensitivity in moral judgment and decision-making has been debated intensively for over 20 years. Until very recently, there were two main evolutionary narratives for this rather puzzling association. One of the models suggest that it was developed through some form of group selection mechanism, where the internal norms of the groups were acting as pathogen safety mechanisms. Another model suggested that these mechanisms were developed through hygiene norms, which were piggybacking on pathogen disgust mechanisms. In this study we present another alternative, namely that this mechanism might have evolved through sexual disgust sensitivity. We note that though the role of disgust in moral judgment has been questioned recently, few studies have taken disgust sensitivity to account. We present data from a large sample (N = 1300) where we analyzed the associations between The Three Domain Disgust Scale and the most commonly used 12 moral dilemmas measuring utilitarian/deontological preferences with Structural Equation Modeling. Our results indicate that of the three domains of disgust, only sexual disgust is associated with more deontological moral preferences. We also found that pathogen disgust was associated with more utilitarian preferences. Implications of the findings are discussed. PMID:28361986

  20. The role of social cognition in moral judgment in frontotemporal dementia.

    PubMed

    Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Torralva, Teresa; Roca, María; Pose, Máriangeles; Manes, Facundo

    2011-01-01

    Patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) exhibit a set of behavioral disturbances that have been strongly associated with involvement of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Many such disturbances have been linked to impaired moral behavior, especially in regard to "personal" or "emotionally driven" moral dilemmatic judgment, which has been demonstrated to also depend on the integrity of the PFC. In this study, we administered a personal moral dilemma (the footbridge dilemma) and social cognition measures to patients with early bvFTD, who were also assessed with an extensive neuropsychological battery, including moral knowledge, cognitive and emotional empathy, and affective decision-making. BvFTD patients who would push a man off a footbridge (knowing this would kill him) to save the life of five workers who would have been otherwise killed by the train showed significantly lower scores on affective Theory of Mind (ToM) relative to those bvFTD patients who responded negatively. No significant differences were found on other sociodemographic, neuropsychological or social cognition variables. This study reveals that altered dilemmatic judgment may be related to impaired affective ToM, which has important clinical and theoretical implications.

  1. Judgments of moral responsibility and wrongness for intentional and accidental harm and purity violations.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, Mary; Byrne, Ruth M J

    2017-01-31

    Two experiments examine whether people reason differently about intentional and accidental violations in the moral domains of harm and purity, by examining moral responsibility and wrongness judgments for violations that affect others or the self. The first experiment shows that intentional violations are judged to be worse than accidental ones, regardless of whether they are harm or purity violations-for example, Sam poisons his colleague versus Sam eats his dog, when participants judge how morally responsible was Sam for what he did, or how morally wrong was what Sam did. The second experiment shows that violations of others are judged to be worse than violations of the self, regardless of whether they are harm or purity violations, when their content and context is matched-for example, on a tropical holiday Sam orders poisonous starfruit for dinner for his friend, or for himself, versus on a tropical holiday Sam orders dog meat for dinner for his friend, or for himself. Moral reasoning is influenced by whether the violation was intentional or accidental, and whether its target was the self or another person, rather than by the moral domain, such as harm or purity.

  2. Explaining the U-Shaped Development of Intent-Based Moral Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Margoni, Francesco; Surian, Luca

    2016-01-01

    When preschoolers evaluate actions and agents, they typically neglect agents’ intentions and focus on action outcomes instead. By contrast, intentions count much more than outcomes for older children and adults. This phenomenon has traditionally been seen as evidence of a developmental change in children’s concept of what is morally good and bad. However, a growing number of studies shows that infants are able to reason about agents’ intentions and take them into account in their spontaneous socio-moral evaluations. Here we argue that this puzzling U-shaped trajectory in children’s judgments is best accounted for by a model that posits developmental continuity in moral competence and emphasizes the effect of immature executive function skills on preschoolers’ performance. PMID:26925024

  3. The Effects of Practice Schedule on Learning a Complex Judgment Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Helsdingen, Anne S.; van Gog, Tamara; van Merrienboer, Jeroen J. G.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of practice schedule on learning a complex judgment task were investigated. In Experiment 1, participants' judgment accuracy on a retention test was higher after a random practice schedule than after a blocked schedule or operational schedule. Experiment 2 demonstrated that judgment on a transfer test was also better after a random…

  4. Ignorance Is No Excuse: Moral Judgments Are Influenced by a Genetic Variation on the Oxytocin Receptor Gene

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walter, Nora T.; Montag, Christian; Markett, Sebastian; Felten, Andrea; Voigt, Gesine; Reuter, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Perspective-taking has become a main focus of studies on moral judgments. Recent fMRI studies have demonstrated that individual differences in brain activation predict moral decision making. In particular, pharmacological studies highlighted the crucial role for the neuropeptide oxytocin in social behavior and emotional perception. In the present…

  5. The Male Group Effect: Measuring Moral Judgment and Reasoning among Two Cohorts of First-Year College Men

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Terry, Daniel J.

    2013-01-01

    What kinds of experiences, interventions, or programs within the college context appear to foster or enhance moral growth beyond what one would expect developmentally from any 18-22 year old student? This quasi-experimental study is directed toward the effects of a particular aspect of the college environment on the moral judgment development of a…

  6. An Event-Related Potential Study of Adolescents' and Young Adults' Judgments of Moral and Social Conventional Violations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lahat, Ayelet; Helwig, Charles C.; Zelazo, Philip David

    2013-01-01

    The neurocognitive development of moral and conventional judgments was examined. Event-related potentials were recorded while 24 adolescents (13 years) and 30 young adults (20 years) read scenarios with 1 of 3 endings: moral violations, conventional violations, or neutral acts. Participants judged whether the act was acceptable or unacceptable…

  7. An event-related potential study of adolescents' and young adults' judgments of moral and social conventional violations.

    PubMed

    Lahat, Ayelet; Helwig, Charles C; Zelazo, Philip David

    2013-01-01

    The neurocognitive development of moral and conventional judgments was examined. Event-related potentials were recorded while 24 adolescents (13 years) and 30 young adults (20 years) read scenarios with 1 of 3 endings: moral violations, conventional violations, or neutral acts. Participants judged whether the act was acceptable or unacceptable when a rule was assumed or removed. Across age, reaction times were faster for moral than conventional violations when a rule was assumed. Adolescents had larger N2 amplitudes than adults for moral and neutral, but not conventional, acts. N2 amplitudes were larger when a rule was removed than assumed for moral, but not conventional, violations. These findings suggest that the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying moral and conventional judgments continue to develop beyond early adolescence.

  8. Initial judgment task and delay of the final validity-rating task moderate the truth effect.

    PubMed

    Nadarevic, Lena; Erdfelder, Edgar

    2014-01-01

    Repeatedly seen or heard statements are typically judged to be more valid than statements one has never encountered before. This phenomenon has been referred to as the truth effect. We conducted two experiments to assess the plasticity of the truth effect under different contextual conditions. Surprisingly, we did not find a truth effect in the typical judgment design when using a ten minutes interval between statement repetitions. However, we replicated the truth effect when changing the judgment task at initial statement exposure or when using an interval of one week rather than ten minutes. Because none of the current truth effect theories can fully account for these context effects, we conclude that the cognitive processes underlying truth judgments are more complex than has hitherto been assumed. To close the theoretical gap, we propose a revised fluency attribution hypothesis as a possible explanation of our findings.

  9. Hierarchical structure of moral stages assessed by a sorting task.

    PubMed

    Boom, J; Brugman, D; van der Heijden, P G

    2001-01-01

    Following criticism of Kohlberg's theory of moral judgment, an empirical re-examination of hierarchical stage structure was desirable. Utilizing Piaget's concept of reflective abstraction as a basis, the hierarchical stage structure was investigated using a new method. Study participants (553 Dutch university students and 196 Russian high school students) sorted statements in terms of moral sophistication. These statements were typical for the different stages of moral development as defined in Colby and Kohlberg. The rank ordering performed by participants confirmed the hypotheses. First, despite large individual variation, the ordering of the statements that gave the best fit revealed that each consecutive Kohlbergian stage was perceived to be more morally sophisticated. Second, the lower the stage as represented by the items, the higher the agreement among the participants in their ranking; and the higher the stage as represented by the items, the lower the agreement among the participants in the rankings. Moreover, the pivotal point depended on the developmental characteristics of the sample, which demonstrated a developmental effect: The ordering of statements representative of moral stages below one's own current stage was straightforward, whereas the ordering of statements above one's own stage was difficult. It was concluded that the Piagetian idea of reflective abstraction can be used successfully to operationalize and measure the hierarchical nature of moral development.

  10. Reduced empathic concern leads to utilitarian moral judgments in trait alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Indrajeet; Silani, Giorgia

    2014-01-01

    Recent research with moral dilemmas supports dual-process model of moral decision making. This model posits two different paths via which people can endorse utilitarian solution that requires personally harming someone in order to achieve the greater good (e.g., killing one to save five people): (i) weakened emotional aversion to the prospect of harming someone due to reduced empathic concern for the victim; (ii) enhanced cognition which supports cost-benefit analysis and countervails the prepotent emotional aversion to harm. Direct prediction of this model would be that personality traits associated with reduced empathy would show higher propensity to endorse utilitarian solutions. As per this prediction, we found that trait alexithymia, which is well-known to have deficits in empathy, was indeed associated with increased utilitarian tendencies on emotionally aversive personal moral dilemmas and this was due to reduced empathic concern for the victim. Results underscore the importance of empathy for moral judgments in harm/care domain of morality. PMID:24904510

  11. Sidetracked by trolleys: Why sacrificial moral dilemmas tell us little (or nothing) about utilitarian judgment

    PubMed Central

    Kahane, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Research into moral decision-making has been dominated by sacrificial dilemmas where, in order to save several lives, it is necessary to sacrifice the life of another person. It is widely assumed that these dilemmas draw a sharp contrast between utilitarian and deontological approaches to morality, and thereby enable us to study the psychological and neural basis of utilitarian judgment. However, it has been previously shown that some sacrificial dilemmas fail to present a genuine contrast between utilitarian and deontological options. Here, I raise deeper problems for this research paradigm. Even when sacrificial dilemmas present a contrast between utilitarian and deontological options at a philosophical level, it is misleading to interpret the responses of ordinary folk in these terms. What is currently classified as “utilitarian judgment” does not in fact share essential features of a genuine utilitarian outlook, and is better explained in terms of commonsensical moral notions. When subjects deliberate about such dilemmas, they are not deciding between opposing utilitarian and deontological solutions, but engaging in a richer process of weighing opposing moral reasons. Sacrificial dilemmas therefore tell us little about utilitarian decision-making. An alternative approach to studying proto-utilitarian tendencies in everyday moral thinking is proposed. PMID:25791902

  12. Hand washing induces a clean slate effect in moral judgments: a pupillometry and eye-tracking study.

    PubMed

    Kaspar, Kai; Krapp, Vanessa; König, Peter

    2015-05-21

    Physical cleansing is commonly understood to protect us against physical contamination. However, recent studies showed additional effects on moral judgments. Under the heading of the "Macbeth effect" direct links between bodily cleansing and one's own moral purity have been demonstrated. Here we investigate (1) how moral judgments develop over time and how they are altered by hand washing, (2) whether changes in moral judgments can be explained by altered information sampling from the environment, and (3) whether hand washing affects emotional arousal. Using a pre-post control group design, we found that morality ratings of morally good and bad scenes acquired more extreme values in the control group over time, an effect that was fully counteracted by intermediate hand washing. This result supports the notion of a clean slate effect by hand washing. Thereby, eye-tracking data did not uncover differences in eye movement behavior that may explain differences in moral judgments. Thus, the clean slate effect is not due to altered information sampling from the environment. Finally, compared to the control group, pupil diameter decreased after hand washing, thus demonstrating a direct physiological effect. The results shed light on the physiological mechanisms behind this type of embodiment phenomenon.

  13. Hand Washing Induces a Clean Slate Effect in Moral Judgments: A Pupillometry and Eye-Tracking Study

    PubMed Central

    Kaspar, Kai; Krapp, Vanessa; König, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Physical cleansing is commonly understood to protect us against physical contamination. However, recent studies showed additional effects on moral judgments. Under the heading of the “Macbeth effect” direct links between bodily cleansing and one’s own moral purity have been demonstrated. Here we investigate (1) how moral judgments develop over time and how they are altered by hand washing, (2) whether changes in moral judgments can be explained by altered information sampling from the environment, and (3) whether hand washing affects emotional arousal. Using a pre-post control group design, we found that morality ratings of morally good and bad scenes acquired more extreme values in the control group over time, an effect that was fully counteracted by intermediate hand washing. This result supports the notion of a clean slate effect by hand washing. Thereby, eye-tracking data did not uncover differences in eye movement behavior that may explain differences in moral judgments. Thus, the clean slate effect is not due to altered information sampling from the environment. Finally, compared to the control group, pupil diameter decreased after hand washing, thus demonstrating a direct physiological effect. The results shed light on the physiological mechanisms behind this type of embodiment phenomenon. PMID:25994083

  14. Blame, not ability, impacts moral "ought" judgments for impossible actions: Toward an empirical refutation of "ought" implies "can".

    PubMed

    Chituc, Vladimir; Henne, Paul; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter; De Brigard, Felipe

    2016-05-01

    Recently, psychologists have explored moral concepts including obligation, blame, and ability. While little empirical work has studied the relationships among these concepts, philosophers have widely assumed such a relationship in the principle that "ought" implies "can," which states that if someone ought to do something, then they must be able to do it. The cognitive underpinnings of these concepts are tested in the three experiments reported here. In Experiment 1, most participants judge that an agent ought to keep a promise that he is unable to keep, but only when he is to blame for the inability. Experiment 2 shows that such "ought" judgments correlate with judgments of blame, rather than with judgments of the agent's ability. Experiment 3 replicates these findings for moral "ought" judgments and finds that they do not hold for nonmoral "ought" judgments, such as what someone ought to do to fulfill their desires. These results together show that folk moral judgments do not conform to a widely assumed philosophical principle that "ought" implies "can." Instead, judgments of blame play a modulatory role in some judgments of obligation.

  15. Impact of the Konstanz method of dilemma discussion on moral judgment in allied health students: a randomized controlled study.

    PubMed

    Lerkiatbundit, Sanguan; Utaipan, Parichat; Laohawiriyanon, Chonlada; Teo, Adisa

    2006-01-01

    The objective of the study was to determine the effect of the Konstanz method of moral dilemma discussion (KMDD) on moral judgment in allied health students. The study employed the Moral Judgment Test, translated from English into Thai and validated in 247 students, as an moral judgment instrument. The scale satisfied four validity criteria: preference hierarchy, quasi-simplex structure of stage preference, affective-cognitive parallelism, and positive correlation between education and moral competence score (C-index). Test-retest reliability at a 1-month interval was 0.90. To investigate the impact of the KMDD, 83 pharmacy technician and dental nursing students were asked to participate in the study. The subjects were randomly assigned into control (n = 41) or experimental (n = 42) groups. The experimental group participated in a 90-min KMDD once a week for 6 consecutive weeks. Students in the control group also met once a week for 6 weeks to discuss the topics not related to ethics. All subjects completed the Moral Judgment Test before and after the intervention and again 6 months later. Split-plot ANOVA of the C-indexes at the beginning revealed that the experimental and control groups were not different (20.57 +/- 13.45 and 24.98 +/- 16.12). However, the experimental group scored significantly higher than the control group did after the intervention (35.18 +/- 10.96 and 24.20 +/- 14.70) and 6 months later (33.00 +/- 11.02 and 23.67 +/- 14.35). The KMDD appears to be a practical and effective intervention for developing moral judgment in allied health students. The effect on moral judgment remains at least 6 months after the intervention.

  16. Moral development in a violent society: Colombian children's judgments in the context of survival and revenge.

    PubMed

    Posada, Roberto; Wainryb, Cecilia

    2008-01-01

    Ninety-six Colombian children (mean age = 7.7 years) and adolescents (mean age = 14.6 years) made judgments about stealing and physical harm in the abstract and in the context of survival and revenge. All participants judged it wrong to steal or hurt others because of considerations with justice and welfare, and most also judged it wrong to engage in such actions even when they can aid in survival. Their judgments in the context of revenge were more mixed, with a sizable proportion endorsing stealing and hurting in that condition. Furthermore, the majority expected that people would steal and hurt others in most situations. Significant age differences were also found. The consequences of political violence for moral development are discussed.

  17. Comparative morality judgments about lesbians and gay men teaching and adopting children.

    PubMed

    Kirby, Brenda J; Michaelson, Christina

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare morality judgments of American Catholics and the general public about lesbians and gay men adopting and teaching children. The general sample endorsed higher agreement that lesbians and gay men should be allowed to adopt and to teach children compared to the Catholic only sample. Older participants were less accepting than all other age groups, and there was an interaction effect between education and political ideology such that those with less education and with more politically conservative beliefs were generally less accepting of lesbians and gay men adopting and teaching children.

  18. From moral to legal judgment: the influence of normative context in lawyers and other academics.

    PubMed

    Schleim, Stephan; Spranger, Tade M; Erk, Susanne; Walter, Henrik

    2011-01-01

    Various kinds of normative judgments are an integral part of everyday life. We extended the scrutiny of social cognitive neuroscience into the domain of legal decisions, investigating two groups, lawyers and other academics, during moral and legal decision-making. While we found activation of brain areas comprising the so-called 'moral brain' in both conditions, there was stronger activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and middle temporal gyrus particularly when subjects made legal decisions, suggesting that these were made in respect to more explicit rules and demanded more complex semantic processing. Comparing both groups, our data show that behaviorally lawyers conceived themselves as emotionally less involved during normative decision-making in general. A group × condition interaction in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex suggests a modulation of normative decision-making by attention based on subjects' normative expertise.

  19. A Moral (Normative) Framework for the Judgment of Actions and Decisions in the Construction Industry and Engineering: Part II.

    PubMed

    Alkhatib, Omar J

    2016-12-02

    The construction industry is typically characterized as a fragmented, multi-organizational setting in which members from different technical backgrounds and moral values join together to develop a particular business or project. The most challenging obstacle in the construction process is to achieve a successful practice and to identify and apply an ethical framework to manage the behavior of involved specialists and contractors and to ensure the quality of all completed construction activities. The framework should reflect a common moral ground for myriad people involved in this process to survive and compete ethically in today's turbulent construction market. This study establishes a framework for moral judgment of behavior and actions conducted in the construction process. The moral framework provides the basis of judging actions as "moral" or "immoral" based on three levels of moral accountability: personal, professional, and social. The social aspect of the proposed framework is developed primarily from the essential attributes of normative business decision-making models identified in the literature review and subsequently incorporates additional attributes related to professional and personal moral values. The normative decision-making models reviewed are based primarily on social attributes as related to moral theories (e.g., utilitarianism, duty, rights, virtue, etc.). The professional and moral attributes are established by identifying a set of common moral values recognized by professionals in the construction industry and required to prevent common construction breaches. The moral framework presented here is the complementary part of the ethical framework developed in Part I of this article and is based primarily on the personal behavior or the moral aspect of professional responsibility. The framework can be implemented as a form of preventive personal ethics, which would help avoid ethical dilemmas and moral implications in the first place

  20. Characteristics of tasks utilized for evaluation of judgment errors in the elderly

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Yumi; Ohashi, Yukari

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The present study compared assessments utilized to evaluate judgment errors in the elderly. [Subjects and Methods] A total of 94 community-dwelling elderly participants in an examination of physical fitness for health promotion and health guidance in a rural area in Japan were included. Spatially and temporally predictive tasks were used to evaluate judgment errors. Distances measured on the Functional Reach and upward reaching tests were used to assess spatial prediction, and times measured on the Timed Up and Go test and Standardized Walking Obstacle Course were used to assess temporal prediction. Differences between the self-predicted values and actual results were deemed judgment errors. [Results] Significant differences were observed between self-predicted abilities and the patients’ performances. Participants underestimated their abilities in spatially predictive tasks and overestimated them in temporally predictive tasks. On comparing the four tasks, there were significant differences in judgment error ratios between them. Statistical analysis indicated a significant difference in the judgment error ratio for the Standardized Walking Obstacle Course correlated with a history of falls. [Conclusion] Judgment errors were identified using both spatially and temporally predictive tasks. A temporally predictive task like the Standardized Walking Obstacle Course might better evaluate judgment errors in the elderly. PMID:27821954

  1. Behavioral Norms, Moral Judgments, and Social Approval of Participant Roles in School Bullying in a Singapore Sample

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sim, Tick Ngee; Tan, Melinda Meizhen

    2013-01-01

    This study examines behavioral norms, moral judgments, and social approval of participant roles in classroom physical, verbal, and relational bullying, including a relatively new reporter role (where nothing is done during the bullying but there is subsequent reporting to a teacher). A sample of 1,131 Secondary 1 (mean age = 12 years 7 months) and…

  2. Active learning in a neuroethics course positively impacts moral judgment development in undergraduates.

    PubMed

    Abu-Odeh, Desiree; Dziobek, Derek; Jimenez, Nathalia Torres; Barbey, Christopher; Dubinsky, Janet M

    2015-01-01

    The growing neuroscientific understanding of the biological basis of behaviors has profound social and ethical implications. To address the need for public awareness of the consequences of these advances, we developed an undergraduate neuroethics course, Neuroscience and Society, at the University of Minnesota. Course evolution, objectives, content, and impact are described here. To engage all students and facilitate undergraduate ethics education, this course employed daily reading, writing, and student discussion, case analysis, and team presentations with goals of fostering development of moral reasoning and judgment and introducing application of bioethical frameworks to topics raised by neuroscience. Pre- and post-course Defining Issues Test (DIT) scores and student end-of-course reflections demonstrated that course objectives for student application of bioethical frameworks to neuroethical issues were met. The active-learning, student-centered pedagogical approaches used to achieve these goals serve as a model for how to effectively teach neuroethics at the undergraduate level.

  3. An integrative cognitive neuroscience theory of social reasoning and moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Barbey, Aron K; Grafman, Jordan

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive neuroscience has made considerable progress in understanding the involvement of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in social cognition and moral judgment. Accumulating evidence suggests that representations within the lateral PFC enable people to orchestrate their thoughts and actions in concert with their intentions to support goal-directed social behavior. Despite the pivotal role of this region in guiding social interactions, remarkably little is known about the functional organization and forms of social knowledge mediated by the lateral PFC. Here, we review recent theoretical developments in evolutionary psychology and emerging evidence from the social and decision neuroscience literatures demonstrating the importance of the lateral PFC for orchestrating behavior on the basis of evolutionarily adaptive social norms for obligatory, prohibited, and permissible courses of action. WIREs Cogn Sci 2011 2 55-67 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.84 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  4. Active Learning in a Neuroethics Course Positively Impacts Moral Judgment Development in Undergraduates

    PubMed Central

    Abu-Odeh, Desiree; Dziobek, Derek; Jimenez, Nathalia Torres; Barbey, Christopher; Dubinsky, Janet M

    2015-01-01

    The growing neuroscientific understanding of the biological basis of behaviors has profound social and ethical implications. To address the need for public awareness of the consequences of these advances, we developed an undergraduate neuroethics course, Neuroscience and Society, at the University of Minnesota. Course evolution, objectives, content, and impact are described here. To engage all students and facilitate undergraduate ethics education, this course employed daily reading, writing, and student discussion, case analysis, and team presentations with goals of fostering development of moral reasoning and judgment and introducing application of bioethical frameworks to topics raised by neuroscience. Pre- and post-course Defining Issues Test (DIT) scores and student end-of-course reflections demonstrated that course objectives for student application of bioethical frameworks to neuroethical issues were met. The active-learning, student-centered pedagogical approaches used to achieve these goals serve as a model for how to effectively teach neuroethics at the undergraduate level. PMID:25838802

  5. Rejected by peers-attracted to antisocial media content: rejection-based anger impairs moral judgment among adolescents.

    PubMed

    Plaisier, Xanthe S; Konijn, Elly A

    2013-06-01

    Adolescence is an important developmental stage during which both peers and the media have a strong influence. Both peer rejection and the use of morally adverse media are associated with negative developmental outcomes. This study examines processes by which peer rejection might drive adolescents to select antisocial media content by tying together developmental research on peer rejection and research on media effects. Assumed underlying mechanisms are rejection-based anger and frustration and the adolescent's moral judgment. A between-participants experimental design manipulated peer rejection versus acceptance in adolescents (Mage = 13.88 years; N = 74) and young adults (Mage = 21.37 years; N = 75), applying the Cyberball paradigm. Measures included the State Anger Inventory (STAXI) to assess feelings of rejection and the newly devised Media, Morals, and Youth Questionnaire (MMaYQue) to assess media preferences and moral judgment of media content. Using bootstrapping analyses, a double mediation was established: Higher levels of state anger in peer-rejected adolescents induced more tolerable moral judgments of antisocial media content, subsequently instigating a preference for antisocial media content. In contrast, the young adult sample showed no relations between peer rejection and antisocial media preference. Results are discussed within a downward spiral framework of combined peer and media influences.

  6. ‘Utilitarian’ judgments in sacrificial moral dilemmas do not reflect impartial concern for the greater good

    PubMed Central

    Kahane, Guy; Everett, Jim A.C.; Earp, Brian D.; Farias, Miguel; Savulescu, Julian

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of research has focused on so-called ‘utilitarian’ judgments in moral dilemmas in which participants have to choose whether to sacrifice one person in order to save the lives of a greater number. However, the relation between such ‘utilitarian’ judgments and genuine utilitarian impartial concern for the greater good remains unclear. Across four studies, we investigated the relationship between ‘utilitarian’ judgment in such sacrificial dilemmas and a range of traits, attitudes, judgments and behaviors that either reflect or reject an impartial concern for the greater good of all. In Study 1, we found that rates of ‘utilitarian’ judgment were associated with a broadly immoral outlook concerning clear ethical transgressions in a business context, as well as with sub-clinical psychopathy. In Study 2, we found that ‘utilitarian’ judgment was associated with greater endorsement of rational egoism, less donation of money to a charity, and less identification with the whole of humanity, a core feature of classical utilitarianism. In Studies 3 and 4, we found no association between ‘utilitarian’ judgments in sacrificial dilemmas and characteristic utilitarian judgments relating to assistance to distant people in need, self-sacrifice and impartiality, even when the utilitarian justification for these judgments was made explicit and unequivocal. This lack of association remained even when we controlled for the antisocial element in ‘utilitarian’ judgment. Taken together, these results suggest that there is very little relation between sacrificial judgments in the hypothetical dilemmas that dominate current research, and a genuine utilitarian approach to ethics. PMID:25460392

  7. The Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT): a discipline-specific approach to assessing moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Borenstein, Jason; Drake, Matthew J; Kirkman, Robert; Swann, Julie L

    2010-06-01

    To assess ethics pedagogy in science and engineering, we developed a new tool called the Engineering and Science Issues Test (ESIT). ESIT measures moral judgment in a manner similar to the Defining Issues Test, second edition, but is built around technical dilemmas in science and engineering. We used a quasi-experimental approach with pre- and post-tests, and we compared the results to those of a control group with no overt ethics instruction. Our findings are that several (but not all) stand-alone classes showed a significant improvement compared to the control group when the metric includes multiple stages of moral development. We also found that the written test had a higher response rate and sensitivity to pedagogy than the electronic version. We do not find significant differences on pre-test scores with respect to age, education level, gender or political leanings, but we do on whether subjects were native English speakers. We did not find significant differences on pre-test scores based on whether subjects had previous ethics instruction; this could suggest a lack of a long-term effect from the instruction.

  8. Moral Judgments on Short-Term Sexual Behaviors among Chinese College Students: Exploring the Roles of Gender and Physical Attractiveness

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Qianguo; Li, Aijuan; Zhu, Yi

    2017-01-01

    This study primarily investigated the effects of gender and physical attractiveness on moral judgments on three typical kinds of short-term sexual behaviors (short-term fling, one-night stand, and hookup) in the Chinese culture context. A total of 120 university student subjects were presented with a series of stereotypically physically attractive (versus physically unattractive) photos before they rated the extent to which each of the three short-term sexual behaviors are morally acceptable. The results showed that male students judged all three behaviors to be more morally acceptable than female students did. Further analyses showed that this gender difference was moderated by the level of physical attractiveness. Under the high attractiveness condition, short-term flings and hookups were judged more morally acceptable by male students than by female students, but this gender difference was not significant under the low attractiveness condition. However, with regard to one-night stands, the data showed that male students judged this type of behavior to be more morally acceptable than did female students under the low attractiveness condition, while this gender difference was not significant under the high attractiveness condition. Thus, these findings further our understanding of how Chinese young people view different types of short-term sexual behaviors, and provide novel evidence regarding how physical attractiveness influences people’s moral judgments on short-term sexual behaviors. PMID:28243218

  9. The Relation of Moral Judgment Development and Educational Experience to Recall of Moral Narratives and Expository Texts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Narvaez, Darcia; Gleason, Tracy

    2007-01-01

    Moral text processing was used as an ecologically valid method for assessing implicit and explicit moral understanding and development. The authors tested undergraduates, seminarians, and graduate students in political science and philosophy for recall of moral narratives and moral expository texts. Multivariate analyses of covariance using…

  10. Task- and age-dependent effects of visual stimulus properties on children's explicit numerosity judgments.

    PubMed

    Defever, Emmy; Reynvoet, Bert; Gebuis, Titia

    2013-10-01

    Researchers investigating numerosity processing manipulate the visual stimulus properties (e.g., surface). This is done to control for the confound between numerosity and its visual properties and should allow the examination of pure number processes. Nevertheless, several studies have shown that, despite different visual controls, visual cues remained to exert their influence on numerosity judgments. This study, therefore, investigated whether the impact of the visual stimulus manipulations on numerosity judgments is dependent on the task at hand (comparison task vs. same-different task) and whether this impact changes throughout development. In addition, we examined whether the influence of visual stimulus manipulations on numerosity judgments plays a role in the relation between performance on numerosity tasks and mathematics achievement. Our findings confirmed that the visual stimulus manipulations affect numerosity judgments; more important, we found that these influences changed with increasing age and differed between the comparison and the same-different tasks. Consequently, direct comparisons between numerosity studies using different tasks and age groups are difficult. No meaningful relationship between the performance on the comparison and same-different tasks and mathematics achievement was found in typically developing children, nor did we find consistent differences between children with and without mathematical learning disability (MLD).

  11. Cold Side-Effect Effect: Affect Does Not Mediate the Influence of Moral Considerations in Intentionality Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Rodrigo; Viciana, Hugo; Gomila, Antoni

    2017-01-01

    Research has consistently shown that people consider harmful side effects of an action more intentional than helpful side effects. This phenomenon is known as the side-effect effect (SEE), which refers to the influence of moral considerations in judgments of intentionality and other non-moral concepts. There is an ongoing debate about how to explain this asymmetric pattern of judgment and the psychological factors involved in it. It has been posited that affective reactions to agents that bring about harmful side-effects could bias intentionality attributions in these cases, explaining the asymmetric pattern of intentionality judgments that we observe in the SEE. We call this the affective bias hypothesis (ABH). Evidence for the ABH is mixed, with some findings suggesting a role for affective processes, while others suggesting that affective processes play no role in the SEE. A possible explanation for these apparently contradictory results points to affective processes involved in the SEE being confined to anger. In a series of empirical studies, we systematically measured and manipulated participants’ anger in order to test this possibility. Our findings suggest that anger play no role in intentionality judgments in SEE cases, while providing support for a non-emotional motivation to blame as a factor underlying the SEE. PMID:28293211

  12. Unifying Kohlberg with Information Integration: The Moral Algebra of Recompense and of Kohlbergian Moral Informers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hommers, Wilfried; Lee, Wha-Yong

    2010-01-01

    In order to unify two major theories of moral judgment, a novel task is employed which combines elements of Kohlberg's stage theory and of the theory of information integration. In contrast to the format of Kohlberg's moral judgment interview, a nonverbal and quantitative response which makes low demands on verbal facility was used. Moral…

  13. Do Italian Dyslexic Children Use the Lexical Reading Route Efficiently? An Orthographic Judgment Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marinelli, Chiara Valeria; Angelelli, Paola; Notarnicola, Alessandra; Luzzatti, Claudio

    2009-01-01

    The study uses an orthographic judgment task to evaluate the efficiency of the lexical reading route in Italian dyslexic children. It has been suggested that Italian dyslexic children rely prevalently on the sub-word-level routine for reading. However, it is not easy to test the lexical reading route in Italian directly because of the lack of…

  14. Temporal Order Judgment in Dyslexia--Task Difficulty or Temporal Processing Deficiency?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skottun, Bernt C.; Skoyles, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Dyslexia has been widely held to be associated with deficient temporal processing. It is, however, not established that the slower visual processing of dyslexic readers is not a secondary effect of task difficulty. To illustrate this we re-analyze data from Liddle et al. (2009) who studied temporal order judgment in dyslexia and plotted the…

  15. Aggressive and Nonaggressive Children's Moral Judgments and Moral Emotion Attributions in Situations Involving Retaliation and Unprovoked Aggression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gasser, Luciano; Malti, Tina; Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, Eveline

    2012-01-01

    The authors investigated 7- and 9-year-old children's moral understanding of retaliation as compared to unprovoked aggression with regard to their aggressive behavior status. Based on peer ratings, 48 children were selected as overtly aggressive and 91 as nonaggressive. Their moral understanding of retaliation and unprovoked aggression was…

  16. When minds matter for moral judgment: intent information is neurally encoded for harmful but not impure acts

    PubMed Central

    Dungan, James; Koster-Hale, Jorie; Brown, Amelia; Saxe, Rebecca; Young, Liane

    2016-01-01

    Recent behavioral evidence indicates a key role for intent in moral judgments of harmful acts (e.g. assault) but not impure acts (e.g. incest). We tested whether the neural responses in regions for mental state reasoning, including the right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ), are greater when people evaluate harmful vs impure violations. In addition, using multivoxel pattern analysis, we investigated whether the voxel-wise pattern in these regions distinguishes intentional from accidental actions, for either kind of violation. The RTPJ was preferentially recruited in response to harmful vs impure acts. Moreover, although its response was equally high for intentional and accidental acts, the voxel-wise pattern in the RTPJ distinguished intentional from accidental acts in the harm domain but not the purity domain. Finally, we found that the degree to which the RTPJ discriminated between intentional and accidental acts predicted the impact of intent information on moral judgments but again only in the harm domain. These findings reveal intent to be a uniquely critical factor for moral evaluations of harmful vs impure acts and shed light on the neural computations for mental state reasoning. PMID:26628642

  17. Detection versus location judgments in a hidden pattern task: functional MRI and behavioral correlates.

    PubMed

    Bolster, R Bruce; D'Arcy, Ryan C N; Song, Xiaowei; Runke, Dwayne S; Ryner, Lawrence

    2011-08-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess cortical involvement in a hidden pattern task. The experimental and control conditions involved judgment of the presence/absence versus the position of a complex pattern. Activation specific to hidden pattern identification was concentrated on frontal, dorsal parietal, and mesolimbic cortex. This was consistent not only across individual subjects, but with hidden figures tasks used in previous fMRI investigations. Results suggest that pattern identification relies on a relatively stable neural network controlling selective attention. In combination with fMRI, hidden pattern tasks may be useful in neuropsychological assessment of visual search and object identification.

  18. "Righteous minds" in health care: measurement and explanatory value of social intuitionism in accounting for the moral judgments in a sample of U.S. physicians.

    PubMed

    Tilburt, Jon C; James, Katherine M; Jenkins, Sarah M; Antiel, Ryan M; Curlin, Farr A; Rasinski, Kenneth A

    2013-01-01

    The broad diversity in physicians' judgments on controversial health care topics may reflect differences in religious characteristics, political ideologies, and moral intuitions. We tested an existing measure of moral intuitions in a new population (U.S. physicians) to assess its validity and to determine whether physicians' moral intuitions correlate with their views on controversial health care topics as well as other known predictors of these intuitions such as political affiliation and religiosity. In 2009, we mailed an 8-page questionnaire to a random sample of 2000 practicing U.S. physicians from all specialties. The survey included the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ30), along with questions on physicians' judgments about controversial health care topics including abortion and euthanasia (no moral objection, some moral objection, strong moral objection). A total of 1032 of 1895 (54%) physicians responded. Physicians' overall mean moral foundations scores were 3.5 for harm, 3.3 for fairness, 2.8 for loyalty, 3.2 for authority, and 2.7 for sanctity on a 0-5 scale. Increasing levels of religious service attendance, having a more conservative political ideology, and higher sanctity scores remained the greatest positive predictors of respondents objecting to abortion (β = 0.12, 0.23, 0.14, respectively, each p<0.001) as well as euthanasia (β = 0.08, 0.17, and 0.17, respectively, each p<0.001), even after adjusting for demographics. Higher authority scores were also significantly negatively associated with objection to abortion (β = -0.12, p<0.01), but not euthanasia. These data suggest that the relative importance physicians place on the different categories of moral intuitions may predict differences in physicians' judgments about morally controversial topics and may interrelate with ideology and religiosity. Further examination of the diversity in physicians' moral intuitions may prove illustrative in describing and addressing moral differences that

  19. A Roving Dual-Presentation Simultaneity-Judgment Task to Estimate the Point of Subjective Simultaneity.

    PubMed

    Yarrow, Kielan; Martin, Sian E; Di Costa, Steven; Solomon, Joshua A; Arnold, Derek H

    2016-01-01

    The most popular tasks with which to investigate the perception of subjective synchrony are the temporal order judgment (TOJ) and the simultaneity judgment (SJ). Here, we discuss a complementary approach-a dual-presentation (2x) SJ task-and focus on appropriate analysis methods for a theoretically desirable "roving" design. Two stimulus pairs are presented on each trial and the observer must select the most synchronous. To demonstrate this approach, in Experiment 1 we tested the 2xSJ task alongside TOJ, SJ, and simple reaction-time (RT) tasks using audiovisual stimuli. We interpret responses from each task using detection-theoretic models, which assume variable arrival times for sensory signals at critical brain structures for timing perception. All tasks provide similar estimates of the point of subjective simultaneity (PSS) on average, and PSS estimates from some tasks were correlated on an individual basis. The 2xSJ task produced lower and more stable estimates of model-based (and thus comparable) sensory/decision noise than the TOJ. In Experiment 2 we obtained similar results using RT, TOJ, ternary, and 2xSJ tasks for all combinations of auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli. In Experiment 3 we investigated attentional prior entry, using both TOJs and 2xSJs. We found that estimates of prior-entry magnitude correlated across these tasks. Overall, our study establishes the practicality of the roving dual-presentation SJ task, but also illustrates the additional complexity of the procedure. We consider ways in which this task might complement more traditional procedures, particularly when it is important to estimate both PSS and sensory/decisional noise.

  20. A Roving Dual-Presentation Simultaneity-Judgment Task to Estimate the Point of Subjective Simultaneity

    PubMed Central

    Yarrow, Kielan; Martin, Sian E.; Di Costa, Steven; Solomon, Joshua A.; Arnold, Derek H.

    2016-01-01

    The most popular tasks with which to investigate the perception of subjective synchrony are the temporal order judgment (TOJ) and the simultaneity judgment (SJ). Here, we discuss a complementary approach—a dual-presentation (2x) SJ task—and focus on appropriate analysis methods for a theoretically desirable “roving” design. Two stimulus pairs are presented on each trial and the observer must select the most synchronous. To demonstrate this approach, in Experiment 1 we tested the 2xSJ task alongside TOJ, SJ, and simple reaction-time (RT) tasks using audiovisual stimuli. We interpret responses from each task using detection-theoretic models, which assume variable arrival times for sensory signals at critical brain structures for timing perception. All tasks provide similar estimates of the point of subjective simultaneity (PSS) on average, and PSS estimates from some tasks were correlated on an individual basis. The 2xSJ task produced lower and more stable estimates of model-based (and thus comparable) sensory/decision noise than the TOJ. In Experiment 2 we obtained similar results using RT, TOJ, ternary, and 2xSJ tasks for all combinations of auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli. In Experiment 3 we investigated attentional prior entry, using both TOJs and 2xSJs. We found that estimates of prior-entry magnitude correlated across these tasks. Overall, our study establishes the practicality of the roving dual-presentation SJ task, but also illustrates the additional complexity of the procedure. We consider ways in which this task might complement more traditional procedures, particularly when it is important to estimate both PSS and sensory/decisional noise. PMID:27047434

  1. "You have to make a judgment call".--Morals, judgments and the provision of quality sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Müller, Alexandra; Röhrs, Stefanie; Hoffman-Wanderer, Yonina; Moult, Kelley

    2016-01-01

    South Africa's legal framework on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care for teenagers is complex. On the one hand, the law protects their right to make decisions regarding reproduction--e.g. giving girls of any age the right to terminate a pregnancy, and allowing adolescents to consent to receive contraception from age 12. On the other hand, the Sexual Offences Act sets the age of consent to sex at 16 years, and requires mandatory reporting of anyone younger. These contradictory obligations mean that nurses, doctors and counsellors are expected to provide care, and counsel teenagers about their choices, but also report and enforce the law. They must therefore make judgments about inherently moral issues: should teenagers be having sex, and what services should they receive? Based on in-depth interviews at 28 healthcare facilities conducted in 2012, and data from workshops on the 'conflicting laws' held in 2014, the paper uses the theoretical framework of street-level bureaucracy to understand barriers to nurses providing SRH care for teenagers in South Africa, and the implication that this has for adolescents' SRH. The paper argues that nurses' adaptation of the law is a response to significant structural constraints, moral discomfort, and poor understanding of the law--all taken against an ethical framework that emphasizes quality, responsive patient care. The result is uneven implementation that undermines SRH information, access to services, and ultimately increases risks for teens.

  2. Large sex difference in adolescents on a timed line judgment task: attentional contributors and task relationship to mathematics.

    PubMed

    Collaer, Marcia L; Hill, Erica M

    2006-01-01

    Visuospatial performance, assessed with the new, group-administered Judgment of Line Angle and Position test (JLAP-13), varied with sex and mathematical competence in a group of adolescents. The JLAP-13, a low-level perceptual task, was modeled after a neuropsychological task dependent upon functioning of the posterior region of the right hemisphere [Benton et al, 1994 Contributions to Neuropsychological Assessment: A Clinical Manual (New York: Oxford University Press)]. High-school boys (N = 52) performed better than girls (N = 62), with a large effect for sex (d = 1.11). Performance increased with mathematical competence, but the sex difference did not vary significantly across different levels of mathematics coursework. On the basis of earlier work, it was predicted that male, but not female, performance in line judgment would decline with disruptions to task geometry (page frame), and that the sex difference would disappear with disruptions to geometry. These predictions were supported by a number of univariate and sex-specific analyses, although an omnibus repeated-measures analysis did not detect the predicted interaction, most likely owing to limitations in power. Thus, there is partial support for the notion that attentional predispositions or strategies may contribute to visuospatial sex differences, with males more likely than females to attend to, and rely upon, internal or external representations of task geometry. Additional support for this hypothesis may require development of new measures or experimental manipulations with more powerful geometrical disruptions.

  3. The Relationship between Preschool Teachers' Professional Ethical Behavior Perceptions, Moral Judgment Levels and Attitudes to Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oktay, Ayla; Ramazan, Oya; Sakin, Ahmet

    2010-01-01

    Morality is the stance and attitude that makes a social human being; the display of behaviors such as praise, criticism, tolerance and intolerance, confirmation and rejection; the taking of sides by stating what one finds good or bad, right or wrong, instead of staying indifferent to what other people say and do (Pieper, 1999). Moral development…

  4. Teaching about Science and Society: Moral Judgment and the Prisoner's Dilemma

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piburn, Michael D.

    1977-01-01

    Describes and evaluates a two person, non-zero sum game entitled "Prisoner's Dilemma." Data are presented from a study which measured the relationship between social behavior and level of moral reasoning of game participants. Ways of using the game in the classroom to develop moral reasoning are discussed. (Author/DB)

  5. Making Decisions under Ambiguity: Judgment Bias Tasks for Assessing Emotional State in Animals.

    PubMed

    Roelofs, Sanne; Boleij, Hetty; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2016-01-01

    Judgment bias tasks (JBTs) are considered as a family of promising tools in the assessment of emotional states of animals. JBTs provide a cognitive measure of optimism and/or pessimism by recording behavioral responses to ambiguous stimuli. For instance, a negative emotional state is expected to produce a negative or pessimistic judgment of an ambiguous stimulus, whereas a positive emotional state produces a positive or optimistic judgment of the same ambiguous stimulus. Measuring an animal's emotional state or mood is relevant in both animal welfare research and biomedical research. This is reflected in the increasing use of JBTs in both research areas. We discuss the different implementations of JBTs with animals, with a focus on their potential as an accurate measure of emotional state. JBTs have been successfully applied to a very broad range of species, using many different types of testing equipment and experimental protocols. However, further validation of this test is deemed necessary. For example, the often extensive training period required for successful judgment bias testing remains a possible factor confounding results. Also, the issue of ambiguous stimuli losing their ambiguity with repeated testing requires additional attention. Possible improvements are suggested to further develop the JBTs in both animal welfare and biomedical research.

  6. Making Decisions under Ambiguity: Judgment Bias Tasks for Assessing Emotional State in Animals

    PubMed Central

    Roelofs, Sanne; Boleij, Hetty; Nordquist, Rebecca E.; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2016-01-01

    Judgment bias tasks (JBTs) are considered as a family of promising tools in the assessment of emotional states of animals. JBTs provide a cognitive measure of optimism and/or pessimism by recording behavioral responses to ambiguous stimuli. For instance, a negative emotional state is expected to produce a negative or pessimistic judgment of an ambiguous stimulus, whereas a positive emotional state produces a positive or optimistic judgment of the same ambiguous stimulus. Measuring an animal’s emotional state or mood is relevant in both animal welfare research and biomedical research. This is reflected in the increasing use of JBTs in both research areas. We discuss the different implementations of JBTs with animals, with a focus on their potential as an accurate measure of emotional state. JBTs have been successfully applied to a very broad range of species, using many different types of testing equipment and experimental protocols. However, further validation of this test is deemed necessary. For example, the often extensive training period required for successful judgment bias testing remains a possible factor confounding results. Also, the issue of ambiguous stimuli losing their ambiguity with repeated testing requires additional attention. Possible improvements are suggested to further develop the JBTs in both animal welfare and biomedical research. PMID:27375454

  7. Is moral beauty different from facial beauty? Evidence from an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tingting; Mo, Lei; Mo, Ce; Tan, Li Hai; Cant, Jonathan S; Zhong, Luojin; Cupchik, Gerald

    2015-06-01

    Is moral beauty different from facial beauty? Two functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments were performed to answer this question. Experiment 1 investigated the network of moral aesthetic judgments and facial aesthetic judgments. Participants performed aesthetic judgments and gender judgments on both faces and scenes containing moral acts. The conjunction analysis of the contrasts 'facial aesthetic judgment > facial gender judgment' and 'scene moral aesthetic judgment > scene gender judgment' identified the common involvement of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), inferior temporal gyrus and medial superior frontal gyrus, suggesting that both types of aesthetic judgments are based on the orchestration of perceptual, emotional and cognitive components. Experiment 2 examined the network of facial beauty and moral beauty during implicit perception. Participants performed a non-aesthetic judgment task on both faces (beautiful vs common) and scenes (containing morally beautiful vs neutral information). We observed that facial beauty (beautiful faces > common faces) involved both the cortical reward region OFC and the subcortical reward region putamen, whereas moral beauty (moral beauty scenes > moral neutral scenes) only involved the OFC. Moreover, compared with facial beauty, moral beauty spanned a larger-scale cortical network, indicating more advanced and complex cerebral representations characterizing moral beauty.

  8. Cruel nature: Harmfulness as an important, overlooked dimension in judgments of moral standing.

    PubMed

    Piazza, Jared; Landy, Justin F; Goodwin, Geoffrey P

    2014-04-01

    Entities that possess moral standing can be wronged and deserve our moral consideration. Past perspectives on the folk psychology of moral standing have focused exclusively on the role of "patiency" (the capacity to experience pain or pleasure) and "agency" (usually defined and operationalized in terms of intelligence or cognitive ability). We contend that harmfulness (i.e., having a harmful vs. benevolent disposition) is an equally if not more important determinant of moral standing. We provide support for this hypothesis across four studies using non-human animals as targets. We show that the effect of harmfulness on attributions of moral standing is independent from patiency and intelligence (Studies 1-2), that this effect pertains specifically to an animal's harmful disposition rather than its capacity to act upon this disposition (Study 3), and that it primarily reflects a parochial concern for human welfare in particular (Study 4). Our findings highlight an important, overlooked dimension in the psychology of moral standing that has implications for real-world decisions that affect non-human animals. Our findings also help clarify the conditions under which people perceive patiency and agency as related versus truly independent dimensions.

  9. Effect of biomechanical constraints in the hand laterality judgment task: where does it come from?

    PubMed Central

    Vannuscorps, Gilles; Pillon, Agnesa; Andres, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Several studies have reported that, when subjects have to judge the laterality of rotated hand drawings, their judgment is automatically influenced by the biomechanical constraints of the upper limbs. The prominent account for this effect is that, in order to perform the task, subjects mentally rotate their upper limbs toward the position of the displayed stimulus in a way that is consistent with the biomechanical constraints underlying the actual movement. However, the effect of such biomechanical constraints was also found in the responses of motor-impaired individuals performing the hand laterality judgment (HLJ) task, which seems at odds with the “motor imagery” account for this effect. In this study, we further explored the source of the biomechanical constraint effect by assessing the ability of an individual (DC) with a congenital absence of upper limbs to judge the laterality of rotated hand or foot drawings. We found that DC was as accurate and fast as control participants in judging the laterality of both hand and foot drawings, without any disadvantage for hands when compared to feet. Furthermore, DC's response latencies (RLs) for hand drawings were influenced by the biomechanical constraints of hand movements in the same way as control participants' RLs. These results suggest that the effect of biomechanical constraints in the HLJ task is not strictly dependent on “motor imagery” and can arise from the visual processing of body parts being sensitive to such constraints. PMID:23125830

  10. Face-to-Face and Online: An Investigation of Children's and Adolescents' Bullying Behavior through the Lens of Moral Emotions and Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conway, Lauryn; Gomez-Garibello, Carlos; Talwar, Victoria; Shariff, Shaheen

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigated the influence of type of aggression (cyberbullying or traditional bullying) and participant role (bystander or perpetrator) on children and adolescents' self-attribution of moral emotions and judgments, while examining the influence of chronological age. Participants (N = 122, 8-16 years) evaluated vignettes and were…

  11. How Not to Evaluate a Psychological Measure: Rebuttal to Criticism of the Defining Issues Test of Moral Judgment Development by Curzer and Colleagues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thoma, Stephen J.; Bebeau, Muriel J.; Narvaez, Darcia

    2016-01-01

    In a 2014 paper in "Theory and Research in Education," Howard Curzer and colleagues critique the Defining Issues Test of moral judgment development according to eight criteria that are described as difficulties any measure of educational outcomes must address. This article highlights how Curzer et al. do not consult existing empirical…

  12. Early Visual Perception Potentiated by Object Affordances: Evidence From a Temporal Order Judgment Task

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Yuki; Yamani, Yusuke

    2016-01-01

    Perceived objects automatically potentiate afforded action. Object affordances also facilitate perception of such objects, and this occurrence is known as the affordance effect. This study examined whether object affordances facilitate the initial visual processing stage, or perceptual entry processes, using the temporal order judgment task. The onset of the graspable (right-handled) coffee cup was perceived earlier than that of the less graspable (left-handled) cup for right-handed participants. The affordance effect was eliminated when the coffee cups were inverted, which presumably conveyed less affordance information. These results suggest that objects preattentively potentiate the perceptual entry processes in response to their affordances. PMID:27698991

  13. How target-lure similarity shapes confidence judgments in multiple-alternative decision tasks.

    PubMed

    Horry, Ruth; Brewer, Neil

    2016-12-01

    Confidence judgments in 2-alternative decisions have been the subject of a great deal of research in cognitive psychology. Sequential sampling models have been particularly successful at explaining confidence judgments in such decisions and the relationships between confidence, accuracy, and response latencies. Across 5 experiments, we derived predictions from sequential sampling models and applied them to more complex decisions: multiple-alternative decisions, and compound decisions, such as eyewitness identification tasks, in which a target may be present or absent within the array of items that can be selected. We hypothesized that, when a decision-maker chooses an item, confidence in that decision reflects the relative evidence for the chosen item over all unchosen items. We tested this hypothesis by manipulating the similarity between the target (or target-replacement, for trials in which the target was not present in the array) and the weakest lure(s). As target-lure similarity decreased, confidence in correct target identifications increased, while response latencies decreased. When the decision-maker chose none of the items, the similarity between the target-replacement and the lures was unrelated to confidence. We conclude that similar mechanisms underpin confidence judgments in multiple-alternative and positive compound decisions as in simpler, 2-alternative decisions. A goal of future research should be to formally extend sequential sampling models to more complex decisions, such that it will be possible to establish whether diffusion or accumulator models provide a better fit to the data. (PsycINFO Database Record

  14. Moral Development in a Violent Society: Colombian Children's Judgments in the Context of Survival and Revenge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posada, Roberto; Wainryb, Cecilia

    2008-01-01

    Ninety-six Colombian children (mean age = 7.7 years) and adolescents (mean age = 14.6 years) made judgments about stealing and physical harm in the abstract and in the context of survival and revenge. All participants judged it wrong to steal or hurt others because of considerations with justice and welfare, and most also judged it wrong to engage…

  15. Development of Intra- and Intergroup Judgments in the Context of Moral and Social-Conventional Norms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killen, Melanie; Rutland, Adam; Abrams, Dominic; Mulvey, Kelly Lynn; Hitti, Aline

    2013-01-01

    Children and adolescents evaluated group inclusion and exclusion in the context of generic and group-specific norms involving morality and social conventions. Participants ("N" = 381), aged 9.5 and 13.5 years, judged an in-group member's decision to deviate from the norms of the group, whom to include, and whether their personal…

  16. Moral judgment modulates neural responses to the perception of other’s pain: an ERP study

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Fang; Ma, Ning; Luo, Yue-jia

    2016-01-01

    Morality and empathy are both crucial in building human society. Yet the relationship between them has been merely explored. The present study revealed how the morality influenced empathy for pain by comparing the ERPs elicited by pictures showing the targets’ in pain primed by different moral information about the targets. We found that when the target was a moral one or a neutral one, the painful pictures elicited significantly larger amplitude in N2 than the non-painful pictures, but when the target was an immoral one, the difference between the amplitudes of N2 component elicited by painful and non-painful pictures became insignificant. We proposed that this effect was induced by the decreased affective arousal when observing an immoral person in pain. The reduced neural response towards the immoral one’s pain can keep us alert when we face the potentially dangerous people thereby increasing our chance of survival. SLORTEA results showed the source of this difference in N2 localized in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) areas. PMID:26865250

  17. When the Future Feels Worse than the Past: A Temporal Inconsistency in Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caruso, Eugene M.

    2010-01-01

    Logically, an unethical behavior performed yesterday should also be unethical if performed tomorrow. However, the present studies suggest that the timing of a transgression has a systematic effect on people's beliefs about its moral acceptability. Because people's emotional reactions tend to be more extreme for future events than for past events,…

  18. Moral Judgments about Jewish-Arab Intergroup Exclusion: The Role of Cultural Identity and Contact

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brenick, Alaina; Killen, Melanie

    2014-01-01

    Prejudice and discrimination as justifications for social exclusion are often viewed as violations of the moral principles of welfare, justice, and equality, but intergroup exclusion can also often be viewed as a necessary and legitimate means to maintain group identity and cohesion (Rutland, Killen, & Abrams, 2010). The current study was…

  19. The Role of Causal and Intentional Judgments in Moral Reasoning in Individuals with High Functioning Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buon, Marine; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Jacob, Pierre; Chaste, Pauline; Leboyer, Marion; Zalla, Tiziana

    2013-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the ability to assign moral responsibility and punishment in adults with high functioning autism or Asperger Syndrome (HFA/AS), using non-verbal cartoons depicting an aggression, an accidental harm or a mere coincidence. Participants were asked to evaluate the agent's causal and intentional roles, his…

  20. Affective judgment and beneficial decision making: ventromedial prefrontal activity correlates with performance in the Iowa Gambling Task.

    PubMed

    Northoff, Georg; Grimm, Simone; Boeker, Heinz; Schmidt, Conny; Bermpohl, Felix; Heinzel, Alexander; Hell, Daniel; Boesiger, Peter

    2006-07-01

    Damasio proposes in his somatic marker theory that not only cognitive but also affective components are critical for decision making. Since affective judgment requires an interplay between affective and cognitive components, it might be considered a key process in decision making that has been linked to neural activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined the relationship between VMPFC, emotionally (unexpected)- and cognitively (expected)-accentuated affective judgment, and beneficial decision making (Iowa Gambling Task; IGT) in healthy subjects. Neuronal activity in the VMPFC during unexpected affective judgment significantly correlated with both global and final performance in the IGT task. These findings suggest that the degree to which subjects recruit the VMPFC during affective judgment is related to beneficial performance in decision making in gambling.

  1. The Development of a General Associative Learning Account of Skill Acquisition in a Relative Arrival-Time Judgment Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loft, Shayne; Neal, Andrew; Humphreys, Michael S.

    2007-01-01

    Current theory assumes that individuals only use information from the immediate environment to perform relative arrival-time judgment tasks. This article presents a theoretical analysis of the memory requirements of this task. The authors present an analysis of the inputs to the memory system and the processes that map those inputs onto outputs.…

  2. Foreign language affects the contribution of intentions and outcomes to moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Geipel, Janet; Hadjichristidis, Constantinos; Surian, Luca

    2016-09-01

    We examine whether the use of a foreign language, as opposed to the native language, influences the relative weight intentions versus outcomes carry in moral evaluations. In Study 1, participants were presented with actions that had positive outcomes but were motivated by dubious intentions, while in Study 2 with actions that had negative outcomes but were motivated by positive intentions. Participants received the materials either in their native or a foreign language. Foreign language prompted more positive moral evaluations in Study 1 and less positive evaluations in Study 2. These results show that foreign language reduces the relative weight placed on intentions versus outcomes. We discuss several theoretical accounts that are consistent with the results such as that foreign language attenuates emotions (triggered by intentions) or it depletes cognitive resources.

  3. Development of intra- and intergroup judgments in the context of moral and social-conventional norms.

    PubMed

    Killen, Melanie; Rutland, Adam; Abrams, Dominic; Mulvey, Kelly Lynn; Hitti, Aline

    2013-01-01

    Children and adolescents evaluated group inclusion and exclusion in the context of generic and group-specific norms involving morality and social conventions. Participants (N = 381), aged 9.5 and 13.5 years, judged an in-group member's decision to deviate from the norms of the group, whom to include, and whether their personal preference was the same as what they expected a group should do. Deviating from in-group moral norms about unequal allocation of resources was viewed more positively than deviating from conventional norms about nontraditional dress codes. With age, participants gave priority to group-specific norms and differentiated what the group should do from their own preference about the group's decision, revealing a developmental picture about children's complex understanding of group dynamics and group norms.

  4. Moral judgments and emotions in contexts of peer exclusion and victimization.

    PubMed

    Killen, Melanie; Malti, Tina

    2015-01-01

    Morality is at the core of social development. How individuals treat one another, develop a sense of obligation toward others regarding equality and equity, and understand the emotions experienced by victims and victimizers, are essential ingredients for healthy development, and for creating a just and civil society. In this chapter, we review research on two forms of social exclusion, intergroup exclusion and interpersonal victimization, from a moral development perspective, identifying distinctions as well as areas of overlap and intersections. Intergroup exclusion (defined as exclusion based on group membership, such as gender, race, ethnicity, and nationality) is most often analyzed at the group level in contrast to interpersonal victimization (defined as the repeated infliction of physical and psychological harm on another) which is most often analyzed at the individual level. In this chapter, we assert that research needs to examine both group-level and individual-level factors for intergroup and interpersonal exclusion and that moral development provides an important framework for investigating these phenomena.

  5. Is moral beauty different from facial beauty? Evidence from an fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tingting; Mo, Ce; Tan, Li Hai; Cant, Jonathan S.; Zhong, Luojin; Cupchik, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    Is moral beauty different from facial beauty? Two functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments were performed to answer this question. Experiment 1 investigated the network of moral aesthetic judgments and facial aesthetic judgments. Participants performed aesthetic judgments and gender judgments on both faces and scenes containing moral acts. The conjunction analysis of the contrasts ‘facial aesthetic judgment > facial gender judgment’ and ‘scene moral aesthetic judgment > scene gender judgment’ identified the common involvement of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), inferior temporal gyrus and medial superior frontal gyrus, suggesting that both types of aesthetic judgments are based on the orchestration of perceptual, emotional and cognitive components. Experiment 2 examined the network of facial beauty and moral beauty during implicit perception. Participants performed a non-aesthetic judgment task on both faces (beautiful vs common) and scenes (containing morally beautiful vs neutral information). We observed that facial beauty (beautiful faces > common faces) involved both the cortical reward region OFC and the subcortical reward region putamen, whereas moral beauty (moral beauty scenes > moral neutral scenes) only involved the OFC. Moreover, compared with facial beauty, moral beauty spanned a larger-scale cortical network, indicating more advanced and complex cerebral representations characterizing moral beauty. PMID:25298010

  6. Impaired Access to Manipulation Features in Apraxia: Evidence from Eyetracking and Semantic Judgment Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Myung, Jong-yoon; Blumstein, Sheila E.; Yee, Eiling; Sedivy, Julie C.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.; Buxbaum, Laurel J.

    2010-01-01

    Apraxic patients are known for deficits in producing and comprehending skilled movements. Two experiments tested their implicit and explicit knowledge about manipulable objects in order to examine whether such deficits accompany impairment in the conceptual representation of manipulation features. An eyetracking method was used to test implicit knowledge (Experiment 1): Participants viewed a visual display on a computer screen and touched the corresponding object in response to an auditory input. Manipulation relationship among objects was not task-relevant, and thus the assessment of manipulation knowledge was implicit. Like the non-apraxic control patients, apraxic patients fixated on an object picture (e.g., “typewriter”) that was manipulation-related to a target word (e.g., ‘piano’) significantly more often than an unrelated object picture (e.g., “bucket”) as well as a visual control (e.g., “couch”). However, this effect emerged later than in the non-apraxic control group, suggesting impaired access to manipulation features in the apraxic group. In the semantic judgment task (Experiment 2), participants were asked to make an explicit judgment about the relationship of picture triplets of manipulable objects by choosing the pair with similar manipulation features. Apraxic patients performed significantly worse on this task than the non-apraxic control group. Both implicit and explicit measures of manipulation knowledge show that apraxia is not merely a perceptuomotor deficit of skilled movements, but results in a concomitant impairment in representing manipulation features and accessing them for cognitive processing. PMID:20064657

  7. Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on the Right Temporo-Parietal Junction Modulates the Use of Mitigating Circumstances during Moral Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Leloup, Laëtitia; Miletich, Diana Dongo; Andriet, Gaëlle; Vandermeeren, Yves; Samson, Dana

    2016-01-01

    Recently, a few transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) studies have shown that the right temporo-parietal junction (rTPJ) plays a causal role in moral reasoning especially in cases of accidental harms or attempted harms. The profile of results across studies is, however, not entirely consistent: sometimes the stimulation affects predominantly attempted harms while sometimes the stimulation affects predominantly accidental harms. We argue that such discrepancy could reflect different functional contributions of the rTPJ in moral judgments and that the chosen design parameters or stimulation method may differentially bring to light one or the other functional role of the rTPJ. In the current study, we found that tDCS specifically affected accidental harms but not attempted harms. Low cathodal stimulation of the rTPJ led to a marginally significant increase in the severity of judgments of accidental harms (Experiment 1) while higher cathodal current density led to a highly significant decrease in the severity of judgments of accidental harms (Experiment 2). Our pattern of results in the context of our experimental design can best be explained by a causal role of the rTPJ in processing the mitigating circumstances which reduce a protagonist’s moral responsibility. We discuss these results in relation to the idea that the rTPJ may play multiple roles in moral cognition and in relation to methodological aspects related to the use of tDCS. PMID:27462213

  8. The Typicality Ranking Task: A New Method to Derive Typicality Judgments from Children

    PubMed Central

    Ameel, Eef; Storms, Gert

    2016-01-01

    An alternative method for deriving typicality judgments, applicable in young children that are not familiar with numerical values yet, is introduced, allowing researchers to study gradedness at younger ages in concept development. Contrary to the long tradition of using rating-based procedures to derive typicality judgments, we propose a method that is based on typicality ranking rather than rating, in which items are gradually sorted according to their typicality, and that requires a minimum of linguistic knowledge. The validity of the method is investigated and the method is compared to the traditional typicality rating measurement in a large empirical study with eight different semantic concepts. The results show that the typicality ranking task can be used to assess children’s category knowledge and to evaluate how this knowledge evolves over time. Contrary to earlier held assumptions in studies on typicality in young children, our results also show that preference is not so much a confounding variable to be avoided, but that both variables are often significantly correlated in older children and even in adults. PMID:27322371

  9. Children's Moral Emotion Attribution in the Happy Victimizer Task: The Role of Response Format.

    PubMed

    Gummerum, Michaela; López-Pérez, Belén; Ambrona, Tamara; Rodríguez-Cano, Sonia; Dellaria, Giulia; Smith, Gary; Wilson, Ellie

    2016-01-01

    Previous research in the happy victimizer tradition indicated that preschool and early elementary school children attribute positive emotions to the violator of a moral norm, whereas older children attribute negative (moral) emotions. Cognitive and motivational processes have been suggested to underlie this developmental shift. The current research investigated whether making the happy victimizer task less cognitively demanding by providing children with alternative response formats would increase their attribution of moral emotions and moral motivation. In Study 1, 93 British children aged 4-7 years old responded to the happy victimizer questions either in a normal condition (where they spontaneously pointed with a finger), a wait condition (where they had to wait before giving their answers), or an arrow condition (where they had to point with a paper arrow). In Study 2, 40 Spanish children aged 4 years old responded to the happy victimizer task either in a normal or a wait condition. In both studies, participants' attribution of moral emotions and moral motivation was significantly higher in the conditions with alternative response formats (wait, arrow) than in the normal condition. The role of cognitive abilities for emotion attribution in the happy victimizer task is discussed.

  10. Making Moral Judgments from a World-Historic Standpoint: The Case of Woodrow Wilson.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Steve

    This comment reflects on the recent row over Woodrow Wilson's legacy, which has focussed on his undeniable racism. This was in pursuit of a 'Progressive' agenda which paved the way for the United States to become the geopolitical force that it continues to be today. Without necessarily approving of Wilson's particular judgements, I argue that he operated with a 'world-historic' sense of morality characteristic of Realpolitik, a perspective which might be worth considering by those who believe that modern preoccupations with 'race', 'class' and 'gender' will remain part of the sociological firmament indefinitely.ᅟ.

  11. Are corporations people too? The neural correlates of moral judgments about companies and individuals.

    PubMed

    Plitt, Mark; Savjani, Ricky R; Eagleman, David M

    2015-04-01

    To investigate whether the legal concept of "corporate personhood" mirrors an inherent similarity in the neural processing of the actions of corporations and people, we measured brain responses to vignettes about corporations and people while participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging. We found that anti-social actions of corporations elicited more intense negative emotions and that pro-social actions of people elicited more intense positive emotions. However, the networks underlying the moral decisions about corporations and people are strikingly similar, including regions of the canonical theory of mind network. In analyzing the activity in these networks, we found differences in the emotional processing of these two types of vignettes: neutral actions of corporations showed neural correlates that more closely resembled negative actions than positive actions. Collectively, these findings indicate that our brains understand and analyze the actions of corporations and people very similarly, with a small emotional bias against corporations.

  12. The Effect of Metacomprehension Judgment Task on Comprehension Monitoring and Metacognitive Accuracy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozuru, Yasuhiro; Kurby, Christopher A.; McNamara, Danielle S.

    2012-01-01

    The authors investigated differences in the processes underlying two types of metacomprehension judgments: judgments of difficulty and predictions of performance (JOD vs. POP). An experiment was conducted to assess whether these two types of judgments aligned with different types of processing cues, and whether their accuracy correlated with…

  13. Morality.

    PubMed

    Haidt, Jonathan

    2008-01-01

    Moral psychology is a rapidly growing field with two principle lineages. The main line began with Jean Piaget and includes developmental psychologists who have studied the acquisition of moral concepts and reasoning. The alternative line began in the 1990s with a new synthesis of evolutionary, neurological, and social-psychological research in which the central phenomena are moral emotions and intuitions. In this essay, I show how both of these lines have been shaped by an older debate between two 19th century narratives about modernity: one celebrating the liberation of individuals, the other mourning the loss of community and moral authority. I suggest that both lines of moral psychology have limited themselves to the moral domain prescribed by the liberation narrative, and so one future step for moral psychology should be to study alternative moral perspectives, particularly religious and politically conservative ones in which morality is, in part, about protecting groups, institutions, and souls.

  14. Effects of Forward and Backward Contextual Elaboration on Lexical Inferences: Evidence from a Semantic Relatedness Judgment Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamada, Akira

    2015-01-01

    Three experiments examined whether the process of lexical inferences differs according to the direction of contextual elaboration using a semantic relatedness judgment task. In Experiment 1, Japanese university students read English sentences where target unknown words were semantically elaborated by prior contextual information (forward lexical…

  15. Studying the effects of stereo, head tracking, and field of regard on a small-scale spatial judgment task.

    PubMed

    Ragan, Eric D; Kopper, Regis; Schuchardt, Philip; Bowman, Doug A

    2013-05-01

    Spatial judgments are important for many real-world tasks in engineering and scientific visualization. While existing research provides evidence that higher levels of display and interaction fidelity in virtual reality systems offer advantages for spatial understanding, few investigations have focused on small-scale spatial judgments or employed experimental tasks similar to those used in real-world applications. After an earlier study that considered a broad analysis of various spatial understanding tasks, we present the results of a follow-up study focusing on small-scale spatial judgments. In this research, we independently controlled field of regard, stereoscopy, and head-tracked rendering to study their effects on the performance of a task involving precise spatial inspections of complex 3D structures. Measuring time and errors, we asked participants to distinguish between structural gaps and intersections between components of 3D models designed to be similar to real underground cave systems. The overall results suggest that the addition of the higher fidelity system features support performance improvements in making small-scale spatial judgments. Through analyses of the effects of individual system components, the experiment shows that participants made significantly fewer errors with either an increased field of regard or with the addition of head-tracked rendering. The results also indicate that participants performed significantly faster when the system provided the combination of stereo and head-tracked rendering.

  16. A Comparison of Four Measures of Moral Reasoning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilmoth, Gregory H.; McFarland, Sam G.

    Kohlberg's Moral Judgment Scale, Gilligan, et al.'s Sexual Moral Judgment Scale, Maitland and Goldman's Objective Moral Judgment Scale, and Hogan's Maturity of Moral Judgment Scale were examined for reliability and inter-scale relationships. All measures except the Objective Moral Judgment Scale had good reliabilities. The obtained relations…

  17. Generalization of Pain-Related Fear Using a Left-Right Hand Judgment Conditioning Task.

    PubMed

    Meulders, Ann; Harvie, Daniel S; Lorimer Moseley, G; Vlaeyen, Johan W S

    2015-09-01

    Recent research suggests that the mere intention to perform a painful movement can elicit pain-related fear. Based on these findings, the present study aimed to determine whether imagining a movement that is associated with pain (CS+) can start to elicit conditioned pain-related fear as well and whether pain-related fear elicited by imagining a painful movement can spread towards novel, similar but distinct imagined movements. We proposed a new experimental paradigm that integrates the left-right hand judgment task (HJT) with a differential fear conditioning procedure. During Acquisition, one hand posture (CS+) was consistently followed by a painful electrocutaneous stimulus (pain-US) and another hand posture (CS-) was not. Participants were instructed to make left-right judgments, which involve mentally rotating their own hand to match the displayed hand postures (i.e., motor imagery). During Generalization, participants were presented with a series of novel hand postures with six grades of perceptual similarity to the CS+ (generalization stimuli; GSs). Finally, during Extinction, the CS+ hand posture was no longer reinforced. The results showed that (1) a painful hand posture triggers fear and increased US-expectancy as compared to a nonpainful hand posture, (2) this pain-related fear spreads to similar but distinct hand postures following a generalization gradient, and subsequently, (3) it can be successfully reduced during extinction. These effects were apparent in the verbal ratings, but not in the startle measures. Because of the lack of effect in the startle measures, we cannot draw firm conclusions about whether the "imagined movements" (i.e., motor imagery of the hand postures) gained associative strength rather than the hand posture pictures itself. From a clinical perspective, basic research into generalization of pain-related fear triggered by covert CSs such as intentions, imagined movements and movement-related cognitions might further our

  18. Moral Task of the Teaching According to Students, Parents and Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veugelers, Wiel; de Kat, Ewoud

    2003-01-01

    Surveyed teachers (n=86), parents (n=180), and students (n=571) in the Netherlands about what they considered to be the moral task of the teacher and how they viewed two dominant concepts: transfer of values and value communication. Stimulating communication about values was seen as most important by parents, teachers, and students. (SLD)

  19. No Effect of Weight on Judgments of Importance in the Moral Domain and Evidence of Publication Bias from a Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Rabelo, André L. A.; Keller, Victor N.; Pilati, Ronaldo; Wicherts, Jelte M.

    2015-01-01

    In different cultures, people use the concept of weight to refer to important matters. Recent studies in grounded cognition suggested that experiences of weight affect unrelated judgments of importance in metaphor-congruent ways. Theories in grounded cognition and prime-to-behavior effects state that sensations of weight activate concepts of importance, which may affect morality-related variables that are influenced by judgments of importance. The present research aimed to test the effect of carrying a heavy (or light) clipboard on the perceived importance of helping and on the judged severity of moral transgressions. After finding no significant effects in two experiments, a third study explored whether these results were due to a specific lack of effect of weight on morality-related variables or to the concept of importance not being grounded in sensations of weight in Brazilian samples. Specifically, in Study 3 we attempted to replicate two seminal studies but found no significant effects. Together with evidence of publication bias in a meta-analysis of published studies, the current results suggest that the concept of importance may not be as universally grounded in sensations of weight as previously assumed. We discuss the implications of these results for grounded cognition theories and methodological and statistical aspects of priming studies. PMID:26241042

  20. Are moral philosophers moral experts?

    PubMed

    Gesang, Bernward

    2010-05-01

    In this paper I examine the question of whether ethicists are moral experts. I call people moral experts if their moral judgments are correct with high probability and for the right reasons. I defend three theses, while developing a version of the coherence theory of moral justification based on the differences between moral and nonmoral experience: The answer to the question of whether there are moral experts depends on the answer to the question of how to justify moral judgments. Deductivism and the coherence theory both provide some support for the opinion that moral experts exist in some way. I maintain - within the framework of a certain kind of coherence theory - that moral philosophers are 'semi-experts'.

  1. Dual-task interference effects on cross-modal numerical order and sound intensity judgments: the more the louder?

    PubMed

    Alards-Tomalin, Doug; Walker, Alexander C; Nepon, Hillary; Leboe-McGowan, Launa C

    2017-09-01

    In the current study, cross-task interactions between number order and sound intensity judgments were assessed using a dual-task paradigm. Participants first categorized numerical sequences composed of Arabic digits as either ordered (ascending, descending) or non-ordered. Following each number sequence, participants then had to judge the intensity level of a target sound. Experiment 1 emphasized processing the two tasks independently (serial processing), while Experiments 2 and 3 emphasized processing the two tasks simultaneously (parallel processing). Cross-task interference occurred only when the task required parallel processing and was specific to ascending numerical sequences, which led to a higher proportion of louder sound intensity judgments. In Experiment 4 we examined whether this unidirectional interaction was the result of participants misattributing enhanced processing fluency experienced on ascending sequences as indicating a louder target sound. The unidirectional finding could not be entirely attributed to misattributed processing fluency, and may also be connected to experientially derived conceptual associations between ascending number sequences and greater magnitude, consistent with conceptual mapping theory.

  2. The Response of Sixth-Grade Readers to Selected Children's Literature with Special Reference to Moral Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perine, Maxine H.

    To examine the relationship between the literary responses and the moral responses of 11-year-old children to selected literary works, a study was conducted involving 28 mature sixth-grade readers. The subjects participated in eight lessons where widely recognized literary works containing moral dilemmas were read. Their responses were given in…

  3. Synthetic Synchronisation: From Attention and Multi-Tasking to Negative Capability and Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stables, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Educational literature has tended to focus, explicitly and implicitly, on two kinds of task orientation: the ability either to focus on a single task, or to multi-task. A third form of orientation characterises many highly successful people. This is the ability to combine several tasks into one: to "kill two (or more) birds with one…

  4. Emotion-based learning systems and the development of morality.

    PubMed

    Blair, R J R

    2017-04-07

    In this paper it is proposed that important components of moral development and moral judgment rely on two forms of emotional learning: stimulus-reinforcement and response-outcome learning. Data in support of this position will be primarily drawn from work with individuals with the developmental condition of psychopathy as well as fMRI studies with healthy individuals. Individuals with psychopathy show impairment on moral judgment tasks and a pronounced increased risk for instrumental antisocial behavior. It will be argued that these impairments are developmental consequences of impaired stimulus-aversive conditioning on the basis of distress cue reinforcers and response-outcome learning in individuals with this disorder.

  5. Do Social Conditions Affect Capuchin Monkeys’ (Cebus apella) Choices in a Quantity Judgment Task?

    PubMed Central

    Beran, Michael J.; Perdue, Bonnie M.; Parrish, Audrey E.; Evans, Theodore A.

    2012-01-01

    Beran et al. (2012) reported that capuchin monkeys closely matched the performance of humans in a quantity judgment test in which information was incomplete but a judgment still had to be made. In each test session, subjects first made quantity judgments between two known options. Then, they made choices where only one option was visible. Both humans and capuchin monkeys were guided by past outcomes, as they shifted from selecting a known option to selecting an unknown option at the point at which the known option went from being more than the average rate of return to less than the average rate of return from earlier choices in the test session. Here, we expanded this assessment of what guides quantity judgment choice behavior in the face of incomplete information to include manipulations to the unselected quantity. We manipulated the unchosen set in two ways: first, we showed the monkeys what they did not get (the unchosen set), anticipating that “losses” would weigh heavily on subsequent trials in which the same known quantity was presented. Second, we sometimes gave the unchosen set to another monkey, anticipating that this social manipulation might influence the risk-taking responses of the focal monkey when faced with incomplete information. However, neither manipulation caused difficulty for the monkeys who instead continued to use the rational strategy of choosing known sets when they were as large as or larger than the average rate of return in the session, and choosing the unknown (riskier) set when the known set was not sufficiently large. As in past experiments, this was true across a variety of daily ranges of quantities, indicating that monkeys were not using some absolute quantity as a threshold for selecting (or not) the known set, but instead continued to use the daily average rate of return to determine when to choose the known versus the unknown quantity. PMID:23181038

  6. Effects of Stress on Judgment and Decision Making in Dynamic Tasks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-06-01

    is, new information over time is as likely to reinforce the components of the judgment process that produce disagreement as it is likely to reinforce ...grouped bar graphs to reinforce text gave significantly higher scores than did the use of short tables or long tables for this purpose. 5. No...significant difference in scores was obtained when text was reinforced by short tables as against long tables. Both kinds of reinforcement were more

  7. Differences in Moral Judgment on Animal and Human Ethics Issues between University Students in Animal-Related, Human Medical and Arts Programs.

    PubMed

    Verrinder, Joy M; Ostini, Remo; Phillips, Clive J C

    2016-01-01

    Moral judgment in relation to animal ethics issues has rarely been investigated. Among the research that has been conducted, studies of veterinary students have shown greater use of reasoning based on universal principles for animal than human ethics issues. This study aimed to identify if this was unique to students of veterinary and other animal-related professions. The moral reasoning of first year students of veterinary medicine, veterinary technology, and production animal science was compared with that of students in non-animal related disciplines of human medicine and arts. All students (n = 531) completed a moral reasoning test, the VetDIT, with animal and human scenarios. When compared with reasoning on human ethics issues, the combined group of students evaluating animal ethics issues showed higher levels of Universal Principles reasoning, lower levels of Personal Interest reasoning and similar levels of Maintaining Norms reasoning. Arts students showed more personal interest reasoning than students in most animal-related programs on both animal and human ethics issues, and less norms-based reasoning on animal ethics issues. Medical students showed more norms-based reasoning on animal ethics issues than all of the animal-related groups. There were no differences in principled reasoning on animal ethics issues between program groups. This has implications for animal-related professions and education programs showing that students' preference for principled reasoning on animal ethics issues is not unique to animal-related disciplines, and highlighting the need to develop student (and professional) capacity to apply principled reasoning to address ethics issues in animal industries to reduce the risk of moral distress.

  8. Differences in Moral Judgment on Animal and Human Ethics Issues between University Students in Animal-Related, Human Medical and Arts Programs

    PubMed Central

    Verrinder, Joy M.; Ostini, Remo; Phillips, Clive J. C.

    2016-01-01

    Moral judgment in relation to animal ethics issues has rarely been investigated. Among the research that has been conducted, studies of veterinary students have shown greater use of reasoning based on universal principles for animal than human ethics issues. This study aimed to identify if this was unique to students of veterinary and other animal-related professions. The moral reasoning of first year students of veterinary medicine, veterinary technology, and production animal science was compared with that of students in non-animal related disciplines of human medicine and arts. All students (n = 531) completed a moral reasoning test, the VetDIT, with animal and human scenarios. When compared with reasoning on human ethics issues, the combined group of students evaluating animal ethics issues showed higher levels of Universal Principles reasoning, lower levels of Personal Interest reasoning and similar levels of Maintaining Norms reasoning. Arts students showed more personal interest reasoning than students in most animal-related programs on both animal and human ethics issues, and less norms-based reasoning on animal ethics issues. Medical students showed more norms-based reasoning on animal ethics issues than all of the animal-related groups. There were no differences in principled reasoning on animal ethics issues between program groups. This has implications for animal-related professions and education programs showing that students’ preference for principled reasoning on animal ethics issues is not unique to animal-related disciplines, and highlighting the need to develop student (and professional) capacity to apply principled reasoning to address ethics issues in animal industries to reduce the risk of moral distress. PMID:26934582

  9. Age-related differences in effective connectivity of brain regions involved in Japanese kanji processing with homophone judgment task.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chiao-Yi; Koh, Jia Ying Serene; Ho, Moon-Ho Ringo; Miyakoshi, Makoto; Nakai, Toshiharu; Chen, Shen-Hsing Annabel

    2014-08-01

    Reading is a complex process involving neural networks in which connections may be influenced by task demands and other factors. We employed functional magnetic resonance imaging and dynamic causal modeling to examine age-related influences on left-hemispheric kanji reading networks. During a homophone judgment task, activation in the middle frontal gyrus, and dorsal and ventral inferior frontal gyri were identified, representing areas involved in orthographic, phonological, and semantic processing, respectively. The young adults showed a preference for a semantically-mediated pathway from orthographic inputs to the retrieval of phonological representations, whereas the elderly preferred a direct connection from orthographic inputs to phonological lexicons prior to the activation of semantic representations. These sequential pathways are in line with the lexical semantic and non-semantic routes in the dual-route cascaded model. The shift in reading pathways accompanied by slowed reaction time for the elderly might suggest age-related declines in the efficiency of network connectivity.

  10. Age-Related Differences in Responses to Thoughts of One’s Own Death: Mortality Salience and Judgments of Moral Transgressions

    PubMed Central

    Maxfield, Molly; Kluck, Benjamin; Greenberg, Jeff; Pyszczynski, Tom; Cox, Cathy R.; Solomon, Sheldon; Weise, David

    2008-01-01

    Two experiments explored age differences in response to reminders of death. Terror management research has shown that death reminders lead to increased adherence to and defense of one’s cultural worldview. In Study 1, the effect of mortality salience (MS) on evaluations of moral transgressions made by younger and older adults was compared. Whereas younger adults showed the typical pattern of harsher judgments in response to MS, older adults did not. Study 2 compared younger and older adults’ responses to both the typical MS induction and a more subtle death reminder. Whereas younger adults responded to both MS inductions with harsher evaluations, older adults made significantly less harsh evaluations after the subtle MS induction. Explanations for this developmental shift in responses to reminders of death are discussed. PMID:17563189

  11. The Effects of Social Injustice and Inequality on Children's Moral Judgments and Behavior: Towards a Theoretical Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arsenio, William F.; Gold, Jason

    2006-01-01

    Our goal in this paper is to examine the potential origins of children's understanding of morally relevant transgressions, with a particular focus on how children's perceptions of both proximal and distal unfairness might influence their social reasoning and behavior. A preliminary theoretical model is presented that addresses connections among…

  12. Rejected by Peers--Attracted to Antisocial Media Content: Rejection-Based Anger Impairs Moral Judgment among Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plaisier, Xanthe S.; Konijn, Elly A.

    2013-01-01

    Adolescence is an important developmental stage during which both peers and the media have a strong influence. Both peer rejection and the use of morally adverse media are associated with negative developmental outcomes. This study examines processes by which peer rejection might drive adolescents to select antisocial media content by tying…

  13. Synchronized network activity as the origin of a P300 component in a facial attractiveness judgment task.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuan; Tang, Akaysha C; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2014-03-01

    Many studies have used the P300 as an index for cognitive processing and neurological/psychiatric disorders. Here, we combined the source separation and source localization methods to investigate the cortical origins of the P300 elicited in a facial attractiveness judgment task. For each participant, we applied second-order blind identification (SOBI) to continuous EEG data to decompose the mixture of brain signals and noise. We then used the equivalent current dipole (ECD) models to estimate the centrality of the SOBI-recovered P300. We found that the ECD models, consisting of dipoles in the frontal and posterior association cortices, account for 96.5 ± 0.5% of variance in the scalp projection of the component. Given that the recovered dipole activities in different brain regions share the same time course with different weights, we conclude that the P300 originates from synchronized activity between anterior and posterior parts of the brain.

  14. Audiovisual synchrony perception for speech and music assessed using a temporal order judgment task.

    PubMed

    Vatakis, Argiro; Spence, Charles

    2006-01-23

    This study investigated people's sensitivity to audiovisual asynchrony in briefly-presented speech and musical videos. A series of speech (letters and syllables) and guitar and piano music (single and double notes) video clips were presented randomly at a range of stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) using the method of constant stimuli. Participants made unspeeded temporal order judgments (TOJs) regarding which stream (auditory or visual) appeared to have been presented first. The accuracy of participants' TOJ performance (measured in terms of the just noticeable difference; JND) was significantly better for the speech than for either the guitar or piano music video clips, suggesting that people are more sensitive to asynchrony for speech than for music stimuli. The visual stream had to lead the auditory stream for the point of subjective simultaneity (PSS) to be achieved in the piano music clips while auditory leads were typically required for the guitar music clips. The PSS values obtained for the speech stimuli varied substantially as a function of the particular speech sound presented. These results provide the first empirical evidence regarding people's sensitivity to audiovisual asynchrony for musical stimuli. Our results also demonstrate that people's sensitivity to asynchrony in speech stimuli is better than has been suggested on the basis of previous research using continuous speech streams as stimuli.

  15. Evidence for Direct Retrieval of Relative Quantity Information in a Quantity Judgment Task: Decimals, Integers, and the Role of Physical Similarity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Dale J.

    2010-01-01

    Participants' reaction times (RTs) in numerical judgment tasks in which one must determine which of 2 numbers is greater generally follow a monotonically decreasing function of the numerical distance between the two presented numbers. Here, I present 3 experiments in which the relative influences of numerical distance and physical similarity are…

  16. Arms and judgment

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, S.M. )

    1989-01-01

    This book addresses normative judgment and war in this century. The author argues that the successive introduction of trench warfare, strategic bombing and total war, modern guerrilla warfare, and nuclear weapons have each had an impact on what has been thought to be permitted in war. This book presents an integration of historical, legal and moral perspectives on warfare.

  17. Morality, Intentionality, and Intergroup Attitudes

    PubMed Central

    Killen, Melanie; Rizzo, Michael T.

    2015-01-01

    Morality is at the core of what it means to be social. Moral judgments require the recognition of intentionality, that is, an attribution of the target’s intentions towards another. Most research on the origins of morality has focused on intragroup morality, which involves applying morality to individuals in one’s own group. Yet, increasingly, there has been new evidence that beginning early in development, children are able to apply moral concepts to members of an outgroup as well, and that this ability appears to be complex. The challenges associated with applying moral judgments to members of outgroups includes understanding group dynamics, the intentions of others who are different from the self, and having the capacity to challenge stereotypic expectations of others who are different from the ingroup. Research with children provides a window into the complexities of moral judgment and raises new questions, which are ripe for investigations into the evolutionary basis of morality. PMID:25717199

  18. Mind Perception Is the Essence of Morality

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Kurt; Young, Liane; Waytz, Adam

    2012-01-01

    Mind perception entails ascribing mental capacities to other entities, whereas moral judgment entails labeling entities as good or bad or actions as right or wrong. We suggest that mind perception is the essence of moral judgment. In particular, we suggest that moral judgment is rooted in a cognitive template of two perceived minds—a moral dyad of an intentional agent and a suffering moral patient. Diverse lines of research support dyadic morality. First, perceptions of mind are linked to moral judgments: dimensions of mind perception (agency and experience) map onto moral types (agents and patients), and deficits of mind perception correspond to difficulties with moral judgment. Second, not only are moral judgments sensitive to perceived agency and experience, but all moral transgressions are fundamentally understood as agency plus experienced suffering—that is, interpersonal harm—even ostensibly harmless acts such as purity violations. Third, dyadic morality uniquely accounts for the phenomena of dyadic completion (seeing agents in response to patients, and vice versa), and moral typecasting (characterizing others as either moral agents or moral patients). Discussion also explores how mind perception can unify morality across explanatory levels, how a dyadic template of morality may be developmentally acquired, and future directions. PMID:22754268

  19. The Role of Short-Term Memory Capacity and Task Experience for Overconfidence in Judgment under Uncertainty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hansson, Patrik; Juslin, Peter; Winman, Anders

    2008-01-01

    Research with general knowledge items demonstrates extreme overconfidence when people estimate confidence intervals for unknown quantities, but close to zero overconfidence when the same intervals are assessed by probability judgment. In 3 experiments, the authors investigated if the overconfidence specific to confidence intervals derives from…

  20. A Comparison of Four Measures of Moral Reasoning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilmoth, Gregory H.; McFarland, Sam G.

    1977-01-01

    The reliability and construct validity of the Kohlberg Moral Judgment Scale, the Gilligan et al's Sexual Moral Development Scale, Maitland and Goldman's Objective Moral Development Scale, and Hogan's Maturity of Moral Judgment Scale were compared for a sample of male and female graduate students. (EVH)

  1. Education in Values and Moral Education in Vocational Colleges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ludecke-Plumer, Sigrid

    2007-01-01

    On the assumption that education in values and moral education are necessary, moral competence (to make judgments) and the structure and development of the faculty of moral judgment should not be disregarded, even in the vocational education system. The main features of Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral development are described as a basis for…

  2. Evidence for direct retrieval of relative quantity information in a quantity judgment task: decimals, integers, and the role of physical similarity.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Dale J

    2010-11-01

    Participants' reaction times (RTs) in numerical judgment tasks in which one must determine which of 2 numbers is greater generally follow a monotonically decreasing function of the numerical distance between the two presented numbers. Here, I present 3 experiments in which the relative influences of numerical distance and physical similarity are assessed in just such a task using integers and decimals as stimuli. The data reveal that numerical distance is the primary feature controlling participants' RTs when integers are presented. However, the physical similarity between the decade place of the standard and the probe is the primary feature controlling participants' RTs when decimals are presented. I conclude that the unique qualities of decimals do not lend themselves to share the place-coding representation of integers, thus a direct retrieval mechanism for judging the relative quantity of decimals has developed.

  3. Comparison of Measures of Moral Reasoning and Development of a New Objective Measure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Page, Roger; Bode, James

    1980-01-01

    The Ethical Reasoning Inventory (ERI) is an objective test derived from Kohlberg's Moral Judgment Interview. It correlated higher with Kohlberg , and has higher internal consistency than the Defining Issues Test and the Moral Judgment Scale. (CP)

  4. On judgment and judgmentalism: how counselling can make people better

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, S

    2005-01-01

    Counsellors, like other members of the caring professions, are required to practise within an ethical framework, at least in so far as they seek professional accreditation. As such, the counsellor is called upon to exercise her moral agency. In most professional contexts this requirement is, in itself, unproblematic. It has been suggested, however, that counselling practice does present a problem in this respect, in so far as the counsellor is expected to take a non-judgemental stance and an attitude of "unconditional positive regard" toward the client. If, as might appear to be the case, this stance and attitude are at odds with the making of moral judgments, the possibility of an adequate ethics of counselling is called into question. This paper explores the nature and extent of the problem suggesting that, understood in a Kantian context, non-judgmentalism can be seen to be at odds with neither the moral agency of the counsellor nor that of the client. Instead, it is argued, the relationship between the non-judgmental counsellor and her client is a fundamentally moral relationship, based on respect for the client's unconditional worth as a moral agent. PMID:16199597

  5. Effects of Response Bias and Judgment Framing on Operator Use of an Automated Aid in a Target Detection Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rice, Stephen; McCarley, Jason S.

    2011-01-01

    Automated diagnostic aids prone to false alarms often produce poorer human performance in signal detection tasks than equally reliable miss-prone aids. However, it is not yet clear whether this is attributable to differences in the perceptual salience of the automated aids' misses and false alarms or is the result of inherent differences in…

  6. Short-term visual deprivation reduces interference effects of task-irrelevant facial expressions on affective prosody judgments

    PubMed Central

    Fengler, Ineke; Nava, Elena; Röder, Brigitte

    2015-01-01

    Several studies have suggested that neuroplasticity can be triggered by short-term visual deprivation in healthy adults. Specifically, these studies have provided evidence that visual deprivation reversibly affects basic perceptual abilities. The present study investigated the long-lasting effects of short-term visual deprivation on emotion perception. To this aim, we visually deprived a group of young healthy adults, age-matched with a group of non-deprived controls, for 3 h and tested them before and after visual deprivation (i.e., after 8 h on average and at 4 week follow-up) on an audio–visual (i.e., faces and voices) emotion discrimination task. To observe changes at the level of basic perceptual skills, we additionally employed a simple audio–visual (i.e., tone bursts and light flashes) discrimination task and two unimodal (one auditory and one visual) perceptual threshold measures. During the 3 h period, both groups performed a series of auditory tasks. To exclude the possibility that changes in emotion discrimination may emerge as a consequence of the exposure to auditory stimulation during the 3 h stay in the dark, we visually deprived an additional group of age-matched participants who concurrently performed unrelated (i.e., tactile) tasks to the later tested abilities. The two visually deprived groups showed enhanced affective prosodic discrimination abilities in the context of incongruent facial expressions following the period of visual deprivation; this effect was partially maintained until follow-up. By contrast, no changes were observed in affective facial expression discrimination and in the basic perception tasks in any group. These findings suggest that short-term visual deprivation per se triggers a reweighting of visual and auditory emotional cues, which seems to possibly prevail for longer durations. PMID:25954166

  7. From sucker to saint: moralization in response to self-threat.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Alexander H; Monin, Benoît

    2008-08-01

    When people's rationality and agency are implicitly called into question by the more expedient behavior of others, they sometimes respond by feeling morally superior; this is referred to as the sucker-to-saint effect. In Experiment 1, participants who completed a tedious task and then saw a confederate quit the same task elevated their own morality over that of the confederate, whereas participants who simply completed the task or simply saw the confederate quit did not. In Experiment 2, this effect was eliminated by having participants contemplate a valued personal quality before encountering the rebellious confederate, a result suggesting a role for self-threat in producing moralization. These studies demonstrate that moral judgments can be more deeply embedded in judges' immediate social contexts-and driven more by motivations to maintain self-image-than is typically appreciated in contemporary moral-psychology research. Rather than uphold abstract principles of justice, moral judgment may sometimes just help people feel a little less foolish.

  8. Selective temporal attention enhances the temporal resolution of visual perception: Evidence from a temporal order judgment task.

    PubMed

    Correa, Angel; Sanabria, Daniel; Spence, Charles; Tudela, Pío; Lupiáñez, Juan

    2006-01-27

    We investigated whether attending to a particular point in time affects temporal resolution in a task in which participants judged which of two visual stimuli had been presented first. The results showed that temporal resolution can be improved by attending to the relevant moment as indicated by the temporal cue. This novel finding is discussed in terms of the differential effects of spatial and temporal attention on temporal resolution.

  9. Formal Moral Education and Individual Moral Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friend, Gary Gene

    This report provides a summarization of a study designed to determine if there is a significant relationship between formal religious education and the moral judgment development of college students, and after controlling for formal religious education, to see if there was also a significant relationship between the educational environment or…

  10. When Ignorance Is No Excuse: Different Roles for Intent across Moral Domains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Liane; Saxe, Rebecca

    2011-01-01

    A key factor in legal and moral judgments is intent. Intent differentiates, for instance, murder from manslaughter. Is this true for all moral judgments? People deliver moral judgments of many kinds of actions, including harmful actions (e.g., assault) and purity violations (e.g., incest, consuming taboo substances). We show that intent is a key…

  11. The Effect of Distance on Moral Engagement: Event Related Potentials and Alpha Power are Sensitive to Perspective in a Virtual Shooting Task.

    PubMed

    Petras, Kirsten; Ten Oever, Sanne; Jansma, Bernadette M

    2015-01-01

    In a shooting video game we investigated whether increased distance reduces moral conflict. We measured and analyzed the event related potential (ERP), including the N2 component, which has previously been linked to cognitive conflict from competing decision tendencies. In a modified Go/No-go task designed to trigger moral conflict participants had to shoot suddenly appearing human like avatars in a virtual reality scene. The scene was seen either from an ego perspective with targets appearing directly in front of the participant or from a bird's view, where targets were seen from above and more distant. To control for low level visual features, we added a visually identical control condition, where the instruction to "shoot" was replaced by an instruction to "detect." ERP waveforms showed differences between the two tasks as early as in the N1 time-range, with higher N1 amplitudes for the close perspective in the "shoot" task. Additionally, we found that pre-stimulus alpha power was significantly decreased in the ego, compared to the bird's view only for the "shoot" but not for the "detect" task. In the N2 time window, we observed main amplitude effects for response (No-go > Go) and distance (ego > bird perspective) but no interaction with task type (shoot vs. detect). We argue that the pre-stimulus and N1 effects can be explained by reduced attention and arousal in the distance condition when people are instructed to "shoot." These results indicate a reduced moral engagement for increased distance. The lack of interaction in the N2 across tasks suggests that at that time point response execution dominates. We discuss potential implications for real life shooting situations, especially considering recent developments in drone shootings which are per definition of a distant view.

  12. The Effect of Distance on Moral Engagement: Event Related Potentials and Alpha Power are Sensitive to Perspective in a Virtual Shooting Task

    PubMed Central

    Petras, Kirsten; ten Oever, Sanne; Jansma, Bernadette M.

    2016-01-01

    In a shooting video game we investigated whether increased distance reduces moral conflict. We measured and analyzed the event related potential (ERP), including the N2 component, which has previously been linked to cognitive conflict from competing decision tendencies. In a modified Go/No-go task designed to trigger moral conflict participants had to shoot suddenly appearing human like avatars in a virtual reality scene. The scene was seen either from an ego perspective with targets appearing directly in front of the participant or from a bird's view, where targets were seen from above and more distant. To control for low level visual features, we added a visually identical control condition, where the instruction to “shoot” was replaced by an instruction to “detect.” ERP waveforms showed differences between the two tasks as early as in the N1 time-range, with higher N1 amplitudes for the close perspective in the “shoot” task. Additionally, we found that pre-stimulus alpha power was significantly decreased in the ego, compared to the bird's view only for the “shoot” but not for the “detect” task. In the N2 time window, we observed main amplitude effects for response (No-go > Go) and distance (ego > bird perspective) but no interaction with task type (shoot vs. detect). We argue that the pre-stimulus and N1 effects can be explained by reduced attention and arousal in the distance condition when people are instructed to “shoot.” These results indicate a reduced moral engagement for increased distance. The lack of interaction in the N2 across tasks suggests that at that time point response execution dominates. We discuss potential implications for real life shooting situations, especially considering recent developments in drone shootings which are per definition of a distant view. PMID:26779106

  13. Moral Education and the Emotions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rich, John Martin

    1980-01-01

    This paper argues that the emotions have a central place in moral education. Two types of emotions involved in moral judgment are defined: constitutive and regulative. Fear and guilt are used as paradigms to explain how emotions are learned. A model for education in conscientiousness, compassion, and benevolence is outlined. (Author/SJL)

  14. Judging arrival times of incoming traffic vehicles is not a prerequisite for safely crossing an intersection: Differential effects of vehicle size and type in passive judgment and active driving tasks.

    PubMed

    Mathieu, Julie; Bootsma, Reinoud J; Berthelon, Catherine; Montagne, Gilles

    2017-02-01

    Using a fixed-base driving simulator we compared the effects of the size and type of traffic vehicles (i.e., normal-sized or double-sized cars or motorcycles) approaching an intersection in two different tasks. In the perceptual judgment task, passively moving participants estimated when a traffic vehicle would reach the intersection for actual arrival times (ATs) of 1, 2, or 3s. In line with earlier findings, ATs were generally underestimated, the more so the longer the actual AT. Results revealed that vehicle size affected judgments in particular for the larger actual ATs (2 and 3s), with double-sized vehicles then being judged as arriving earlier than normal-sized vehicles. Vehicle type, on the other hand, affected judgments at the smaller actual ATs (1 and 2s), with cars then being judged as arriving earlier than motorcycles. In the behavioral task participants actively drove the simulator to cross the intersection by passing through a gap in a train of traffic. Analyses of the speed variations observed during the active intersection-crossing task revealed that the size and type of vehicles in the traffic train did not affect driving behavior in the same way as in the AT judgment task. First, effects were considerably smaller, affecting driving behavior only marginally. Second, effects were opposite to expectations based on AT judgments: driver approach speeds were smaller (rather than larger) when confronted with double-sized vehicles as compared to their normal-sized counterparts and when confronted with cars as compared to motorcycles. Finally, the temporality of the effects was different on the two tasks: vehicle size affected driver approach speed in the final stages of approach rather than early on, while vehicle type affected driver approach speed early on rather than later. Overall, we conclude that the active control of approach to the intersection is not based on successive judgments of traffic vehicle arrival times. These results thereby question the

  15. Ethics: A Matter of Moral Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krawczyk, Rosemary; Kudzma, Elizabeth

    1978-01-01

    Courses in theoretical ethics are unrelated to the moral delemmas that nurses encounter in practice, according to the authors. They present a method for moral education in nursing curricula utilizing seminars for dilemma discussion that can help students to progress in moral judgment. (MF)

  16. The Moral Atmosphere of the Prison.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scharf, Peter

    This paper analyzes the moral reasoning and perceptions of inmates in an eastern youth reformatory. A series of prison dilemmas, reflecting conflicts experienced by inmates and guards, was administered to 34 inmates; in addition, each inmate was given the standard Kohlberg moral maturity interview. Responses were scored for moral judgment and…

  17. Damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex impairs judgment of harmful intent

    PubMed Central

    Young, Liane; Bechara, Antoine; Tranel, Daniel; Damasio, Hanna; Hauser, Marc; Damasio, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Summary Moral judgments, whether delivered in ordinary experience or in the courtroom, depend on our ability to infer intentions. We forgive unintentional or accidental harms and condemn failed attempts to harm. Prior work demonstrates that patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC) deliver abnormal judgments in response to moral dilemmas, and that these patients are especially impaired in triggering emotional responses to inferred or abstract events (e.g., intentions), as opposed to real or actual outcomes. We therefore predicted that VMPC patients would deliver abnormal moral judgments of harmful intentions in the absence of harmful outcomes, as in failed attempts to harm. This prediction was confirmed in the current study: VMPC patients judged attempted harms including attempted murder as more morally permissible relative to controls. These results highlight the critical role of the VMPC in processing harmful intent for moral judgment. PMID:20346759

  18. The Importance of Moral Construal: Moral versus Non-Moral Construal Elicits Faster, More Extreme, Universal Evaluations of the Same Actions

    PubMed Central

    Van Bavel, Jay J.; Packer, Dominic J.; Haas, Ingrid Johnsen; Cunningham, William A.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past decade, intuitionist models of morality have challenged the view that moral reasoning is the sole or even primary means by which moral judgments are made. Rather, intuitionist models posit that certain situations automatically elicit moral intuitions, which guide moral judgments. We present three experiments showing that evaluations are also susceptible to the influence of moral versus non-moral construal. We had participants make moral evaluations (rating whether actions were morally good or bad) or non-moral evaluations (rating whether actions were pragmatically or hedonically good or bad) of a wide variety of actions. As predicted, moral evaluations were faster, more extreme, and more strongly associated with universal prescriptions—the belief that absolutely nobody or everybody should engage in an action—than non-moral (pragmatic or hedonic) evaluations of the same actions. Further, we show that people are capable of flexibly shifting from moral to non-moral evaluations on a trial-by-trial basis. Taken together, these experiments provide evidence that moral versus non-moral construal has an important influence on evaluation and suggests that effects of construal are highly flexible. We discuss the implications of these experiments for models of moral judgment and decision-making. PMID:23209557

  19. Moral foundations vignettes: a standardized stimulus database of scenarios based on moral foundations theory

    PubMed Central

    Iyengar, Vijeth; Cabeza, Roberto; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Research on the emotional, cognitive, and social determinants of moral judgment has surged in recent years. The development of moral foundations theory (MFT) has played an important role, demonstrating the breadth of morality. Moral psychology has responded by investigating how different domains of moral judgment are shaped by a variety of psychological factors. Yet, the discipline lacks a validated set of moral violations that span the moral domain, creating a barrier to investigating influences on judgment and how their neural bases might vary across the moral domain. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by developing and validating a large set of moral foundations vignettes (MFVs). Each vignette depicts a behavior violating a particular moral foundation and not others. The vignettes are controlled on many dimensions including syntactic structure and complexity making them suitable for neuroimaging research. We demonstrate the validity of our vignettes by examining respondents’ classifications of moral violations, conducting exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and demonstrating the correspondence between the extracted factors and existing measures of the moral foundations. We expect that the MFVs will be beneficial for a wide variety of behavioral and neuroimaging investigations of moral cognition. PMID:25582811

  20. Moral foundations vignettes: a standardized stimulus database of scenarios based on moral foundations theory.

    PubMed

    Clifford, Scott; Iyengar, Vijeth; Cabeza, Roberto; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter

    2015-12-01

    Research on the emotional, cognitive, and social determinants of moral judgment has surged in recent years. The development of moral foundations theory (MFT) has played an important role, demonstrating the breadth of morality. Moral psychology has responded by investigating how different domains of moral judgment are shaped by a variety of psychological factors. Yet, the discipline lacks a validated set of moral violations that span the moral domain, creating a barrier to investigating influences on judgment and how their neural bases might vary across the moral domain. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by developing and validating a large set of moral foundations vignettes (MFVs). Each vignette depicts a behavior violating a particular moral foundation and not others. The vignettes are controlled on many dimensions including syntactic structure and complexity making them suitable for neuroimaging research. We demonstrate the validity of our vignettes by examining respondents' classifications of moral violations, conducting exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and demonstrating the correspondence between the extracted factors and existing measures of the moral foundations. We expect that the MFVs will be beneficial for a wide variety of behavioral and neuroimaging investigations of moral cognition.

  1. Moral Intuitions, Moral Expertise and Moral Reasoning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Musschenga, Albert W.

    2009-01-01

    In this article I examine the consequences of the dominance of intuitive thinking in moral judging and deciding for the role of moral reasoning in moral education. I argue that evidence for the reliability of moral intuitions is lacking. We cannot determine when we can trust our intuitive moral judgements. Deliberate and critical reasoning is…

  2. Moral, Conventional, and Personal Rules: The Perspective of Foster Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mullins, David; Tisak, Marie S.

    2006-01-01

    Forty-five foster youth (9-13 year old and 14-17 year olds) were asked to evaluate moral, conventional, and personal rules and violations by providing judgments and reasons. The results suggest that foster youths' judgments distinguished between the moral, conventional, and personal domains. However, in providing reasons to support their judgments…

  3. Subcomponents of psychopathy have opposing correlations with punishment judgments.

    PubMed

    Schaich Borg, Jana; Kahn, Rachel E; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter; Kurzban, Robert; Robinson, Paul H; Kiehl, Kent A

    2013-10-01

    Psychopathy research is plagued by an enigma: Psychopaths reliably act immorally, but they also accurately report whether an action is morally wrong. The current study revealed that cooperative suppressor effects and conflicting subsets of personality traits within the construct of psychopathy might help explain this conundrum. Among a sample of adult male offenders (N = 100) who ranked deserved punishment of crimes, Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) total scores were not linearly correlated with deserved punishment task performance. However, these null results masked significant opposing associations between task performance and factors of psychopathy: the PCL-R Interpersonal/Affective (i.e., manipulative and callous) factor was positively associated with task performance, while the PCL-R Social Deviance (i.e., impulsive and antisocial) factor was simultaneously negatively associated with task performance. These relationships were qualified by a significant interaction where the Interpersonal/Affective traits were positively associated with task performance when Social Deviance traits were high, but Social Deviance traits were negatively associated with task performance when Interpersonal/Affective traits were low. This interaction helped reveal a significant nonlinear relationship between PCL-R total scores and task performance such that individuals with very low or very high PCL-R total scores performed better than those with middle-range PCL-R total scores. These results may explain the enigma of why individuals with very high psychopathic traits, but not other groups of antisocial individuals, usually have normal moral judgment in laboratory settings, but still behave immorally, especially in contexts where social deviance traits have strong influence.

  4. Subcomponents of Psychopathy have Opposing Correlations with Punishment Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Borg, Jana Schaich; Kahn, Rachel E.; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter; Kurzban, Robert; Robinson, Paul H.; Kiehl, Kent A.

    2013-01-01

    Psychopathy research is plagued by an enigma: Psychopaths reliably act immorally, but they also accurately report whether an action is morally wrong. The current study revealed that cooperative suppressor effects and conflicting subsets of personality traits within the construct of psychopathy might help explain this conundrum. Among a sample of adult male offenders (n = 100) who ranked deserved punishment of crimes, Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) total scores were not linearly correlated with deserved punishment task performance. However, these null results masked significant opposing associations between task performance and factors of psychopathy: the PCL-R Interpersonal/Affective (i.e. manipulative and callous) factor was positively associated with task performance, while the PCL-R Social Deviance (i.e. impulsive and antisocial) factor was simultaneously negatively associated with task performance. Importantly, these relationships were qualified by a significant interaction where the Interpersonal/Affective traits were positively associated with task performance when Social Deviance traits were high, but Social Deviance traits were negatively associated with task performance when Interpersonal/Affective traits were low. This interaction helped reveal a significant non-linear relationship between PCL-R total scores and task performance such that individuals with very low or very high PCL-R total scores performed better than those with middle-range PCL-R total scores. These results may explain the enigma of why individuals with very high psychopathic traits, but not other groups of anti-social individuals, usually have normal moral judgment in laboratory settings, but still behave immorally, especially in contexts where Social Deviance traits have strong influence. PMID:23834639

  5. Kohlberg's Theory Applied to the Moral and Sexual Development of Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marchand-Jodoin, Louise; Samson, Jean-Marc

    1982-01-01

    Moral judgment has not been crystallized by the age of 25. After participating in a 45-hour sexology course in which they discussed moral dilemmas and were introduced to arguments of a higher stage, 36 adults increased test scores in both general and sexual moral judgments. (Author/RM)

  6. Culture and the quest for universal principles in moral reasoning.

    PubMed

    Sachdeva, Sonya; Singh, Purnima; Medin, Douglas

    2011-06-01

    The importance of including cultural perspectives in the study of human cognition has become apparent in recent decades, and the domain of moral reasoning is no exception. The present review focuses on moral cognition, beginning with Kohlberg's model of moral development which relies heavily on people's justifications for their judgments and then shifting to more recent theories that rely on rapid, intuitive judgments and see justifications as more or less irrelevant to moral cognition. Despite this dramatic shift, analyses of culture and moral decision-making have largely been framed as a quest for and test of universal principles of moral judgment. In this review, we discuss challenges that remain in trying to understand crosscultural variability in moral values and the processes that underlie moral cognition. We suggest that the universalist framework may lead to an underestimation of the role of culture in moral reasoning. Although the field has made great strides in incorporating more and more cultural perspectives in order to understand moral cognition, theories of moral reasoning still do not allow for substantial variation in how people might conceptualize the domain of the moral. The processes that underlie moral cognition may not be a human universal in any simple sense, because moral systems may play different roles in different cultures. We end our review with a discussion of work that remains to be done to understand cultural variation in the moral domain.

  7. Religious Conviction, Morality and Social Convention among Finnish Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vainio, Annukka

    2011-01-01

    The assumptions of Kohlberg, Turiel and Shweder regarding the features of moral reasoning were compared empirically. The moral reasoning of Finnish Evangelical Lutheran, Conservative Laestadian and non-religious adolescents was studied using Kohlberg's Moral Judgment Interview and Turiel Rule Transgression Interview methods. Religiosity and choice…

  8. Moral Rationality and Intuition: An Exploration of Relationships between the Defining Issues Test and the Moral Foundations Questionnaire

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glover, Rebecca J.; Natesan, Prathiba; Wang, Jie; Rohr, Danielle; McAfee-Etheridge, Lauri; Booker, Dana D.; Bishop, James; Lee, David; Kildare, Cory; Wu, Minwei

    2014-01-01

    Explorations of relationships between Haidt's Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) and indices of moral decision-making assessed by the Defining Issues Test have been limited to correlational analyses. This study used Harm, Fairness, Ingroup, Authority and Purity to predict overall moral judgment and individual Defining Issues Test-2 (DIT-2)…

  9. Ethical Judgments and Behaviors: Applying a Multidimensional Ethics Scale to Measuring ICT Ethics of College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jung, Insung

    2009-01-01

    Assuming that ICT ethics are influenced by both moral and circumstantial factors, the study investigates Japanese college students' ethical judgments and behavioral intentions in three scenarios involving ICT-related ethical problems and explores why they make such decisions, relying on five moral philosophies: moral equity, relativism,…

  10. Roman Catholic beliefs produce characteristic neural responses to moral dilemmas

    PubMed Central

    Flexas, Albert; de Miguel, Pedro; Cela-Conde, Camilo J.; Munar, Enric

    2014-01-01

    This study provides exploratory evidence about how behavioral and neural responses to standard moral dilemmas are influenced by religious belief. Eleven Catholics and 13 Atheists (all female) judged 48 moral dilemmas. Differential neural activity between the two groups was found in precuneus and in prefrontal, frontal and temporal regions. Furthermore, a double dissociation showed that Catholics recruited different areas for deontological (precuneus; temporoparietal junction) and utilitarian moral judgments [dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC); temporal poles], whereas Atheists did not (superior parietal gyrus for both types of judgment). Finally, we tested how both groups responded to personal and impersonal moral dilemmas: Catholics showed enhanced activity in DLPFC and posterior cingulate cortex during utilitarian moral judgments to impersonal moral dilemmas and enhanced responses in anterior cingulate cortex and superior temporal sulcus during deontological moral judgments to personal moral dilemmas. Our results indicate that moral judgment can be influenced by an acquired set of norms and conventions transmitted through religious indoctrination and practice. Catholic individuals may hold enhanced awareness of the incommensurability between two unequivocal doctrines of the Catholic belief set, triggered explicitly in a moral dilemma: help and care in all circumstances—but thou shalt not kill. PMID:23160812

  11. Teaching Morally and Teaching Morality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenstermacher, Gary D.; Osguthorpe, Richard D.; Sanger, Matthew N.

    2009-01-01

    In this article, the authors introduce what they believe is an important distinction between teaching morality and teaching morally. In P-12 schools, the moral education debate often focuses on character education programs or other moral curricula. Such programs and curricula are championed as a means of teaching morality and transmitting moral…

  12. Why moral philosophers are not and should not be moral experts.

    PubMed

    Archard, David

    2011-03-01

    Professional philosophers are members of bioethical committees and regulatory bodies in areas of interest to bioethicists. This suggests they possess moral expertise even if they do not exercise it directly and without constraint. Moral expertise is defined, and four arguments given in support of scepticism about their possession of such expertise are considered and rejected: the existence of extreme disagreement between moral philosophers about moral matters; the lack of a means clearly to identify moral experts; that expertise cannot be claimed in that which lacks objectivity; and that ordinary people do not follow the advice of moral experts. I offer a better reason for scepticism grounded in the relation between moral philosophy and common-sense morality: namely that modern moral philosophy views even a developed moral theory as ultimately anchored in common-sense morality, that set of basic moral precepts which ordinary individuals have command of and use to regulate their own lives. Even if moral philosophers do nevertheless have a limited moral expertise, in that they alone can fully develop a set of moral judgments, I sketch reasons - grounded in the values of autonomy and of democracy - why moral philosophers should not wish non-philosophers to defer to their putative expertise.

  13. Hippocampal Damage Increases Deontological Responses during Moral Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Rosenthal, Clive R.; Miller, Thomas D.

    2016-01-01

    Complex moral decision making is associated with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in humans, and damage to this region significantly increases the frequency of utilitarian judgments. Since the vmPFC has strong anatomical and functional links with the hippocampus, here we asked how patients with selective bilateral hippocampal damage would derive moral decisions on a classic moral dilemmas paradigm. We found that the patients approved of the utilitarian options significantly less often than control participants, favoring instead deontological responses—rejecting actions that harm even one person. Thus, patients with hippocampal damage have a strikingly opposite approach to moral decision making than vmPFC-lesioned patients. Skin-conductance data collected during the task showed increased emotional arousal in the hippocampal-damaged patients and they stated that their moral decisions were based on emotional instinct. By contrast, control participants made moral decisions based on the integration of an adverse emotional response to harming others, visualization of the consequences of one's action, and the rational re-evaluation of future benefits. This integration may be disturbed in patients with either hippocampal or vmPFC damage. Hippocampal lesions decreased the ability to visualize a scenario and its future consequences, which seemed to render the adverse emotional response overwhelmingly dominant. In patients with vmPFC damage, visualization might also be reduced alongside an inability to detect the adverse emotional response, leaving only the utilitarian option open. Overall, these results provide insights into the processes involved in moral decision making and highlight the complementary roles played by two closely connected brain regions. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is closely associated with the ability to make complex moral judgements. When this area is damaged, patients become more utilitarian (the ends

  14. When Moral Awareness Isn't Enough: Teaching Our Students to Recognize Social Influence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Diane F.

    2014-01-01

    The traditional case-based method used to teach ethics in business classrooms gives students valuable practice identifying and applying key moral principles. This approach builds on a rational model of decision making and emphasizes moral awareness and moral judgment, encouraging students to describe moral dilemmas and assess the consequences of…

  15. Visual judgments of kinship: an alternative perspective.

    PubMed

    Lorusso, Ludovica; Brelstaff, Gavin; Brodo, Linda; Lagorio, Andrea; Grosso, Enrico

    2011-01-01

    Following other researchers, we investigated the premise that visual judgment of kinship might be modelled as a signal-detection task, strictly related to similar facial features. We measured subjects' response times to face-pair stimuli while they performed visual judgments of kinship, similarity, or dissimilarity, and examined some priming effects involved. Our results show that kinship judgment takes longer on average than either similarity or dissimilarity judgment-which is compatible with existing models, yet might also suggest that kinship judgments are of a more complex character. In our priming study we observed selective suppression/enhancement of the efficacy of dissimilarity judgments whenever they followed similarity and kinship judgments. This finding confounds the notion, inherent in previous models, of resemblance cues signalling for kinship, since similarity and dissimilarity cannot be considered just as opposite concepts, and observed priming effects need to be explicitly modelled, including dissimilarity cues. To model kinship judgments across faces that are perceived as dissimilar, a new framework may be required, perhaps accepting the perspective of a task-driven use of the visual cues, modulated by experience and cultural conditioning.

  16. The Mismeasure of Morals: Antisocial Personality Traits Predict Utilitarian Responses to Moral Dilemmas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartels, Daniel M.; Pizarro, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Researchers have recently argued that utilitarianism is the appropriate framework by which to evaluate moral judgment, and that individuals who endorse non-utilitarian solutions to moral dilemmas (involving active vs. passive harm) are committing an error. We report a study in which participants responded to a battery of personality assessments…

  17. Cold or Calculating? Reduced Activity in the Subgenual Cingulate Cortex Reflects Decreased Emotional Aversion to Harming in Counterintuitive Utilitarian Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiech, Katja; Kahane, Guy; Shackel, Nicholas; Farias, Miguel; Savulescu, Julian; Tracey, Irene

    2013-01-01

    Recent research on moral decision-making has suggested that many common moral judgments are based on immediate intuitions. However, some individuals arrive at highly counterintuitive utilitarian conclusions about when it is permissible to harm other individuals. Such utilitarian judgments have been attributed to effortful reasoning that has…

  18. Duration, Distance, and Speed Judgments of Two Moving Objects by 4- to 11-Year-Olds.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matsuda, Fumiko

    1996-01-01

    Four- to 11-year-olds made duration, distance, and speed judgments on Piagetian tasks where cars ran on parallel tracks. Among younger children, duration and distance judgments had approximately the same difficulty. Among older children, distance judgments were easier than duration judgments, and symmetry of effects of temporal and spatial…

  19. Moral reasoning in women with posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood abuse

    PubMed Central

    Nazarov, Anthony; Walaszczyk, Victoria; Frewen, Paul; Oremus, Carolina; Lanius, Ruth; McKinnon, Margaret C.

    2016-01-01

    Background Preliminary evidence suggests that relative to healthy controls, patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show deficits on several inter-related social cognitive tasks, including theory of mind, and emotion comprehension. Systematic investigations examining other aspects of social cognition, including moral reasoning, have not been conducted in PTSD stemming from childhood trauma. Objective To conduct a comprehensive assessment of moral reasoning performance in individuals with PTSD stemming from childhood abuse. Method Moral reasoning performance was assessed in 28 women with PTSD related to prolonged childhood trauma and 19 matched healthy controls. Performance was assessed using 12 modified moral dilemmas and was queried in three domains: utilitarian/deontological sacrificial dilemmas (personal and impersonal), social order vs. compassion, and altruism vs. self-interest. Participants were asked whether a proposed action was morally acceptable or unacceptable and whether or not they would perform this action under the circumstances described. Results Women with PTSD were less likely to carry out utilitarian actions in personal, sacrificial moral dilemmas, a choice driven primarily by consequential intrapersonal disapproval. Increased concern regarding intrapersonal disapproval was related to higher symptoms of guilt in the PTSD group. Patients with PTSD demonstrated less altruistic moral reasoning, primarily associated with decreased empathic role-taking for beneficiaries. Conclusions Women with PTSD due to childhood trauma show alterations in moral reasoning marked by decreased utilitarian judgment and decreased altruism. Childhood trauma may continue to impact moral choices made into adulthood. Highlights of the article Moral judgment processing was found to be altered in women with PTSD related to chronic childhood trauma. In comparison to healthy women, women with PTSD were less likely to approve utilitarian actions when required to

  20. Moral bioenhancement and the utilitarian catastrophe.

    PubMed

    Agar, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

    This article challenges recent calls for moral bioenhancement-the use of biomedical means, including pharmacological and genetic methods, to increase the moral value of our actions or characters. It responds to those who take a practical interest in moral bioenhancement. I argue that moral bioenhancement is unlikely to be a good response to the extinction threats of climate change and weapons of mass destruction. Rather than alleviating those problems, it is likely to aggravate them. We should expect biomedical means to generate piecemeal enhancements of human morality. These predictably strengthen some contributors to moral judgment while leaving others comparatively unaffected. This unbalanced enhancement differs from the manner of improvement that typically results from sustained reflection. It is likely to make its subjects worse rather than better at moral reasoning.

  1. What counts for ‘counting’? Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, respond appropriately to relevant and irrelevant information in a quantity judgment task

    PubMed Central

    Beran, Michael J.; McIntyre, Joseph M.; Garland, Alexis; Evans, Theodore A.

    2013-01-01

    Nonhuman animals quantify all manner of things, and the way in which this is done is fairly well understood. However, little research has been conducted to determine how they know what is or is not relevant in the instances in which they quantify stimuli. We assessed how four chimpanzees chose between two sets of food items when the items were distributed across separate spatial arrays. Each item was covered by a container, and then was revealed in sequence so that neither whole set was visible at one time. After all containers were revealed, some were revealed again. The chimpanzees should have ignored items that were seen a second time and instead enumerated each item only once. In another test, some of the items were transposed in location and then uncovered again. Here, the chimpanzees needed to recognize that the newly shown food items were ones they already had seen. Overall, the chimpanzees were successful in selecting the truly larger array of items despite these potential distracting re-presentations of items. Discrimination performance also reflected analogue magnitude estimation because comparisons of sets that differed by larger amounts were easier than comparisons that differed by smaller amounts. Thus, chimpanzee quantity judgments for nonvisible sets of items are inexact, but they include an aspect of control for determining when items are uniquely presented versus re-presented. PMID:23750039

  2. Responding to moral dilemmas: the roles of empathy and collectivist values among the Chinese.

    PubMed

    Mann, Stephen K F; Cheng, Viviana

    2013-08-01

    The present study assessed how empathy and vertical collectivism are related to moral competency in a sample of Hong Kong Chinese university students (N = 153; 70 men, 83 women). The Emotional Tendency Scale, Individualism-Collectivism Scale, and Moral Judgment Test were used to quantify empathy, vertical collectivism, and moral competency, respectively. Results showed that empathy was not statistically significantly correlated with moral judgment. The interaction of vertical collectivism and empathy predicted a theoretically important portion of the variance in moral competency. The role of culture in moral development was discussed.

  3. Conflict and Bias in Heuristic Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bhatia, Sudeep

    2017-01-01

    Conflict has been hypothesized to play a key role in recruiting deliberative processing in reasoning and judgment tasks. This claim suggests that changing the task so as to add incorrect heuristic responses that conflict with existing heuristic responses can make individuals less likely to respond heuristically and can increase response accuracy.…

  4. A posteriori information effects on culpability judgments from a cross-cultural perspective.

    PubMed

    Wan, Wendy W N; Chiu, Chi-Yue; Luk, Chung-Leung

    2005-10-01

    A posteriori information about the moral attributes of the victim of a crime can affect an observer's judgment on the culpability of the actor of the crime so that negative moral attributes of the victim will lead to a lower judgment of culpability. The authors found this effect of a posteriori information among 118 American and 123 Chinese participants, but the underlying mechanisms were different between the two cultural groups. The Americans considered the psychological state of the actor during the crime, whereas the Chinese considered the morality of the actor during the crime. The authors discussed these results in light of the respondents' implicit theories of morality.

  5. On the Wrong Track: Process and Content in Moral Psychology

    PubMed Central

    Kahane, Guy

    2012-01-01

    According to Joshua Greene's influential dual process model of moral judgment, different modes of processing are associated with distinct moral outputs: automatic processing with deontological judgment, and controlled processing with utilitarian judgment. This article aims to clarify and assess Greene's model. I argue that the proposed tie between process and content is based on a misinterpretation of the evidence, and that the supposed evidence for controlled processing in utilitarian judgment is actually likely to reflect, not ‘utilitarian reasoning’, but a form of moral deliberation which, ironically, is actually in serious tension with a utilitarian outlook. This alternative account is further supported by the results of a neuroimaging study showing that intuitive and counterintuitive judgments have similar neural correlates whether or not their content is utilitarian or deontological. PMID:23335831

  6. Islamic Morality: Teaching to Balance the Record

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lovat, Terence

    2016-01-01

    The article proposes that the teaching of Islamic morality presents as an important if not urgent task for moral education. It offers the opportunity to inform a student body about a vital historical development in the formation of moral thought and action; to challenge and offset a blind spot in Western thinking about Islam in general; to…

  7. Age-related effects on event-related brain potentials in a congruence/incongruence judgment color-word Stroop task

    PubMed Central

    Zurrón, Montserrat; Lindín, Mónica; Galdo-Alvarez, Santiago; Díaz, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    We examined the event-related brain potentials elicited by color-word stimuli in a Stroop task in which healthy participants (young and old) had to judge whether the meaning and the color of the stimulus were congruent or incongruent. The Stroop effect occurred in both age groups, with longer reaction times in the older group than in the young group for both types of stimuli, but no difference in the number of errors made by either group. Although the N2 and P3b latencies were longer in the older than in the younger group, there were no differences between groups in the latencies of earlier event-related potential components, and therefore the age-related processing slowing is not generalized. The frontal P150 amplitude was larger, and the parietal P3b amplitude was smaller, in the older than in the younger group. Furthermore, the P3b amplitude was maximal at frontal locations in older participants and at parietal locations in young participants. The age-related increase in perceptual resources and the posterior-to-anterior shift in older adults support adaptive reorganization of the neural networks involved in the processing of this Stroop-type task. PMID:24987369

  8. Substituted judgment: the limitations of autonomy in surrogate decision making.

    PubMed

    Torke, Alexia M; Alexander, G Caleb; Lantos, John

    2008-09-01

    Substituted judgment is often invoked as a guide for decision making when a patient lacks decision making capacity and has no advance directive. Using substituted judgment, doctors and family members try to make the decision that the patient would have made if he or she were able to make decisions. However, empirical evidence suggests that the moral basis for substituted judgment is unsound. In spite of this, many physicians and bioethicists continue to rely on the notion of substituted judgment. Given compelling evidence that the use of substituted judgment has insurmountable flaws, other approaches should be considered. One approach provides limits on decision making using a best interest standard based on community norms. A second approach uses narrative techniques and focuses on each patient's dignity and individuality rather than his or her autonomy.

  9. Moral Reasoning as a Process of Information Integration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Martin F.

    Four experiments were conducted to explore issues in the development and modification of both moral choices and judgments of achievement using concepts and data from a social judgment perspective. In the first experiment, college students functioning at different reasoning levels indicated on a 20-point scale their strength of belief that an…

  10. Intentionality, Morality, and the Incest Taboo in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Paulo; Swiney, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    In a recent article (Astuti and Bloch, 2015), cognitive anthropologists Astuti and Bloch claim that the Malagasy are ambivalent as to whether considerations of intentionality are relevant to moral judgments concerning incest and its presumed catastrophic consequences: when making moral judgments about those who commit incest, the Malagasy take into account whether the incest is intentional or not, but, when making moral judgments relating to incest’s catastrophic consequences, they do not take intentionality into account. Astuti and Bloch explain the irrelevance of intentionality in terms of incest entailing such a fundamental attack on the transcendental social order that the Malagasy become dumbfounded and leave aside considerations of intentionality. Finally, they claim that a similar dumbfound reaction is what is involved in the moral dumbfounding concerning incest that social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has found in the US. In this article, we argue that (i) Astuti and Bloch are unclear about many aspects of their claims (in particular, about the moral judgments at stake), (ii) they do not provide sufficient evidence that considerations of intentionality are deemed irrelevant to moral judgments relating to incest’s presumed catastrophic consequences (and hence for the claim that the Malagasy are ambivalent), (iii) their hypothesis that conceiving of incest as an attack on the transcendental social renders considerations of intentionality irrelevant lacks coherence, and (iv) the extension of their explanatory account to the moral dumfounding of American students in Haidt’s well-known scenario of intentional incest is unwarranted. PMID:27092099

  11. The difference of being human: Morality

    PubMed Central

    Ayala, Francisco J.

    2010-01-01

    In The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, published in 1871, Charles Darwin wrote: “I fully … subscribe to the judgment of those writers who maintain that of all the differences between man and the lower animals the moral sense or conscience is by far the most important.” I raise the question of whether morality is biologically or culturally determined. The question of whether the moral sense is biologically determined may refer either to the capacity for ethics (i.e., the proclivity to judge human actions as either right or wrong), or to the moral norms accepted by human beings for guiding their actions. I propose that the capacity for ethics is a necessary attribute of human nature, whereas moral codes are products of cultural evolution. Humans have a moral sense because their biological makeup determines the presence of three necessary conditions for ethical behavior: (i) the ability to anticipate the consequences of one's own actions; (ii) the ability to make value judgments; and (iii) the ability to choose between alternative courses of action. Ethical behavior came about in evolution not because it is adaptive in itself but as a necessary consequence of man's eminent intellectual abilities, which are an attribute directly promoted by natural selection. That is, morality evolved as an exaptation, not as an adaptation. Moral codes, however, are outcomes of cultural evolution, which accounts for the diversity of cultural norms among populations and for their evolution through time. PMID:20445091

  12. In the Orchard: Farm Worker Children's Moral and Environmental Reasoning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Severson, Rachel L.; Kahn, Peter H., Jr.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, farm worker children (N = 40) in 2nd and 5th grade were interviewed about (a) their conceptions and judgments of pesticide exposure and (b) their reasoning about the moral standing of nature. First, results showed that all participants negatively judged pesticide exposure based on moral obligatory criteria. Yet, most children…

  13. Moral Cognitive Processes Explaining Antisocial Behavior in Young Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van der Velden, Floor; Brugman, Daniel; Boom, Jan; Koops, Willem

    2010-01-01

    This study addresses the longitudinal relationships between three kinds of moral cognitions--self-serving cognitive distortions, moral judgment, perception of community--and antisocial behavior in young adolescents. Aims were to gain insight in direct and indirect relationships, stability, and causality. The sample included 724 students (M age =…

  14. Judging Plagiarism: A Problem of Morality and Convention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    East, Julianne

    2010-01-01

    This paper considers the problem of plagiarism as an issue of morality. Outrage about student plagiarism in universities positions it as dishonesty and a transgression of standards. Despite this, there has been little work analysing the implications of positioning plagiarism as a moral matter in the making of judgments about plagiarism and…

  15. Moral Reasoning of Nigerian and Pakistani Muslim Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maqsud, M.

    1977-01-01

    Two studies were conducted to test the universality of Piaget's and Kohlberg's stages of development of moral judgment in Nigerian and Pakistani cultures. Results show that the moral reasoning of Nigerian and Pakistani Muslim adolescents are greatly affected by their cultural values. (Editor/RK)

  16. Testing the Moral Algebra of Two Kohlbergian Informers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hommers, Wilfried; Lewand, Martin; Ehrmann, Dominic

    2012-01-01

    This paper seeks to unify two major theories of moral judgment: Kohlberg's stage theory and Anderson's moral information integration theory. Subjects were told about thoughts of actors in Kohlberg's classic altruistic Heinz dilemma and in a new egoistical dilemma. These actors's thoughts represented Kohlberg's stages I (Personal Risk) and IV…

  17. The Unifying Moral Dyad: Liberals and Conservatives Share the Same Harm-Based Moral Template.

    PubMed

    Schein, Chelsea; Gray, Kurt

    2015-08-01

    Do moral disagreements regarding specific issues (e.g., patriotism, chastity) reflect deep cognitive differences (i.e., distinct cognitive mechanisms) between liberals and conservatives? Dyadic morality suggests that the answer is "no." Despite moral diversity, we reveal that moral cognition--in both liberals and conservatives--is rooted in a harm-based template. A dyadic template suggests that harm should be central within moral cognition, an idea tested--and confirmed--through six specific hypotheses. Studies suggest that moral judgment occurs via dyadic comparison, in which counter-normative acts are compared with a prototype of harm. Dyadic comparison explains why harm is the most accessible and important of moral content, why harm organizes--and overlaps with--diverse moral content, and why harm best translates across moral content. Dyadic morality suggests that various moral content (e.g., loyalty, purity) are varieties of perceived harm and that past research has substantially exaggerated moral differences between liberals and conservatives.

  18. Detestable or Marvelous? Neuroanatomical Correlates of Character Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Croft, Katie E.; Duff, Melissa C.; Kovach, Christopher K.; Anderson, Steven W.; Adolphs, Ralph; Tranel, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    As we learn new information about the social and moral behaviors of other people, we form and update character judgments of them, and this can profoundly influence how we regard and act towards others. In the study reported here, we capitalized on two interesting neurological patient populations where this process of complex "moral…

  19. Epistemological Development and Judgments and Reasoning about Teaching Methods

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spence, Sarah; Helwig, Charles C.

    2013-01-01

    Children's, adolescents', and adults' (N = 96 7-8, 10-11, and 13-14-year-olds and university students) epistemological development and its relation to judgments and reasoning about teaching methods was examined. The domain (scientific or moral), nature of the topic (controversial or noncontroversial), and teaching method (direct instruction by…

  20. College Students' Judgment of Others Based on Described Eating Pattern

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearson, Rebecca; Young, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Background: The literature available on attitudes toward eating patterns and people choosing various foods suggests the possible importance of "moral" judgments and desirable personality characteristics associated with the described eating patterns. Purpose: This study was designed to replicate and extend a 1993 study of college students'…

  1. Discourse, Justification, and Education: Jürgen Habermas on Moral Epistemology and Dialogical Conditions of Moral Justification and Rightness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Okshevsky, Walter C.

    2016-01-01

    In this essay Walter Okshevsky addresses the question of whether a certain form of dialogically derived agreement can function as an epistemic (universal and necessary) criterion of moral judgment and ground of moral authority. Okshevsky examines arguments for and against in the literature of educational philosophy and develops Jürgen Habermas's…

  2. Neural evidence for moral intuition and the temporal dynamics of interactions between emotional processes and moral cognition.

    PubMed

    Gui, Dan-Yang; Gan, Tian; Liu, Chao

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral and neurological studies have revealed that emotions influence moral cognition. Although moral stimuli are emotionally charged, the time course of interactions between emotions and moral judgments remains unknown. In the present study, we investigated the temporal dynamics of the interaction between emotional processes and moral cognition. The results revealed that when making moral judgments, the time course of the event-related potential (ERP) waveform was significantly different between high emotional arousal and low emotional arousal contexts. Different stages of processing were distinguished, showing distinctive interactions between emotional processes and moral reasoning. The precise time course of moral intuition and moral reasoning sheds new light on theoretical models of moral psychology. Specifically, the N1 component (interpreted as representing moral intuition) did not appear to be influenced by emotional arousal. However, the N2 component and late positive potential were strongly affected by emotional arousal; the slow wave was influenced by both emotional arousal and morality, suggesting distinct moral processing at different emotional arousal levels.

  3. The Moral Reasoning of Sports Management Students in the United States and Italy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forte, Almerinda

    2013-01-01

    The researcher analyzed the moral reasoning ability of Sports Management students in the United States and Italy. The researcher statistically analyzed data collected through a survey questionnaire designed to measure moral reasoning. The Defining Issues Test (DIT) developed by James Rest using Kohlberg's six stages of moral judgment was used in…

  4. Pedagogical Formation Students' Resistance Behaviors towards Teaching-Learning Processes and Their Moral Maturity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Argon, Türkan; Sezen-Gültekin, Gözde

    2016-01-01

    Moral maturity, defined as the competence in moral emotions, thoughts, judgments, attitudes and behaviors, is one of the most important qualities that the would-be teachers at Faculties of Education must possess. Teachers with moral maturity will train students with the qualities of reliability, responsibility, fairness, objectivity, consistency…

  5. Moral Enhancement

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Opponents of biomedical enhancement often claim that, even if such enhancement would benefit the enhanced, it would harm others. But this objection looks unpersuasive when the enhancement in question is a moral enhancement — an enhancement that will expectably leave the enhanced person with morally better motives than she had previously. In this article I (1) describe one type of psychological alteration that would plausibly qualify as a moral enhancement, (2) argue that we will, in the medium-term future, probably be able to induce such alterations via biomedical intervention, and (3) defend future engagement in such moral enhancements against possible objections. My aim is to present this kind of moral enhancement as a counter-example to the view that biomedical enhancement is always morally impermissible. PMID:19132138

  6. Reasoning, cognitive control, and moral intuition

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Richard; Rothstein, Jared; Barbey, Aron K.

    2012-01-01

    Recent Social Intuitionist work suggests that moral judgments are intuitive (not based on conscious deliberation or any significant chain of inference), and that the reasons we produce to explain or justify our judgments and actions are for the most part post hoc rationalizations rather than the actual source of those judgments. This is consistent with work on judgment and explanation in other domains, and it correctly challenges one-sidedly rationalistic accounts. We suggest that in fact reasoning has a great deal of influence on moral judgments and on intuitive judgments in general. This influence is not apparent from study of judgments simply in their immediate context, but it is crucial for the question of how cognition can help us avoid deleterious effects and enhance potentially beneficial effects of affect on judgment, action, and cognition itself. We begin with established work on several reactive strategies for cognitive control of affect (e.g., suppression, reappraisal), then give special attention to more complex sorts of conflict (“extended deliberation”) involving multiple interacting factors, both affective and reflective. These situations are especially difficult to study in a controlled way, but we propose some possible experimental approaches. We then review proactive strategies for control, including avoidance of temptation and mindfulness meditation (Froeliger et al., 2012, this issue). We give special attention to the role of slow or “cool” cognitive processes (e.g., deliberation, planning, and executive control) in the inculcation of long-term dispositions, traits, intuitions, skills, or habits. The latter are critical because they in turn give rise to a great many of our fast, intuitive judgments. The reasoning processes involved here are distinct from post hoc rationalizations and have a very real impact on countless intuitive judgments in concrete situations. This calls for a substantial enlargement of research on cognitive control

  7. Reasoning, cognitive control, and moral intuition.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Richard; Rothstein, Jared; Barbey, Aron K

    2012-01-01

    Recent Social Intuitionist work suggests that moral judgments are intuitive (not based on conscious deliberation or any significant chain of inference), and that the reasons we produce to explain or justify our judgments and actions are for the most part post hoc rationalizations rather than the actual source of those judgments. This is consistent with work on judgment and explanation in other domains, and it correctly challenges one-sidedly rationalistic accounts. We suggest that in fact reasoning has a great deal of influence on moral judgments and on intuitive judgments in general. This influence is not apparent from study of judgments simply in their immediate context, but it is crucial for the question of how cognition can help us avoid deleterious effects and enhance potentially beneficial effects of affect on judgment, action, and cognition itself. We begin with established work on several reactive strategies for cognitive control of affect (e.g., suppression, reappraisal), then give special attention to more complex sorts of conflict ("extended deliberation") involving multiple interacting factors, both affective and reflective. These situations are especially difficult to study in a controlled way, but we propose some possible experimental approaches. We then review proactive strategies for control, including avoidance of temptation and mindfulness meditation (Froeliger et al., 2012, this issue). We give special attention to the role of slow or "cool" cognitive processes (e.g., deliberation, planning, and executive control) in the inculcation of long-term dispositions, traits, intuitions, skills, or habits. The latter are critical because they in turn give rise to a great many of our fast, intuitive judgments. The reasoning processes involved here are distinct from post hoc rationalizations and have a very real impact on countless intuitive judgments in concrete situations. This calls for a substantial enlargement of research on cognitive control, drawing

  8. Time to Decide? Simplicity and Congruity in Comparative Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frosch, Caren A.; McCloy, Rachel; Beaman, C. Philip; Goddard, Kate

    2015-01-01

    What is the relationship between magnitude judgments relying on directly available characteristics versus probabilistic cues? Question frame was manipulated in a comparative judgment task previously assumed to involve inference across a probabilistic mental model (e.g., "Which city is largest"--the "larger" question--vs.…

  9. Your Morals Depend on Language

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Albert; Foucart, Alice; Hayakawa, Sayuri; Aparici, Melina; Apesteguia, Jose; Heafner, Joy; Keysar, Boaz

    2014-01-01

    Should you sacrifice one man to save five? Whatever your answer, it should not depend on whether you were asked the question in your native language or a foreign tongue so long as you understood the problem. And yet here we report evidence that people using a foreign language make substantially more utilitarian decisions when faced with such moral dilemmas. We argue that this stems from the reduced emotional response elicited by the foreign language, consequently reducing the impact of intuitive emotional concerns. In general, we suggest that the increased psychological distance of using a foreign language induces utilitarianism. This shows that moral judgments can be heavily affected by an orthogonal property to moral principles, and importantly, one that is relevant to hundreds of millions of individuals on a daily basis. PMID:24760073

  10. Your morals depend on language.

    PubMed

    Costa, Albert; Foucart, Alice; Hayakawa, Sayuri; Aparici, Melina; Apesteguia, Jose; Heafner, Joy; Keysar, Boaz

    2014-01-01

    Should you sacrifice one man to save five? Whatever your answer, it should not depend on whether you were asked the question in your native language or a foreign tongue so long as you understood the problem. And yet here we report evidence that people using a foreign language make substantially more utilitarian decisions when faced with such moral dilemmas. We argue that this stems from the reduced emotional response elicited by the foreign language, consequently reducing the impact of intuitive emotional concerns. In general, we suggest that the increased psychological distance of using a foreign language induces utilitarianism. This shows that moral judgments can be heavily affected by an orthogonal property to moral principles, and importantly, one that is relevant to hundreds of millions of individuals on a daily basis.

  11. The Accidental Transgressor: Morally-Relevant Theory of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killen, Melanie; Mulvey, Kelly Lynn; Richardson, Cameron; Jampol, Noah; Woodward, Amanda

    2011-01-01

    To test young children's false belief theory of mind in a morally relevant context, two experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, children (N=162) at 3.5, 5.5, and 7.5 years of age were administered three tasks: prototypic moral transgression task, false belief theory of mind task (ToM), and an "accidental transgressor" task, which measured a…

  12. The mismeasure of morals: antisocial personality traits predict utilitarian responses to moral dilemmas.

    PubMed

    Bartels, Daniel M; Pizarro, David A

    2011-10-01

    Researchers have recently argued that utilitarianism is the appropriate framework by which to evaluate moral judgment, and that individuals who endorse non-utilitarian solutions to moral dilemmas (involving active vs. passive harm) are committing an error. We report a study in which participants responded to a battery of personality assessments and a set of dilemmas that pit utilitarian and non-utilitarian options against each other. Participants who indicated greater endorsement of utilitarian solutions had higher scores on measures of Psychopathy, machiavellianism, and life meaninglessness. These results question the widely-used methods by which lay moral judgments are evaluated, as these approaches lead to the counterintuitive conclusion that those individuals who are least prone to moral errors also possess a set of psychological characteristics that many would consider prototypically immoral.

  13. Masculinity, moral atmosphere, and moral functioning of high school football players.

    PubMed

    Steinfeldt, Jesse A; Rutkowski, Leslie A; Vaughan, Ellen L; Steinfeldt, Matthew C

    2011-04-01

    In order to identify factors associated with on-field moral functioning among student athletes within the unique context of football, we examined masculine gender role conflict, moral atmosphere, and athletic identity. Using structural equation modeling to assess survey data from 204 high school football players, results demonstrated that moral atmosphere (i.e., the influence of coaches and teammates) was significantly associated with participants' process of on-field moral functioning across the levels of judgment, intention, and behavior. Neither masculine gender role conflict nor athletic identity significantly predicted moral functioning, but the results indicated that participants' identification with the athlete role significantly predicted conflict with socialized gender roles. Results suggest that in the aggressive and violent sport of football, coaches can have a direct influence on players' moral functioning process. Coaches can also have an indirect effect by influencing all the players so that a culture of ethical play can be cultivated among teammates and spread from the top down.

  14. SOCIAL SCIENCE EDUCATION CONSORTIUM. PUBLICATION 122, MORALITY.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    SCRIVEN, MICHAEL

    THIS POSITION PAPER PRESENTS AN APPROACH TO THE VERY DIFFICULT PROBLEM OF HANDLING VALUES IN THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS, PARTICULARLY IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. IT DISCUSSES THE FOUNDATIONS OF ETHICS AND THE METHODOLOGICAL BASIS FOR MORAL VALUE JUDGMENTS. THE DISCUSSIONS ARE PRESENTED UNDER THREE GENERAL TOPIC AREAS--(1) "PRELIMINARIES" WHICH…

  15. Good and Bad Topics for Moral Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davidman, Patricia; And Others

    This paper reports the opinions about moral topics expressed by 140 elementary and secondary student teachers, 49 in Indiana and 91 in California. Teachers' judgments of the suitability of topics were collected via a questionnaire containing 20 topics in two versions. The presentation consists of: (1) a description of the opinionnaire teachers…

  16. Aesthetic Education for Morality: Schiller and Kant

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tauber, Zvi

    2006-01-01

    Kant's "Critique of Judgment," which was published in 1790, referred in detail to the affinity between beauty and morality. Schiller's writings from the 1790s dealing with aesthetics and ethics are intertwined, simultaneously, both with an affirmative reception of Kant's ideas and with critical attitudes against them. This applies to essays such…

  17. The CAG polymorphism in androgen receptor (AR) gene impacts the moral permissibility of harmful behavior in females.

    PubMed

    Gong, Pingyuan; Fang, Pengpeng; Yang, Xing; Ru, Wenzhao; Wang, Bei; Gao, Xiaocai; Liu, Jinting

    2017-03-07

    The moral permissibility of harm is strikingly varied among individuals. In light of the connection between testosterone levels and utilitarian moral judgment, this study examined to what extent a CAG polymorphism in the androgen receptor gene, a genetic polymorphism with the ability to regulate testosterone function, contributes to individual differences in moral judgment. Four hundred and thirty-nine Chinese Han participants completed permissibility ratings of harm in moral dilemmas and moral transgression scenarios. Results showed a significant association between the CAG polymorphism and moral permissibility of harm in females. Females with more copies of the S allele, which is associated with higher availability of testosterone, were more likely to judge harmful utilitarian acts and unintentionally harmful acts as permissible, while these effects were absent in males. The findings provide the first evidence for a link between the androgen receptor gene and moral judgment and highlight the role of androgens in moral foundations.

  18. Fatigue, Sleep Loss, and Confidence in Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baranski, Joseph V.

    2007-01-01

    Sixty-four adults participated in a study examining the accuracy of metacognitive judgments during 28 hr of sleep deprivation (SD) and continuous cognitive work. Three tasks were studied (perceptual comparison, general knowledge, and mental addition), collectively spanning a range of cognitive abilities and levels of susceptibility to SD.…

  19. Moral margins concerning the use of coercion in psychiatry.

    PubMed

    Landeweer, Elleke G M; Abma, Tineke A; Widdershoven, Guy A M

    2011-05-01

    In the closed wards of mental health institutions, moral decisions are made concerning the use of forced seclusion. In this article we focus on how these moral decisions are made and can be improved. We present a case study concerning moral deliberations on the use of seclusion and its prevention among nurses of a closed mental health ward. Moral psychology provides an explanation of how moral judgments are developed through processes of interaction. We will make use of the Social Intuitionist Model of Jonathan Haidt that emphasizes the role of emotions, intuitions and the social context in moral judgments and reasoning. We argue that this model can help to explain social dynamics in the context of enforced seclusion. In the discussion we explore how moral psychology can be complemented with the normative perspective of dialogical ethics to develop strategies for improving psychiatric practices. We conclude that social processes play an important role in moral deliberations and that moral development can be fostered by bringing in new perspectives in the dialogue. Moral case deliberation provides a practical tool to systematically organize moral reflections among nurses on the work floor.

  20. Moral Emotions and Moral Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Stuewig, Jeff; Mashek, Debra J.

    2011-01-01

    Moral emotions represent a key element of our human moral apparatus, influencing the link between moral standards and moral behavior. This chapter reviews current theory and research on moral emotions. We first focus on a triad of negatively valenced “self-conscious” emotions—shame, guilt, and embarrassment. As in previous decades, much research remains focused on shame and guilt. We review current thinking on the distinction between shame and guilt, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of these two moral emotions. Several new areas of research are highlighted: research on the domain-specific phenomenon of body shame, styles of coping with shame, psychobiological aspects of shame, the link between childhood abuse and later proneness to shame, and the phenomena of vicarious or “collective” experiences of shame and guilt. In recent years, the concept of moral emotions has been expanded to include several positive emotions—elevation, gratitude, and the sometimes morally relevant experience of pride. Finally, we discuss briefly a morally relevant emotional process—other-oriented empathy. PMID:16953797

  1. Evaluating moral reasoning in nursing education.

    PubMed

    McLeod-Sordjan, Renee

    2014-06-01

    Evidence-based practice suggests the best approach to improving professionalism in practice is ethics curricula. However, recent research has demonstrated that millennium graduates do not advocate for patients or assert themselves during moral conflicts. The aim of this article is the exploration of evaluation techniques to evaluate one measurable outcome of ethics curricula: moral reasoning. A review of literature, published between 1995 and 2013, demonstrated that the moral orientations of care and justice as conceptualized by Gilligan and Kohlberg are utilized by nursing students to solve ethical dilemmas. Data obtained by means of reflective journaling, Ethics of Care Interview (ECI) and Defining Issues Test (DIT), would objectively measure the interrelated pathways of care-based and justice-based moral reasoning. In conclusion, educators have an ethical responsibility to foster students' ability to exercise sound clinical judgment, and support their professional development. It is recommended that educators design authentic assessments to demonstrate student's improvement of moral reasoning.

  2. Religion and the morality of mentality.

    PubMed

    Cohen, A B; Rozin, P

    2001-10-01

    Christian doctrine considers mental states important in judging a person's moral status, whereas Jewish doctrine considers them less important. The authors provide evidence from 4 studies that American Jews and Protestants differ in the moral import they attribute to mental states (honoring one's parents, thinking about having a sexual affair, and thinking about harming an animal). Although Protestants and Jews rated the moral status of the actions equally. Protestants rated a target person with inappropriate mental states more negatively than did Jews. These differences in moral judgment were partially mediated by Protestants' beliefs that mental states are controllable and likely to lead to action and were strongly related to agreement with general statements claiming that thoughts are morally relevant. These religious differences were not related to differences in collectivistic (interdependent) and individualistic (independent) tendencies.

  3. Does professional autonomy protect medical futility judgments?

    PubMed

    Gampel, Eric

    2006-04-01

    Despite substantial controversy, the use of futility judgments in medicine is quite common, and has been backed by the implementation of hospital policies and professional guidelines on medical futility. The controversy arises when health care professionals (HCPs) consider a treatment futile which patients or families believe to be worthwhile: should HCPs be free to refuse treatments in such a case, or be required to provide them? Most physicians seem convinced that professional autonomy protects them from being forced to provide treatments they judge mentally futile, given the lack of patient benefit as well as the waste of medical resources involved. The argument from professional autonomy has been presented in a number of articles, but it has not been subjected to much critical scrutiny. In this paper I distinguish three versions of the argument: 1) that each physician should be free to exercise his or her own medical judgment; 2) that the medical profession as a whole may provide futility standards to govern the practice of its members; and 3) that the moral integrity of each physician serves as a limit to treatment demands. I maintain that none of these versions succeeds in overcoming the standard objection that futility determinations involve value judgments best left to the patients, their designated surrogates, or their families. Nor do resource considerations change this fact, since they should not influence the properly patient-centered judgment about futility.

  4. The Memory State Heuristic: A Formal Model Based on Repeated Recognition Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castela, Marta; Erdfelder, Edgar

    2017-01-01

    The recognition heuristic (RH) theory predicts that, in comparative judgment tasks, if one object is recognized and the other is not, the recognized one is chosen. The memory-state heuristic (MSH) extends the RH by assuming that choices are not affected by recognition judgments per se, but by the memory states underlying these judgments (i.e.,…

  5. The Effect of Information Analysis Automation Display Content on Human Judgment Performance in Noisy Environments

    PubMed Central

    Bass, Ellen J.; Baumgart, Leigh A.; Shepley, Kathryn Klein

    2014-01-01

    Displaying both the strategy that information analysis automation employs to makes its judgments and variability in the task environment may improve human judgment performance, especially in cases where this variability impacts the judgment performance of the information analysis automation. This work investigated the contribution of providing either information analysis automation strategy information, task environment information, or both, on human judgment performance in a domain where noisy sensor data are used by both the human and the information analysis automation to make judgments. In a simplified air traffic conflict prediction experiment, 32 participants made probability of horizontal conflict judgments under different display content conditions. After being exposed to the information analysis automation, judgment achievement significantly improved for all participants as compared to judgments without any of the automation's information. Participants provided with additional display content pertaining to cue variability in the task environment had significantly higher aided judgment achievement compared to those provided with only the automation's judgment of a probability of conflict. When designing information analysis automation for environments where the automation's judgment achievement is impacted by noisy environmental data, it may be beneficial to show additional task environment information to the human judge in order to improve judgment performance. PMID:24847184

  6. Subjective Confidence in Perceptual Judgments: A Test of the Self-Consistency Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koriat, Asher

    2011-01-01

    Two questions about subjective confidence in perceptual judgments are examined: the bases for these judgments and the reasons for their accuracy. Confidence in perceptual judgments has been claimed to rest on qualitatively different processes than confidence in memory tasks. However, predictions from a self-consistency model (SCM), which had been…

  7. Children's Temporal Judgments for Autobiographical Past and Future Events

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hudson, Judith A.; Mayhew, Estelle M. Y.

    2011-01-01

    We compared the performance of twenty 5-7-year-olds on two spatial-temporal judgment tasks. In a semantic task, children located temporal distances from today that were described using conventional, temporal terms on a spatial timeline. In an autobiographical task, children judged temporal distances on the same spatial timeline for events that…

  8. Moral Chivalry

    PubMed Central

    Dalgleish, Tim; Evans, Davy; Navrady, Lauren; Tedeschi, Ellen; Mobbs, Dean

    2016-01-01

    Moral perceptions of harm and fairness are instrumental in guiding how an individual navigates moral challenges. Classic research documents that the gender of a target can affect how people deploy these perceptions of harm and fairness. Across multiple studies, we explore the effect of an individual’s moral orientations (their considerations of harm and justice) and a target’s gender on altruistic behavior. Results reveal that a target’s gender can bias one’s readiness to engage in harmful actions and that a decider’s considerations of harm—but not fairness concerns—modulate costly altruism. Together, these data illustrate that moral choices are conditional on the social nature of the moral dyad: Even under the same moral constraints, a target’s gender and a decider’s gender can shift an individual’s choice to be more or less altruistic, suggesting that gender bias and harm considerations play a significant role in moral cognition. PMID:27478541

  9. Core disgust and moral disgust are related to distinct spatiotemporal patterns of neural processing: an event-related potential study.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yu; Shen, Weilin; Zhang, Yu; Feng, Ting-yong; Huang, Hao; Li, Hong

    2013-10-01

    Core disgust is thought to rely more on sensory and perceptual processes, whereas moral disgust is thought to rely more on social evaluation processes. However, little is known about the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying these two types of disgust. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) from participants while they performed a lexical decision task in which core- and moral-disgust words were intermixed with neutral words and pseudowords. Lexical judgment was faster for coredisgust words and slower for moral-disgust words, relative to the neutral words. Core-disgust words, relative to neutral words, elicited a larger early posterior negative (EPN), a larger N320, a smaller N400, and a larger late positive component (LPC), whereas moral disgust words elicited a smaller N320 and a larger N400 than neutral words. These results suggest that the N320 and N400 components are particularly sensitive to the neurocognitive processes that overlap in processing both core and moral disgust, whereas the EPN and LPC may reflect process that are particularly sensitive to core disgust.

  10. The neural processing of moral sensitivity to issues of justice and care.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Diana; Snarey, John; Ousley, Opal; Harenski, Keith; DuBois Bowman, F; Gilkey, Rick; Kilts, Clinton

    2007-03-02

    The empirical and theoretical consideration of ethical decision making has focused on the process of moral judgment; however, a precondition to judgment is moral sensitivity, the ability to detect and evaluate moral issues [Rest, J. R. (1984). The major components of morality. In W. Kurtines & J. Gewirtz (Eds.), Morality, moral behaviour, and moral development (pp. 24-38). New York, NY: Wiley]. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and contextually standardized, real life moral issues, we demonstrate that sensitivity to moral issues is associated with activation of the polar medial prefrontal cortex, dorsal posterior cingulate cortex, and posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS). These activations suggest that moral sensitivity is related to access to knowledge unique to one's self, supported by autobiographical memory retrieval and social perspective taking. We also assessed whether sensitivity to rule-based or "justice" moral issues versus social situational or "care" moral issues is associated with dissociable neural processing events. Sensitivity to justice issues was associated with greater activation of the left intraparietal sulcus, whereas sensitivity to care issues was associated with greater activation of the ventral posterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and thalamus. These results suggest a role for access to self histories and identities and social perspectives in sensitivity to moral issues, provide neural representations of the subcomponent process of moral sensitivity originally proposed by Rest, and support differing neural information processing for the interpretive recognition of justice and care moral issues.

  11. Psychopathy: what apology making tells us about moral agency.

    PubMed

    Ayob, Gloria; Thornton, Tim

    2014-02-01

    Psychopathy is often used to settle disputes about the nature of moral judgment. The "trolley problem" is a familiar scenario in which psychopathy is used as a test case. Where a convergence in response to the trolley problem is registered between psychopathic subjects and non-psychopathic (normal) subjects, it is assumed that this convergence indicates that the capacity for making moral judgments is unimpaired in psychopathy. This, in turn, is taken to have implications for the dispute between motivation internalists and motivation externalists, for instance. In what follows, we want to do two things: firstly, we set out to question the assumption that convergence is informative of the capacity for moral judgment in psychopathy. Next, we consider a distinct feature of psychopathy which we think provides strong grounds for holding that the capacity for moral judgment is seriously impaired in psychopathic subjects. The feature in question is the psychopathic subject's inability to make sincere apologies. Our central claim will be this: convergence in response to trolley problems does not tell us very much about the psychopathic subject's capacity to make moral judgments, but his inability to make sincere apologies does provide us with strong grounds for holding that this capacity is seriously impaired in psychopathy.

  12. Moral transhumanism.

    PubMed

    Persson, Ingmar; Savulescu, Julian

    2010-12-01

    In its basic sense, the term "human" is a term of biological classification: an individual is human just in case it is a member of the species Homo sapiens. Its opposite is "nonhuman": nonhuman animals being animals that belong to other species than H. sapiens. In another sense of human, its opposite is "inhuman," that is cruel and heartless (cf. "humane" and "inhumane"); being human in this sense is having morally good qualities. This paper argues that biomedical research and therapy should make humans in the biological sense more human in the moral sense, even if they cease to be human in the biological sense. This serves valuable biomedical ends like the promotion of health and well-being, for if humans do not become more moral, civilization is threatened. It is unimportant that humans remain biologically human, since they do not have moral value in virtue of belonging to H. sapiens.

  13. The dual moral self: moral centrality and internal moral motivation.

    PubMed

    Krettenauer, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the relationship between two aspects of the moral self, moral centrality and internal moral motivation, was analyzed. It is argued that these 2 aspects are conceptually distinct but nonetheless empirically related. Based on a cross-sectional study of 205 adolescents (M age = 14.83 years, SD = 2.21 years) it was found that moral centrality and internal moral motivation, even though substantially correlated, interacted in predicting moral emotion expectancies. Even though moral centrality was unrelated to adolescents' age it predicted a longitudinal increase in internal moral motivation over a 1-year interval. Overall, the findings call for a differentiation of moral centrality and internal moral motivation as 2 distinct but interrelated aspects of moral self-development that follow different developmental trajectories and are differentially related to age. At the same time, the study points out that adolescence may be less important for the development of the moral self than commonly assumed.

  14. Moral Communities and Moral Leadership.

    PubMed

    Chambers, David W

    2015-01-01

    The American College of Dentists is embarking on a multiyear project to improve ethics in dentistry. Early indications are that the focus will be on actual moral behavior rather than theory, that we will include organizations as ethical units, and that we will focus on building moral leadership. There is little evidence that the "telling individuals how to behave" approach to ethics is having the hoped-for effect. As a profession, dentistry is based on shared trust. The public level of trust in practitioners is acceptable, but could be improved, and will need to be strengthened to reduce the risk of increasing regulation. While feedback from the way dentists and patients view ethics is generally reassuring, dentists are often at odds with patients and their colleagues over how the profesion manages itself. Individuals are an inconsistent mix of good and bad behavior, and it may be more helpful to make small improvements in the habits of all dentists than to try to take a few certifiably dishonest ones off the street. A computer simulation model of dentistry as a moral community suggests that the profession will always have the proportion of bad actors it will tolerate, that moral leadership is a difficult posture to maintain, that massive interventions to correct imbalances through education or other means will be wasted unless the system as a whole is modified, and that most dentists see no compelling benefit in changing the ethical climate of the profession because they are doing just fine. Considering organiza-tions as loci of moral behavior reveals questionable practices that otherwise remain undetected, including moral distress, fragmentation, fictitious dentists, moral fading, decoupling, responsibility shifting, and moral priming. What is most needed is not phillosophy or principles, but moral leadership.

  15. Effects of anger, guilt, and envy on moral hypocrisy.

    PubMed

    Polman, Evan; Ruttan, Rachel L

    2012-01-01

    In the current article the authors examined the impact of specific emotions on moral hypocrisy, the tendency among people to judge others more severely than they judge themselves. In two studies, they found that (a) anger increased moral hypocrisy, (b) guilt eliminated moral hypocrisy, and (c) envy reversed moral hypocrisy. In particular, these findings were observed in two domains. In Study 1, participants responded to moral dilemmas describing unethical behavior and rated how acceptable it would be if others engaged in the unethical behavior, or alternatively, if they themselves engaged in the unethical behavior. In Study 2, participants were asked how much they would like to donate to research on cancer, or alternatively, how much they think others should donate. The results demonstrate that specific emotions influence moral decision making, even when real money is at stake, and that emotions of the same valence have opposing effects on moral judgment.

  16. Knowledge and Morality of School-Age Children and Adolescents Regarding Environmental Issues and Moral Dilemmas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vestena, Carla Luciane Blum; Piske, Fernanda Hellen Ribeiro

    2017-01-01

    A research gap exists with regard to the analysis of school children and adolescents' awareness on environmental issues. Current investigation analyzes data of 240 children and adolescents, aged between 8 and 14 years, within different school contexts in the mid-southern region of Brazil, on their knowledge level and moral judgment on solid…

  17. Using checklists and algorithms to improve qualitative exposure judgment accuracy.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Susan F; Stenzel, Mark; Drolet, Daniel; Ramachandran, Gurumurthy

    2016-01-01

    Most exposure assessments are conducted without the aid of robust personal exposure data and are based instead on qualitative inputs such as education and experience, training, documentation on the process chemicals, tasks and equipment, and other information. Qualitative assessments determine whether there is any follow-up, and influence the type that occurs, such as quantitative sampling, worker training, and implementing exposure and risk management measures. Accurate qualitative exposure judgments ensure appropriate follow-up that in turn ensures appropriate exposure management. Studies suggest that qualitative judgment accuracy is low. A qualitative exposure assessment Checklist tool was developed to guide the application of a set of heuristics to aid decision making. Practicing hygienists (n = 39) and novice industrial hygienists (n = 8) were recruited for a study evaluating the influence of the Checklist on exposure judgment accuracy. Participants generated 85 pre-training judgments and 195 Checklist-guided judgments. Pre-training judgment accuracy was low (33%) and not statistically significantly different from random chance. A tendency for IHs to underestimate the true exposure was observed. Exposure judgment accuracy improved significantly (p <0.001) to 63% when aided by the Checklist. Qualitative judgments guided by the Checklist tool were categorically accurate or over-estimated the true exposure by one category 70% of the time. The overall magnitude of exposure judgment precision also improved following training. Fleiss' κ, evaluating inter-rater agreement between novice assessors was fair to moderate (κ = 0.39). Cohen's weighted and unweighted κ were good to excellent for novice (0.77 and 0.80) and practicing IHs (0.73 and 0.89), respectively. Checklist judgment accuracy was similar to quantitative exposure judgment accuracy observed in studies of similar design using personal exposure measurements, suggesting that the tool could be useful in

  18. Moral reasoning about great apes in research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamoto, Carol Midori

    2006-04-01

    This study explored how individuals (biomedical scientists, Great Ape Project activists, lay adults, undergraduate biology and environmental studies students, and Grade 12 and 9 biology students) morally judge and reason about using great apes in biomedical and language research. How these groups perceived great apes' mental capacities (e.g., pain, logical thinking) and how these perceptions related to their judgments were investigated through two scenarios. In addition, the kinds of informational statements (e.g., biology, economics) that may affect individuals' scenario judgments were investigated. A negative correlation was found between mental attributions and scenario judgments while no clear pattern occurred for the informational statements. For the biomedical scenario, all groups significantly differed in mean judgment ratings except for the biomedical scientists, GAP activists and Grade 9 students. For the language scenario, all groups differed except for the GAP activists, and undergraduate environmental studies and Grade 9 students. An in-depth qualitative analysis showed that although the biomedical scientists, GAP activists and Grade 9 students had similar judgments, they produced different mean percentages of justifications under four moral frameworks (virtue, utilitarianism, deontology, and welfare). The GAP activists used more virtue reasoning while the biomedical scientists and Grade 9 students used more utilitarian and welfare reasoning, respectively. The results are discussed in terms of developing environmental/humane education curricula.

  19. Moral learning: Why learning? Why moral? And why now?

    PubMed

    Railton, Peter

    2016-09-03

    What is distinctive about a bringing a learning perspective to moral psychology? Part of the answer lies in the remarkable transformations that have taken place in learning theory over the past two decades, which have revealed how powerful experience-based learning can be in the acquisition of abstract causal and evaluative representations, including generative models capable of attuning perception, cognition, affect, and action to the physical and social environment. When conjoined with developments in neuroscience, these advances in learning theory permit a rethinking of fundamental questions about the acquisition of moral understanding and its role in the guidance of behavior. For example, recent research indicates that spatial learning and navigation involve the formation of non-perspectival as well as ego-centric models of the physical environment, and that spatial representations are combined with learned information about risk and reward to guide choice and potentiate further learning. Research on infants provides evidence that they form non-perspectival expected-value representations of agents and actions as well, which help them to navigate the human environment. Such representations can be formed by highly-general mental processes such as causal and empathic simulation, and thus afford a foundation for spontaneous moral learning and action that requires no innate moral faculty and can exhibit substantial autonomy with respect to community norms. If moral learning is indeed integral with the acquisition and updating of casual and evaluative models, this affords a new way of understanding well-known but seemingly puzzling patterns in intuitive moral judgment-including the notorious "trolley problems."

  20. Is Grammar Spared in Autism Spectrum Disorder? Data from Judgments of Verb Argument Structure Overgeneralization Errors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ambridge, Ben; Bannard, Colin; Jackson, Georgina H.

    2015-01-01

    Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) aged 11-13 (N = 16) and an IQ-matched typically developing (TD) group aged 7-12 (N = 16) completed a graded grammaticality judgment task, as well as a standardized test of cognitive function. In a departure from previous studies, the judgment task involved verb argument structure overgeneralization…

  1. Systematic Underreproduction of Time Is Independent of Judgment Certainty

    PubMed Central

    Riemer, Martin; Rhodes, Darren; Wolbers, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    We recently proposed that systematic underreproduction of time is caused by a general judgment bias towards earlier responses, instead of reflecting a genuine misperception of temporal intervals. Here we tested whether this bias can be explained by the uncertainty associated with temporal judgments. We applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to inhibit neuronal processes in the right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and tested its effects on time discrimination and reproduction tasks. The results show increased certainty for discriminative time judgments after PPC inhibition. They suggest that the right PPC plays an inhibitory role for time perception, possibly by mediating the multisensory integration between temporal stimuli and other quantities. Importantly, this increased judgment certainty had no influence on the degree of temporal underreproduction. We conclude that the systematic underreproduction of time is not caused by uncertainty for temporal judgments. PMID:26881127

  2. Adaptation and fallibility in experts' judgments of novice performers.

    PubMed

    Larson, Jeffrey S; Billeter, Darron M

    2017-02-01

    Competition judges are often selected for their expertise, under the belief that a high level of performance expertise should enable accurate judgments of the competitors. Contrary to this assumption, we find evidence that expertise can reduce judgment accuracy. Adaptation level theory proposes that discriminatory capacity decreases with greater distance from one's adaptation level. Because experts' learning has produced an adaptation level close to ideal performance standards, they may be less able to discriminate among lower-level competitors. As a result, expertise increases judgment accuracy of high-level competitions but decreases judgment accuracy of low-level competitions. Additionally, we demonstrate that, consistent with an adaptation level theory account of expert judgment, experts systematically give more critical ratings than intermediates or novices. In summary, this work demonstrates a systematic change in human perception that occurs as task learning increases. (PsycINFO Database Record

  3. "Grow by Looking": From Moral Perception to Pedagogical Responsibility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stengel, Barbara S.; Casey, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    To teach for instrumental and innovative growth for both student and teacher is not simply a technical challenge. It is a moral task, requiring intimacy in the service of developing autonomy. It involves moral sensitivity and moral perception in prompting and framing responsible pedagogical action. It is an emotionally fraught enterprise, one that…

  4. Character disposition and behavior type: influences of valence on preschool children's social judgments.

    PubMed

    Jones, Elaine F; Tobias, Marvin; Pauley, Danielle; Thomson, Nicole Renick; Johnson, Shawana Lewis

    2009-12-01

    The authors studied the influences of valence information on preschool children's (n = 47) moral (good or bad), liking (liked or disliked by a friend), and consequence-of-behavior (reward or punishment) judgments. The authors presented 8 scenarios describing the behavior valence, positive valence (help, share), negative valence (verbal insult, physical aggression), and disposition valence (nice or mean) of characters in social interaction with a friend. Overall, character disposition and behavior valence significantly influenced children's judgments. Moral, liking, and consequence-of-behavior judgments varied significantly by character disposition for both positive behavior scenarios. In contrast, there were fewer significant findings as a function of character disposition for negative behavior scenarios, suggesting that the negative behavior cue somewhat diminished the effect of character disposition on children's judgments. The authors discuss preschool students' coordination of information about valence of behavior and character disposition and the students' reluctance to judge that misbehavior warrants punitive consequence.

  5. Judgments of Associative Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maki, William S.

    2007-01-01

    Judgments of associative memory (JAM) were indexed by ratings given to pairs of cue and response words. The normed probabilities, p(response|cue), were obtained from free association norms. The ratings were linearly related to the probabilities. The JAM functions were characterized by high intercepts (approximately 50 on a 100 point scale) and…

  6. Preservation and Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Peggy

    1990-01-01

    Discusses the need for the preservation of both print and non-print library materials. Issues raised include problems of photocopying; deciding what to discard and weed out of collections; special considerations for children's books; jobs for preservation librarians; and the need for good judgment in making preservation decisions. (LRW)

  7. Variability of Creativity Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caroff, Xavier; Besancon, Maud

    2008-01-01

    The Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT), developed by Amabile [Amabile, T.M. (1982). "Social psychology of creativity: A consensual assessment technique." "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," 43, 997-1013], is frequently used to evaluate the creativity of productions. Judgments obtained with CAT are usually reliable and valid.…

  8. Moral Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pahel, Kenneth

    1976-01-01

    Explains the rationale that there should be a kind of harmony between moral understanding or reasoning on the one hand, and the feeling dispositions on the other hand. Considers the views of Kant and Schopenhauer as they apply to the subject. (Author/RK)

  9. Moral Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.

    The 1974 Educational Testing Service (ETS) Measurement Award was presented to J.P. Guilford at the ETS Invitational Conference. Irving Kristol, in "Moral and Ethical Development in a Democratic Society," called for the restoration of authority within our major social institutions, especially schools. Martin Trow examined the effects of the college…

  10. Judging the morality of utilitarian actions: How poor utilitarian accessibility makes judges irrational.

    PubMed

    Kusev, Petko; van Schaik, Paul; Alzahrani, Shrooq; Lonigro, Samantha; Purser, Harry

    2016-12-01

    Is it acceptable and moral to sacrifice a few people's lives to save many others? Research on moral dilemmas in psychology, experimental philosophy, and neuropsychology has shown that respondents judge utilitarian personal moral actions (footbridge dilemma) as less appropriate than equivalent utilitarian impersonal moral actions (trolley dilemma). Accordingly, theorists (e.g., Greene et al., 2001) have argued that judgments of appropriateness in personal moral dilemmas are more emotionally salient and cognitively demanding (taking more time to be rational) than impersonal moral dilemmas. Our novel findings show an effect of psychological accessibility (driven by partial contextual information; Kahneman, 2003) on utilitarian moral behavior and response time for rational choices. Enhanced accessibility of utilitarian outcomes through comprehensive information about moral actions and consequences boosted utility maximization in moral choices, with rational choices taking less time. Moreover, our result suggests that previous results indicating emotional interference, with rational choices taking more time to make, may have been artifacts of presenting partial information.

  11. Text cohesion and metacomprehension: immediate and delayed judgments.

    PubMed

    Lefèvre, N; Lories, G

    2004-12-01

    In three experiments, we examined comprehension judgments made after a piece of text had been read. We propose that such metacognitive judgments are based on the content of working memory at the exact moment of assessment. Generally speaking, this working metacognition hypothesis is in agreement with Koriat's cue utilization approach, which implies that different elements of information will be available (and used) depending on the moment at which a judgment is made. More specifically, our hypothesis focuses on the management of working memory during reading as a cause for cue (un)availability. In support of these views, the results of Experiment 1 showed that a cohesion manipulation affecting the comprehension of specific paragraphs influences judgments only on these paragraphs, and not on judgments on the whole text. In Experiment 2, we showed that an interfering task that takes place just before this paragraph judgment is made wipes out this cohesion effect. Experiment 3 showed, on the other hand, that the whole-text judgment may, nevertheless, be affected by text cohesion, provided that the readers keep an access to the text when the judgment is made. These results support the idea that working memory management makes different cues available for metacognitive ratings at different delays.

  12. Thought about Actions in Social Domains: Morality, Social Conventions, and Social Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turiel, Elliot

    2008-01-01

    Judgments about actual and hypothetical events were examined. The study, conducted in elementary (first, third, and fifth grades) and junior high (seventh grades) schools, included behavioral observations and assessments of judgments. Observations were conducted of 108 events classified as moral, as conventional, and as mixed type. Participants'…

  13. Grounding Moralism: Moral Flaws and Aesthetic Properties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smuts, Aaron

    2011-01-01

    Can moral flaws lessen an artwork's aesthetic value? Answering yes to this question requires both that artworks can be morally flawed and that moral flaws within a work of art can have an aesthetic impact. For present purposes, the author will assume that artworks can be morally flawed by such means as endorsing immoral perspectives, culpably…

  14. On Moral Luck and Nonideal Moral Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chinnery, Ann

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to the Kantian principle that we are morally accountable only for those actions over which we have control, Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, and others have argued that luck plays a significant role in the moral life. Put briefly, moral luck is at play when we are appropriately praised or blamed for our moral actions despite the fact…

  15. Colloquium paper: the difference of being human: morality.

    PubMed

    Ayala, Francisco J

    2010-05-11

    In The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, published in 1871, Charles Darwin wrote: "I fully ... subscribe to the judgment of those writers who maintain that of all the differences between man and the lower animals the moral sense or conscience is by far the most important." I raise the question of whether morality is biologically or culturally determined. The question of whether the moral sense is biologically determined may refer either to the capacity for ethics (i.e., the proclivity to judge human actions as either right or wrong), or to the moral norms accepted by human beings for guiding their actions. I propose that the capacity for ethics is a necessary attribute of human nature, whereas moral codes are products of cultural evolution. Humans have a moral sense because their biological makeup determines the presence of three necessary conditions for ethical behavior: (i) the ability to anticipate the consequences of one's own actions; (ii) the ability to make value judgments; and (iii) the ability to choose between alternative courses of action. Ethical behavior came about in evolution not because it is adaptive in itself but as a necessary consequence of man's eminent intellectual abilities, which are an attribute directly promoted by natural selection. That is, morality evolved as an exaptation, not as an adaptation. Moral codes, however, are outcomes of cultural evolution, which accounts for the diversity of cultural norms among populations and for their evolution through time.

  16. Oscillatory correlates of moral decision-making: Effect of personality.

    PubMed

    Knyazev, Gennady G; Savostyanov, Alexander N; Bocharov, Andrey V; Dorosheva, Elena A; Tamozhnikov, Sergey S; Saprigyn, Alexander E

    2016-01-01

    The role of emotion in moral decision-making is still a matter of debate. Greene, Sommerville, Nystrom, Darley, and Cohen (2001) argue that 'personal' moral judgments are driven by emotional responses, while 'impersonal' judgments are largely driven by cognitive processes. In this study, oscillatory correlates of decision-making were compared in moral personal, moral impersonal, and nonmoral conditions, as well as in trials associated with utilitarian (i.e., favoring the 'greater good' over individual rights) and non-utilitarian choices. Event-related synchronization in delta and theta bands was greater in the right temporal lobe in personal than in both nonmoral and impersonal moral condition. Graph-theoretical analysis of connectivity patterns showed the prominent role of the orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices in personal moral decision-making, implying greater emotional and self-processing. Higher conscientiousness and intellect and lower behavioral activation were associated with greater difference in oscillatory responses between utilitarian and non-utilitarian choices in personal than in impersonal condition, indicating that sensitivity to moral issues and the ability to grasp the nuances of moral situation are essential for understanding the implications of utilitarian choices in personal and impersonal conditions.

  17. Moral psychology is relationship regulation: moral motives for unity, hierarchy, equality, and proportionality.

    PubMed

    Rai, Tage Shakti; Fiske, Alan Page

    2011-01-01

    Genuine moral disagreement exists and is widespread. To understand such disagreement, we must examine the basic kinds of social relationships people construct across cultures and the distinct moral obligations and prohibitions these relationships entail. We extend relational models theory (Fiske, 1991) to identify 4 fundamental and distinct moral motives. Unity is the motive to care for and support the integrity of in-groups by avoiding or eliminating threats of contamination and providing aid and protection based on need or empathic compassion. Hierarchy is the motive to respect rank in social groups where superiors are entitled to deference and respect but must also lead, guide, direct, and protect subordinates. Equality is the motive for balanced, in-kind reciprocity, equal treatment, equal say, and equal opportunity. Proportionality is the motive for rewards and punishments to be proportionate to merit, benefits to be calibrated to contributions, and judgments to be based on a utilitarian calculus of costs and benefits. The 4 moral motives are universal, but cultures, ideologies, and individuals differ in where they activate these motives and how they implement them. Unlike existing theories (Haidt, 2007; Hauser, 2006; Turiel, 1983), relationship regulation theory predicts that any action, including violence, unequal treatment, and "impure" acts, may be perceived as morally correct depending on the moral motive employed and how the relevant social relationship is construed. This approach facilitates clearer understanding of moral perspectives we disagree with and provides a template for how to influence moral motives and practices in the world.

  18. The community of nursing: moral friends, moral strangers, moral family.

    PubMed

    Laabs, Carolyn A

    2008-10-01

    Unlike bioethicists who contend that there is a morality common to all, H. Tristan Engelhardt (1996) argues that, in a pluralistic secular society, any morality that does exist is loosely connected, lacks substantive moral content, is based on the principle of permission and, thus, is a morality between moral strangers. This, says Engelhardt, stands in contrast to a substance-full morality that exists between moral friends, a morality in which moral content is based on shared beliefs and values and exists in communities that tend to be closely knit and religiously based. Of what value does Engelhardt's description of ethics as moral friends and moral strangers have for nursing? In this essay, I attempt to show how Engelhardt's description serves to illustrate how the nursing community historically had been one of moral friends but has gradually become one of moral strangers and, hence, at risk of failing to protect patients in their vulnerability and of compromising the integrity of nursing. Building on Engelhardt's concepts, I suggest we might consider modern nursing like a moral family to the extent that members might at times relate to one another as moral strangers but still possess a desire and a need to reconnect with the common thread that binds us as moral friends. Nursing is a practice discipline. Given the challenges of modern bioethics, an applied ethic is needed to give moral direction to clinicians as we strive to conduct ourselves ethically in the practice of our profession. To that end, nursing should reflect upon and seek to reconnect with the content-full morality that is historically and religiously based.

  19. Can Psychopathic Offenders Discern Moral Wrongs? A New Look at the Moral/Conventional Distinction

    PubMed Central

    Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter; Kiehl, Kent A.

    2012-01-01

    A prominent view of psychopathic moral reasoning suggests that psychopathic individuals cannot properly distinguish between moral wrongs and other types of wrongs. The present study evaluated this view by examining the extent to which 109 incarcerated offenders with varying degrees of psychopathy could distinguish between moral and conventional transgressions relative to each other and to non-incarcerated healthy controls. Using a modified version of the classic Moral/Conventional Transgressions task (Nucci & Turiel, 1978) that employs a forced-choice format to minimize strategic responding, the present study found that total psychopathy score did not predict performance on the task. Task performance was explained by some individual sub-facets of psychopathy and by other variables unrelated to psychopathy, such as IQ. The authors conclude that, contrary to earlier claims, insufficient data exist to infer that psychopathic individuals cannot know what is morally wrong. PMID:21842959

  20. A philosophical taxonomy of ethically significant moral distress.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Tessy A; McCullough, Laurence B

    2015-02-01

    Moral distress is one of the core topics of clinical ethics. Although there is a large and growing empirical literature on the psychological aspects of moral distress, scholars, and empirical investigators of moral distress have recently called for greater conceptual clarity. To meet this recognized need, we provide a philosophical taxonomy of the categories of what we call ethically significant moral distress: the judgment that one is not able, to differing degrees, to act on one's moral knowledge about what one ought to do. We begin by unpacking the philosophical components of Andrew Jameton's original formulation from his landmark 1984 work and identify two key respects in which that formulation remains unclear: the origins of moral knowledge and impediments to acting on that moral knowledge. We then selectively review subsequent literature that shows that there is more than one concept of moral distress and that explores the origin of the values implicated in moral distress and impediments to acting on those values. This review sets the stage for identifying the elements of a philosophical taxonomy of ethically significant moral distress. The taxonomy uses these elements to create six categories of ethically significant moral distress: challenges to, threats to, and violations of professional integrity; and challenges to, threats to, and violations of individual integrity. We close with suggestions about how the proposed philosophical taxonomy of ethically significant moral distress sheds light on the concepts of moral residue and crescendo effect of moral distress and how the proposed taxonomy might usefully guide prevention of and future qualitative and quantitative empirical research on ethically significant moral distress.

  1. Judgments about Judgments: The Dissociation of Consideration Price and Transaction Commitment Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Janiszewski, Chris; Lichtenstein, Donald R.; Belyavsky, Julia

    2008-01-01

    There are many contexts in which people make judgments about prior judgments. For example, Internet shopping bots (e.g., NexTag.com) allow consumers to search for products and, if the price is too high, list a price at which they would consider making the purchase (i.e., base judgment). If the price drops to this level, the vendor generates an…

  2. Mortality Salience and Morality: Thinking about Death Makes People Less Utilitarian

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tremoliere, Bastien; De Neys, Wim; Bonnefon, Jean-Francois

    2012-01-01

    According to the dual-process model of moral judgment, utilitarian responses to moral conflict draw on limited cognitive resources. Terror Management Theory, in parallel, postulates that mortality salience mobilizes these resources to suppress thoughts of death out of focal attention. Consequently, we predicted that individuals under mortality…

  3. Personal and Impersonal Stimuli Differentially Engage Brain Networks during Moral Reasoning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xue, Shao-Wei; Wang, Yan; Tang, Yi-Yuan

    2013-01-01

    Moral decision making has recently attracted considerable attention as a core feature of all human endeavors. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging studies about moral judgment have identified brain areas associated with cognitive or emotional engagement. Here, we applied graph theory-based network analysis of event-related potentials…

  4. Unsentimental Ethics: Towards a Content-Specific Account of the Moral-Conventional Distinction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Royzman, Edward B.; Leeman, Robert F.; Baron, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we offer an overview and a critique of the existing theories of the moral-conventional distinction, with emphasis on Nichols's [Nichols, S. (2002). Norms with feeling: Towards a psychological account of moral judgment. "Cognition, 84", 221-236] neo-sentimentalist approach. After discussing some distinctive features of Nichols's…

  5. A comparison of spatial frequency tuning for judgments of eye gaze and facial identity.

    PubMed

    Vida, Mark D; Maurer, Daphne

    2015-07-01

    Humans use the direction of eye gaze and facial identity to make important social judgments. We carried out the first measurements of spatial frequency (SF) tuning for judgments of eye gaze, and compared SF tuning for judgments of facial identity and eye gaze. In Experiment 1, participants discriminated between leftward and rightward shifts of gaze, or between two male faces or two female faces. Faces were masked with visual noise that blocked one of 10 SF bands. For each task and masking SF, we measured contrast thresholds for human observers, and used an ideal observer to measure the amount of visual information available to perform the task. As in previous research, low to mid SFs were most important for judgments of facial identity. Mid to high SFs were most important for judgments of eye gaze, and the highest SF important for these judgments was higher than that for identity. In Experiment 2, participants discriminated horizontal and vertical shifts of gaze. The highest SF important for judgments of gaze did not differ between the horizontal and vertical axes. However, SFs above and below this value were more important for judgments of vertical shifts of gaze than for horizontal shifts of gaze. These results suggest that the visual system relies on higher SFs for judgments of eye gaze than for judgments of facial identity, and that SF tuning is broader for judgments of vertical shifts of gaze than for horizontal shifts of gaze.

  6. Clinical versus actuarial judgment.

    PubMed

    Dawes, R M; Faust, D; Meehl, P E

    1989-03-31

    Professionals are frequently consulted to diagnose and predict human behavior; optimal treatment and planning often hinge on the consultant's judgmental accuracy. The consultant may rely on one of two contrasting approaches to decision-making--the clinical and actuarial methods. Research comparing these two approaches shows the actuarial method to be superior. Factors underlying the greater accuracy of actuarial methods, sources of resistance to the scientific findings, and the benefits of increased reliance on actuarial approaches are discussed.

  7. Emotional and Utilitarian Appraisals of Moral Dilemmas Are Encoded in Separate Areas and Integrated in Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Hutcherson, Cendri A; Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Woodward, James; Rangel, Antonio

    2015-09-09

    Moral judgment often requires making difficult tradeoffs (e.g., is it appropriate to torture to save the lives of innocents at risk?). Previous research suggests that both emotional appraisals and more deliberative utilitarian appraisals influence such judgments and that these appraisals often conflict. However, it is unclear how these different types of appraisals are represented in the brain, or how they are integrated into an overall moral judgment. We addressed these questions using an fMRI paradigm in which human subjects provide separate emotional and utilitarian appraisals for different potential actions, and then make difficult moral judgments constructed from combinations of these actions. We found that anterior cingulate, insula, and superior temporal gyrus correlated with emotional appraisals, whereas temporoparietal junction and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex correlated with utilitarian appraisals. Overall moral value judgments were represented in an anterior portion of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Critically, the pattern of responses and functional interactions between these three sets of regions are consistent with a model in which emotional and utilitarian appraisals are computed independently and in parallel, and passed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex where they are integrated into an overall moral value judgment. Significance statement: Popular accounts of moral judgment often describe it as a battle for control between two systems, one intuitive and emotional, the other rational and utilitarian, engaged in winner-take-all inhibitory competition. Using a novel fMRI paradigm, we identified distinct neural signatures of emotional and utilitarian appraisals and used them to test different models of how they compete for the control of moral behavior. Importantly, we find little support for competitive inhibition accounts. Instead, moral judgments resembled the architecture of simple economic choices: distinct regions represented emotional

  8. Moral Development in Adolescence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Daniel; Carlo, Gustavo

    2005-01-01

    Themes in the papers in this special issue of the "JRA" on moral development are identified. We discuss the intersection of moral development research with policy concerns, the distinctive qualities of moral life in adolescence that warrant investigation, the multiple connotations of "moral", the methods typical of moral development research, and…

  9. Liberating Moral Reflection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horell, Harold D.

    2013-01-01

    The author argues that if we are to foster life-giving and liberating moral reflection, we must first liberate moral reflection from distortions; specifically, from the distorting effects of moral insensitivity, destructive moral relativism, and confusions resulting from a failure to understand the dynamics of moral reflection. The author proposes…

  10. Influence of speaker gender on listener judgments of tracheoesophageal speech.

    PubMed

    Eadie, Tanya L; Doyle, Philip C; Hansen, Kerry; Beaudin, Paul G

    2008-01-01

    The objectives of this prospective and exploratory study are to determine: (1) naïve listener preference for gender in tracheoesophageal (TE) speech when speech severity is controlled; (2) the accuracy of identifying TE speaker gender; (3) the effects of gender identification on judgments of speech acceptability (ACC) and naturalness (NAT); and (4) the acoustic basis of ACC and NAT judgments. Six male and six female adult TE speakers were matched for speech severity. Twenty naïve listeners made auditory-perceptual judgments of speech samples in three listening sessions. First, listeners performed preference judgments using a paired comparison paradigm. Second, listeners made judgments of speaker gender, speech ACC, and NAT using rating scales. Last, listeners made ACC and NAT judgments when speaker gender was provided coincidentally. Duration, frequency, and spectral measures were performed. No significant differences were found for preference of male or female speakers. All male speakers were accurately identified, but only two of six female speakers were accurately identified. Significant interactions were found between gender and listening condition (gender known) for NAT and ACC judgments. Males were judged more natural when gender was known; female speakers were judged less natural and less acceptable when gender was known. Regression analyses revealed that judgments of female speakers were best predicted with duration measures when gender was unknown, but with spectral measures when gender was known; judgments of males were best predicted with spectral measures. Naïve listeners have difficulty identifying the gender of female TE speakers. Listeners show no preference for speaker gender, but when gender is known, female speakers are least acceptable and natural. The nature of the perceptual task may affect the acoustic basis of listener judgments.

  11. Moral Resilience: Managing and Preventing Moral Distress and Moral Residue.

    PubMed

    Lachman, Vicki D

    2016-01-01

    Moral resilience is the ability to deal with an ethically adverse situation without lasting effects of moral distress and moral residue. This requires morally courageous action, activating needed supports and doing the right thing. Morally resilient people also have developed self-confidence by confronting such situations so they can maintain their self-esteem, no matter what life delivers. Finally, the ability to adapt to changing circumstances with a sense of humor is at the heart of their flexibility. Morally resilient nurses are not naïve about the price of moral integrity. They know it does not come without pain of dealing with adversity, but they believe the virtue of moral courage is necessary to meet the ethical obligations of their profession (ANA, 2015b).

  12. Religious Roots: A Prolegomenon to Moral Judgment in American Policy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-03-15

    sense, this is impossible, as interests proceed from values. The United States, by way of example, might value both unrestrained access to energy...architecture of the proposed U.S. government and how to design it to counteract man’s natural proclivities, he wrote, “ Ambition must be made to counteract... ambition . The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature that such

  13. Toward an Understanding of Moral Judgments Concerning Violent Behavior

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-03-01

    feelings/emotions if you had (Options: Humiliation, Pride, Sadness, Happiness, Dissatisfaction , Satisfaction, Disgust, Guilt, Anger, Neutral) (1st thing... Dissatisfaction , Satisfaction, Disgust, Guilt, Anger, Neutral) (1st thing) First emotion ----------------- Second emotion...that best describe their feeling/emotions (Options: Humiliation, Pride, Sadness, Happiness, Dissatisfaction , Satisfaction, Disgust, Guilt, Anger

  14. Is moral bioenhancement dangerous?

    PubMed

    Drake, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    In a recent response to Persson and Savulescu's Unfit for the Future, Nicholas Agar argues that moral bioenhancement is dangerous. His grounds for this are that normal moral judgement should be privileged because it involves a balance of moral subcapacities; moral bioenhancement, Agar argues, involves the enhancement of only particular moral subcapacities, and thus upsets the balance inherent in normal moral judgement. Mistaken moral judgements, he says, are likely to result. I argue that Agar's argument fails for two reasons. First, having strength in a particular moral subcapacity does not necessarily entail a worsening of moral judgement; it can involve strength in a particular aspect of morality. Second, normal moral judgement is not sufficiently likely to be correct to be the standard by which moral judgements are measured.

  15. Exploring the psychological underpinnings of the moral mandate effect: motivated reasoning, group differentiation, or anger?

    PubMed

    Mullen, Elizabeth; Skitka, Linda J

    2006-04-01

    When people have strong moral convictions about outcomes, their judgments of both outcome and procedural fairness become driven more by whether outcomes support or oppose their moral mandates than by whether procedures are proper or improper (the moral mandate effect). Two studies tested 3 explanations for the moral mandate effect. In particular, people with moral mandates may (a) have a greater motivation to seek out procedural flaws when outcomes fail to support their moral point of view (the motivated reasoning hypothesis), (b) be influenced by in-group distributive biases as a result of identifying with parties that share rather than oppose their moral point of view (the group differentiation hypothesis), or (c) react with anger when outcomes are inconsistent with their moral point of view, which, in turn, colors perceptions of both outcomes and procedures (the anger hypothesis). Results support the anger hypothesis.

  16. Moral complexity in middle childhood: children's evaluations of necessary harm.

    PubMed

    Jambon, Marc; Smetana, Judith G

    2014-01-01

    We assessed 5- to 11-year-olds' (N = 76) judgments of straightforward moral transgressions (prototypical harm) as well as their evaluations of complex, hypothetical scenarios in which an actor transgresses in order to prevent injury (necessary harm). The nature of the actor's transgression (psychological or physical harm) varied across participants. Moral judgments and justifications, knowledge of the actor's psychological experience, and their associations were examined. At all ages, children negatively evaluated prototypical harm; judgments of necessary harm became increasingly more forgiving with age as justifications pertaining to the actor's harm decreased. References to the actor's positive actions and children's tendency to coordinate conflicting concerns increased with age, but only when evaluating psychological harm. Across conditions, older children viewed transgressors as holding increasingly more positive attitudes toward their own actions, and this was uniquely associated with more forgiving moral judgments and justifications of necessary but not prototypical harm. Findings are discussed in relation to the emergence of more flexible and nuanced moral evaluations during middle childhood.

  17. Implementing a Moral Education Program through Attitude Change Theory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes, Richard L.; Casper, Daniel

    1979-01-01

    Major theories of attitude change are explained: stimulus-response and reinforcement theory, functional theory, social judgment theory, and consistency theory. These theories are applied to the problems of influencing staff toward implementing a program of moral education. (Author/SJL)

  18. Moral Complexity in Middle Childhood: Children's Evaluations of Necessary Harm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jambon, Marc; Smetana, Judith G.

    2014-01-01

    We assessed 5-to 11-year-olds' (N = 76) judgments of straightforward moral transgressions (prototypical harm) as well as their evaluations of complex, hypothetical scenarios in which an actor transgresses in order to prevent injury (necessary harm). The nature of the actor's transgression (psychological or physical harm) varied across…

  19. Moral and Social Reasoning in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shulman, Cory; Guberman, Ainat; Shiling, Noa; Bauminger, Nirit

    2012-01-01

    This study compared moral and social reasoning in individuals with and without autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Ten familiar schoolyard transgressions were shown to 18 participants with and 18 participants without ASD. They judged the appropriateness of the behavior and explained their judgments. Analysis of the rationales revealed that…

  20. Neural correlates of moral and non-moral emotion in female psychopathy.

    PubMed

    Harenski, Carla L; Edwards, Bethany G; Harenski, Keith A; Kiehl, Kent A

    2014-01-01

    This study presents the first neuroimaging investigation of female psychopathy in an incarcerated population. Prior studies have found that male psychopathy is associated with reduced limbic and paralimbic activation when processing emotional stimuli and making moral judgments. The goal of this study was to investigate whether these findings extend to female psychopathy. During fMRI scanning, 157 incarcerated and 46 non-incarcerated female participants viewed unpleasant pictures, half which depicted moral transgressions, and neutral pictures. Participants rated each picture on moral transgression severity. Psychopathy was assessed using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) in all incarcerated participants. Non-incarcerated participants were included as a control group to derive brain regions of interest associated with viewing unpleasant vs. neutral pictures (emotion contrast), and unpleasant pictures depicting moral transgressions vs. unpleasant pictures without moral transgressions (moral contrast). Regression analyses in the incarcerated group examined the association between PCL-R scores and brain activation in the emotion and moral contrasts. Results of the emotion contrast revealed a negative correlation between PCL-R scores and activation in the right amygdala and rostral anterior cingulate. Results of the moral contrast revealed a negative correlation between PCL-R scores and activation in the right temporo-parietal junction. These results indicate that female psychopathy, like male psychopathy, is characterized by reduced limbic activation during emotion processing. In contrast, reduced temporo-parietal activation to moral transgressions has been less observed in male psychopathy. These results extend prior findings in male psychopathy to female psychopathy, and reveal aberrant neural responses to morally-salient stimuli that may be unique to female psychopathy.

  1. Neural correlates of moral and non-moral emotion in female psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    Harenski, Carla L.; Edwards, Bethany G.; Harenski, Keith A.; Kiehl, Kent A.

    2014-01-01

    This study presents the first neuroimaging investigation of female psychopathy in an incarcerated population. Prior studies have found that male psychopathy is associated with reduced limbic and paralimbic activation when processing emotional stimuli and making moral judgments. The goal of this study was to investigate whether these findings extend to female psychopathy. During fMRI scanning, 157 incarcerated and 46 non-incarcerated female participants viewed unpleasant pictures, half which depicted moral transgressions, and neutral pictures. Participants rated each picture on moral transgression severity. Psychopathy was assessed using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) in all incarcerated participants. Non-incarcerated participants were included as a control group to derive brain regions of interest associated with viewing unpleasant vs. neutral pictures (emotion contrast), and unpleasant pictures depicting moral transgressions vs. unpleasant pictures without moral transgressions (moral contrast). Regression analyses in the incarcerated group examined the association between PCL-R scores and brain activation in the emotion and moral contrasts. Results of the emotion contrast revealed a negative correlation between PCL-R scores and activation in the right amygdala and rostral anterior cingulate. Results of the moral contrast revealed a negative correlation between PCL-R scores and activation in the right temporo-parietal junction. These results indicate that female psychopathy, like male psychopathy, is characterized by reduced limbic activation during emotion processing. In contrast, reduced temporo-parietal activation to moral transgressions has been less observed in male psychopathy. These results extend prior findings in male psychopathy to female psychopathy, and reveal aberrant neural responses to morally-salient stimuli that may be unique to female psychopathy. PMID:25309400

  2. Breadwinning Moms, Caregiving Dads: Double Standard in Social Judgments of Gender Norm Violators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaunt, Ruth

    2013-01-01

    This study explores the role of gender ideologies in moderating social judgments of gender norm violators. Three hundred and eleven participants evaluated a male or a female target who was either a primary breadwinner or a primary caregiver. Attributions of personal traits, moral emotions, and marital emotions were examined. Results showed that…

  3. Fisher Ames and Political Judgment: Reason, Passion, and Vehement Style in the Jay Treaty Speech.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrell, James M.

    1990-01-01

    Analyzes Fisher Ames' fiery speech of 1796 on the Jay Treaty. Demonstrates the influence of Scottish enlightenment thinkers (particularly in moral sense philosophy and faculty psychology) on Ames and his rhetoric. Demonstrates how Ames made a compelling case to shift the standard of political judgment from reason to passion. (SR)

  4. Character Disposition and Behavior Type: Influences of Valence on Preschool Children's Social Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Elaine F.; Tobias, Marvin; Pauley, Danielle; Thomson, Nicole Renick; Johnson, Shawana Lewis

    2009-01-01

    The authors studied the influences of valence information on preschool children's (n = 47) moral (good or bad), liking (liked or disliked by a friend), and consequence-of-behavior (reward or punishment) judgments. The authors presented 8 scenarios describing the behavior valence, positive valence (help, share), negative valence (verbal insult,…

  5. Moral dilemmas in females: children are more utilitarian than adults

    PubMed Central

    Bucciarelli, Monica

    2015-01-01

    Influential theories on moral judgments propose that they rely either on emotions or on innate moral principles. In contrast, the mental model theory postulates that moral judgments rely on reasoning, either intuition or deliberation. The theory allows for the possibility that intuitions lead to utilitarian judgments. This paper reports two experiments involving fifth-grade children, adolescents, and adults; the results revealed that children reason intuitively to resolve moral dilemmas in which action and inaction lead to different outcomes. In particular, the results showed female children to be more utilitarian than female adults in resolving classical moral dilemmas: they preferred an action that achieved a good outcome for a greater number of people. Within the mental model theory's framework there is no reason to expect that females and males differ in their ability to reason, but at the moment the results for females cannot be generalized to males who were not properly represented in the adults groups of the two experiments. The result revealing that (female) children are more utilitarian than (female) adults, which is hard to explain via many current theories, was predicted by the mental model theory. PMID:26441722

  6. Implicit Theories and Offender Representativeness in Judgments About Sexual Crime.

    PubMed

    Harper, Craig A; Bartels, Ross M

    2016-07-01

    Implicit theories structure the way people understand and respond to various human actions. Typically, people believe attributes are either fixed (entitists) or malleable (incrementalists). The present study aimed to examine (a) whether attitudes toward sexual offenders differ depending upon one's implicit theory about human nature and sexual offenders, and (b) whether implicit theories are associated with judgments made about different types of child abusers. A sample of 252 community participants was recruited. Their attitudes, implicit theories, and political orientation were assessed via self-report. One of three vignettes describing an incidence of child sexual abuse was then presented. The cases were identical except the perpetrator was either an adult male, an adult female, or a male juvenile. Participants then made judgments about the offender's deserved sentence and moral character. Entitists (across both domains) held more negative attitudes than incrementalists, although the magnitude of the difference was greatest when examining implicit theories about sexual offenders. Compared with those with an incremental theory of sexual offenders, entity theorists judged sexual offending to be more (a) indicative of the perpetrator's moral character and (b) deserving of punishment. However, scores were greater toward the adult male relative to the adult female and juvenile. The findings suggest that implicit theories about sexual offenders are domain specific. They also indicate that judgments made by those with an entity theory (about sexual offenders) are affected by whether a case is representative of a stereotypical sexual offender. Implications of the findings are discussed, along with limitations and future research.

  7. Syntax in a Native Language Still Continues to Develop in Adults: Honorification Judgment in Japanese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Momo, Kanako; Sakai, Hiromu; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L.

    2008-01-01

    Native languages (L1s) are tacitly assumed to be complete and stable in adults. Here we report an unexpected individual variation in judgment of L1 regarding Japanese sentences including honorification, and further clarify its neural basis with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). By contrasting an honorification judgment task with a…

  8. Feeling-of-Knowing Judgment and Self-Regulation of Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bembenutty, Hefer

    2009-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of the concept of feeling-of-knowing judgment, methodological issues regarding the concept, and its relationship with metacognition and self-regulation of learning. Feeling-of-knowing refers to the judgment about the degree of accuracy for recognizing or knowing a task or answer and predicting one's knowledge.…

  9. Educating Moral Emotions or Moral Selves: A False Dichotomy?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kristjansson, Kristjan

    2010-01-01

    In the post-Kohlbergian era of moral education, a "moral gap" has been identified between moral cognition and moral action. Contemporary moral psychologists lock horns over how this gap might be bridged. The two main contenders for such bridge-building are moral emotions and moral selves. I explore these two options from an Aristotelian…

  10. William James's Moral Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Wesley

    2003-01-01

    James's moral theory, primarily as set out in "The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life" (in his "The Will To Believe" (1897)), is presented here as having a two-level structure, an empirical or historical level where progress toward greater moral inclusiveness is central, and a metaphysical or end-of-history level--James's "kingdom of…

  11. Motor and cognitive integration: effect of bilateral behaviors on judgment.

    PubMed

    Cretenet, Joël; Mullet, Etienne; Dru, Vincent

    2015-10-01

    Performing approach vs. avoidance behaviors (arm flexion vs. arm extension) on the one hand, and lateralized peripheral activations (left side vs. right side) of the motivational systems of approach vs. avoidance, on the other hand, have been shown to impact on cognitive functioning (Cretenet, & Dru, 2009), mainly in judgment tasks. When a unilateral motor congruent behavior; that is, a behavior that activates the same motivational system (e.g., flexion of the right arm) was performed during a judgment task, participants' use of complex, interactive information integration rules was facilitated. No effect was, however, found when simpler, additive rules were involved (Mullet, Cretenet, & Dru, 2014). Three experiments are reported here that examined the effect of bilateral motor behaviors (e.g., flexion of the right arm and extension of the left arm) on the implementation of information integration rules. In Studies 1 and 2, two judgment tasks similar to the ones used by Mullet et al. (2014) were used: (a) a complex task in which participants judged a person's attractiveness from personality information, and (b) a simpler task in which they attributed blame according to bad deeds. It was found that similar motor behaviors performed by the two arms (e.g., flexion of both arms), in contrast to dissimilar ones, facilitated the use of complex, interactive information integration rules. No effect was found in the case of simpler integration rules. In Study 3, these results were replicated in a judgment task in which the complexity of the integration rule varied depending on the instructions given. Overall, when bilateral motor behaviors were performed during judgment, facilitation in the use of complex integration rules no longer depended on motivational congruence as in the case of unilateral motor behavior. It depended on symmetry/similarity of behaviors.

  12. Pitfalls in Teaching Judgment Heuristics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shepperd, James A.; Koch, Erika J.

    2005-01-01

    Demonstrations of judgment heuristics typically focus on how heuristics can lead to poor judgments. However, exclusive focus on the negative consequences of heuristics can prove problematic. We illustrate the problem with the representativeness heuristic and present a study (N = 45) that examined how examples influence understanding of the…

  13. Moral motivation based on multiple developmental structures: an exploration of cognitive and emotional dynamics.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ulas; Tivnan, Terrence

    2014-01-01

    Intrapersonal variability and multiplicity in the complexity of moral motivation were examined from Dynamic Systems and Self-Determination Theory perspectives. L. Kohlberg's (1969) stages of moral development are reconceptualized as soft-assembled and dynamically transformable process structures of motivation that may operate simultaneously within person in different degrees. Moral motivation is conceptualized as the real-time process of self-organization of cognitive and emotional dynamics out of which moral judgment and action emerge. A detailed inquiry into intrapersonal variation in moral motivation is carried out based on the differential operation of multiple motivational structures. A total of 74 high school students and 97 college students participated in the study by completing a new questionnaire, involving 3 different hypothetical moral judgments. As hypothesized, findings revealed significant multiplicity in the within-person operation of developmental stage structures, and intrapersonal variability in the degrees to which stages were used. Developmental patterns were found in terms of different distributions of multiple stages between high school and college samples, as well as the association between age and overall motivation scores. Differential relations of specific emotions to moral motivation revealed and confirmed the value of differentiating multiple emotions. Implications of the present theoretical perspective and the findings for understanding the complexity of moral judgment and motivation are discussed.

  14. Attention, Working Memory, and Grammaticality Judgment in Typical Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Pamela A.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: To examine resource allocation and sentence processing, this study examined the effects of auditory distraction on grammaticality judgment (GJ) of sentences varied by semantics (reversibility) and short-term memory requirements. Method: Experiment 1: Typical young adult females (N = 60) completed a whole-sentence GJ task in distraction…

  15. Deciding in the Dark: Age Differences in Intuitive Risk Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shulman, Elizabeth P.; Cauffman, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Elevated levels of risky behavior in adolescence may signal developmental change in unconscious appraisal of risk. Yet, prior research examining adolescent risk judgment has used tasks that elicit conscious deliberation. The present study, in contrast, attempts to characterize age differences in (less conscious) intuitive impressions of risk.…

  16. Brain network dynamics underlying visuospatial judgment: an FMRI connectivity study.

    PubMed

    de Graaf, Tom A; Roebroeck, Alard; Goebel, Rainer; Sack, Alexander T

    2010-09-01

    Previous functional imaging research has consistently indicated involvement of bilateral fronto-parietal networks during the execution of visuospatial tasks. Studies with TMS have suggested that the right hemispheric network, but not the left, is functionally relevant for visuospatial judgments. However, very little is still known about the interactions within these fronto-parietal networks underlying visuospatial processing. In the current study, we investigated task modulation of functional connectivity (instantaneous correlations of regional time courses), and task-specific effective connectivity (direction of influences), within the right fronto-parietal network activated during visuospatial judgments. Ten healthy volunteers performed a behaviorally controlled visuospatial judgment task (ANGLE) or a control task (COLOR) in an fMRI experiment. Visuospatial task-specific activations were found in posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and middle/inferior frontal gyrus (MFG). Functional connectivity within this network was task-modulated, with significantly higher connectivity between PPC and MFG during ANGLE than during COLOR. Effective connectivity analysis for directed influence revealed that visuospatial task-specific projections within this network were predominantly in a frontal-to-parietal direction. Moreover, ANGLE-specific influences from thalamic nuclei to PPC were identified. Exploratory effective connectivity analysis revealed that closely neighboring clusters, within visuospatial regions, were differentially involved in the network. These neighboring clusters had opposite effective connectivity patterns to other nodes of the fronto-parietal network. Our data thus reveal that visuospatial judgments are supported by massive fronto-parietal backprojections, thalamo-parietal influence, and multiple stages, or loops, of information flow within the visuospatial network. We speculate on possible functional contributions of the various network nodes and

  17. A neuroscientific approach to normative judgment in law and justice.

    PubMed Central

    Goodenough, Oliver R; Prehn, Kristin

    2004-01-01

    Developments in cognitive neuroscience are providing new insights into the nature of normative judgment. Traditional views in such disciplines as philosophy, religion, law, psychology and economics have differed over the role and usefulness of intuition and emotion in judging blameworthiness. Cognitive psychology and neurobiology provide new tools and methods for studying questions of normative judgment. Recently, a consensus view has emerged, which recognizes important roles for emotion and intuition and which suggests that normative judgment is a distributed process in the brain. Testing this approach through lesion and scanning studies has linked a set of brain regions to such judgment, including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex and posterior superior temporal sulcus. Better models of emotion and intuition will help provide further clarification of the processes involved. The study of law and justice is less well developed. We advance a model of law in the brain which suggests that law can recruit a wider variety of sources of information and paths of processing than do the intuitive moral responses that have been studied so far. We propose specific hypotheses and lines of further research that could help test this approach. PMID:15590612

  18. Emotion and the Moral Lives of Adolescents: Vagaries and Complexities in the Emotional Experience of Doing Harm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wainryb, Cecilia; Recchia, Holly E.

    2012-01-01

    Far from being unthinking energies or irrational impulses that control or push people around, emotions are intricately connected to the way people perceive, understand, and think about the world. As such, emotions are also an inextricable part of people's moral lives. As people go about making moral judgments and decisions, they do not merely…

  19. Cold or calculating? Reduced activity in the subgenual cingulate cortex reflects decreased emotional aversion to harming in counterintuitive utilitarian judgment

    PubMed Central

    Wiech, Katja; Kahane, Guy; Shackel, Nicholas; Farias, Miguel; Savulescu, Julian; Tracey, Irene

    2013-01-01

    Recent research on moral decision-making has suggested that many common moral judgments are based on immediate intuitions. However, some individuals arrive at highly counterintuitive utilitarian conclusions about when it is permissible to harm other individuals. Such utilitarian judgments have been attributed to effortful reasoning that has overcome our natural emotional aversion to harming others. Recent studies, however, suggest that such utilitarian judgments might also result from a decreased aversion to harming others, due to a deficit in empathic concern and social emotion. The present study investigated the neural basis of such indifference to harming using functional neuroimaging during engagement in moral dilemmas. A tendency to counterintuitive utilitarian judgment was associated both with ‘psychoticism’, a trait associated with a lack of empathic concern and antisocial tendencies, and with ‘need for cognition’, a trait reflecting preference for effortful cognition. Importantly, only psychoticism was also negatively correlated with activation in the subgenual cingulate cortex (SCC), a brain area implicated in empathic concern and social emotions such as guilt, during counterintuitive utilitarian judgments. Our findings suggest that when individuals reach highly counterintuitive utilitarian conclusions, this need not reflect greater engagement in explicit moral deliberation. It may rather reflect a lack of empathic concern, and diminished aversion to harming others. PMID:23280149

  20. Cold or calculating? Reduced activity in the subgenual cingulate cortex reflects decreased emotional aversion to harming in counterintuitive utilitarian judgment.

    PubMed

    Wiech, Katja; Kahane, Guy; Shackel, Nicholas; Farias, Miguel; Savulescu, Julian; Tracey, Irene

    2013-03-01

    Recent research on moral decision-making has suggested that many common moral judgments are based on immediate intuitions. However, some individuals arrive at highly counterintuitive utilitarian conclusions about when it is permissible to harm other individuals. Such utilitarian judgments have been attributed to effortful reasoning that has overcome our natural emotional aversion to harming others. Recent studies, however, suggest that such utilitarian judgments might also result from a decreased aversion to harming others, due to a deficit in empathic concern and social emotion. The present study investigated the neural basis of such indifference to harming using functional neuroimaging during engagement in moral dilemmas. A tendency to counterintuitive utilitarian judgment was associated both with 'psychoticism', a trait associated with a lack of empathic concern and antisocial tendencies, and with 'need for cognition', a trait reflecting preference for effortful cognition. Importantly, only psychoticism was also negatively correlated with activation in the subgenual cingulate cortex (SCC), a brain area implicated in empathic concern and social emotions such as guilt, during counterintuitive utilitarian judgments. Our findings suggest that when individuals reach highly counterintuitive utilitarian conclusions, this need not reflect greater engagement in explicit moral deliberation. It may rather reflect a lack of empathic concern, and diminished aversion to harming others.

  1. Priming Children’s Use of Intentions in Moral Judgement with Metacognitive Training

    PubMed Central

    Gvozdic, Katarina; Moutier, Sylvain; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Buon, Marine

    2016-01-01

    Typically, adults give a primary role to the agent’s intention to harm when performing a moral judgment of accidental harm. By contrast, children often focus on outcomes, underestimating the actor’s mental states when judging someone for his action, and rely on what we suppose to be intuitive and emotional processes. The present study explored the processes involved in the development of the capacity to integrate agents’ intentions into their moral judgment of accidental harm in 5 to 8-year-old children. This was done by the use of different metacognitive trainings reinforcing different abilities involved in moral judgments (mentalising abilities, executive abilities, or no reinforcement), similar to a paradigm previously used in the field of deductive logic. Children’s moral judgments were gathered before and after the training with non-verbal cartoons depicting agents whose actions differed only based on their causal role or their intention to harm. We demonstrated that a metacognitive training could induce an important shift in children’s moral abilities, showing that only children who were explicitly instructed to “not focus too much” on the consequences of accidental harm, preferentially weighted the agents’ intentions in their moral judgments. Our findings confirm that children between the ages of 5 and 8 are sensitive to the intention of agents, however, at that age, this ability is insufficient in order to give a “mature” moral judgment. Our experiment is the first that suggests the critical role of inhibitory resources in processing accidental harm. PMID:27047402

  2. Brain intersections of aesthetics and morals: perspectives from biology, neuroscience, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Zaidel, D W; Nadal, M

    2011-01-01

    For centuries, only philosophers debated the relationship between aesthetics and morality. Recently, with advances in neuroscience, the debate has moved to include the brain and an evolved neural underpinning linking aesthetic reactions and moral judgment. Biological survival emphasizes mate selection strategies, and the ritual displays have been linked to human aesthetics in the arts, in faces, and in various daily decision making. In parallel, cultural human practices have evolved to emphasize altruism and morality. This article explores the biological background and discusses the neuroscientific evidence for shared brain pathways for aesthetics and morals.

  3. The Enforcement of Moral Boundaries Promotes Cooperation and Prosocial Behavior in Groups

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Brent; Willer, Robb; Harrell, Ashley

    2017-01-01

    The threat of free-riding makes the marshalling of cooperation from group members a fundamental challenge of social life. Where classical social science theory saw the enforcement of moral boundaries as a critical way by which group members regulate one another’s self-interest and build cooperation, moral judgments have most often been studied as processes internal to individuals. Here we investigate how the interpersonal expression of positive and negative moral judgments encourages cooperation in groups and prosocial behavior between group members. In a laboratory experiment, groups whose members could make moral judgments achieved greater cooperation than groups with no capacity to sanction, levels comparable to those of groups featuring costly material sanctions. In addition, members of moral judgment groups subsequently showed more interpersonal trust, trustworthiness, and generosity than all other groups. These findings extend prior work on peer enforcement, highlighting how the enforcement of moral boundaries offers an efficient solution to cooperation problems and promotes prosocial behavior between group members. PMID:28211503

  4. Colours’ Impact on Morality: Evidence from Event-related Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Gan, Tian; Fang, Wei; Ge, Liezhong

    2016-01-01

    Black and white have been shown to be representations of moral concepts. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether colours other than black and white have similar effects on words related to morality and to determine the time course of these effects. We presented moral and immoral words in three colours (red, green and blue) in a Moral Stroop task and used the event-related potential (ERP) technique to identify the temporal dynamics of the impact of colours on moral judgement. The behavioural results showed that it took longer for people to judge immoral words than moral words when the words were coloured green than when they were red or blue. The ERP results revealed the time course of these effects. Three stages were identified in the significant effects of P200, N300 and LPC. These findings suggest a metaphorical association between the colour green and moral information. PMID:28004749

  5. How emotions inform judgment and regulate thought

    PubMed Central

    Clore, Gerald L.; Huntsinger, Jeffrey R.

    2008-01-01

    Being happy or sad influences the content and style of thought. One explanation is that affect serves as information about the value of whatever comes to mind. Thus, when a person makes evaluative judgments or engages in a task, positive affect can enhance evaluations and empower potential responses. Rather than affect itself, the information conveyed by affect is crucial. Tests of the hypothesis find that affective influences can be made to disappear by changing the source to which the affect is attributed. In tasks, positive affect validates and negative affect invalidates accessible cognitions, leading to relational processing and item-specific processing, respectively. Positive affect is found to promote, and negative affect to inhibit, many textbook phenomena from cognitive psychology. PMID:17698405

  6. Do Changes in the Pace of Events Affect One-Off Judgments of Duration?

    PubMed Central

    Darlow, Hannah M.; Dylman, Alexandra S.; Gheorghiu, Ana I.; Matthews, William J.

    2013-01-01

    Five experiments examined whether changes in the pace of external events influence people’s judgments of duration. In Experiments 1a–1c, participants heard pieces of music whose tempo accelerated, decelerated, or remained constant. In Experiment 2, participants completed a visuo-motor task in which the rate of stimulus presentation accelerated, decelerated, or remained constant. In Experiment 3, participants completed a reading task in which facts appeared on-screen at accelerating, decelerating, or constant rates. In all experiments, the physical duration of the to-be-judged interval was the same across conditions. We found no significant effects of temporal structure on duration judgments in any of the experiments, either when participants knew that a time estimate would be required (prospective judgments) or when they did not (retrospective judgments). These results provide a starting point for the investigation of how temporal structure affects one-off judgments of duration like those typically made in natural settings. PMID:23555804

  7. Do changes in the pace of events affect one-off judgments of duration?

    PubMed

    Darlow, Hannah M; Dylman, Alexandra S; Gheorghiu, Ana I; Matthews, William J

    2013-01-01

    Five experiments examined whether changes in the pace of external events influence people's judgments of duration. In Experiments 1a-1c, participants heard pieces of music whose tempo accelerated, decelerated, or remained constant. In Experiment 2, participants completed a visuo-motor task in which the rate of stimulus presentation accelerated, decelerated, or remained constant. In Experiment 3, participants completed a reading task in which facts appeared on-screen at accelerating, decelerating, or constant rates. In all experiments, the physical duration of the to-be-judged interval was the same across conditions. We found no significant effects of temporal structure on duration judgments in any of the experiments, either when participants knew that a time estimate would be required (prospective judgments) or when they did not (retrospective judgments). These results provide a starting point for the investigation of how temporal structure affects one-off judgments of duration like those typically made in natural settings.

  8. Multiple paths in complex tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galanter, Eugene; Wiegand, Thomas; Mark, Gloria

    1987-01-01

    The relationship between utility judgments of subtask paths and the utility of the task as a whole was examined. The convergent validation procedure is based on the assumption that measurements of the same quantity done with different methods should covary. The utility measures of the subtasks were obtained during the performance of an aircraft flight controller navigation task. Analyses helped decide among various models of subtask utility combination, whether the utility ratings of subtask paths predict the whole tasks utility rating, and indirectly, whether judgmental models need to include the equivalent of cognitive noise.

  9. Quantification of Health by Scaling Similarity Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Arons, Alexander M. M.; Krabbe, Paul F. M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective A new methodology is introduced to scale health states on an interval scale based on similarity responses. It could be well suited for valuation of health states on specific regions of the health continuum that are problematic when applying conventional valuation techniques. These regions are the top-end, bottom-end, and states around ‘dead’. Methods Three samples of approximately 500 respondents were recruited via an online survey. Each sample received a different judgmental task in which similarity data were elicited for the top seven health states in the dementia quality of life instrument (DQI). These states were ‘111111’ (no problems on any domain) and six others with some problems (level 2) on one domain. The tasks presented two (dyads), three (triads), or four (quads) DQI health states. Similarity data were transformed into interval-level scales with metric and non-metric multidimensional scaling algorithms. The three response tasks were assessed for their feasibility and comprehension. Results In total 532, 469, and 509 respondents participated in the dyads, triads, and quads tasks respectively. After the scaling procedure, in all three response tasks, the best health state ‘111111’ was positioned at one end of the health-state continuum and state ‘111211’ was positioned at the other. The correlation between the metric scales ranged from 0.73 to 0.95, while the non-metric scales ranged from 0.76 to 1.00, indicating strong to near perfect associations. There were no apparent differences in the reported difficulty of the response tasks, but the triads had the highest number of drop-outs. Discussion Multidimensional scaling proved to be a feasible method to scale health-state similarity data. The dyads and especially the quads response tasks warrant further investigation, as these tasks provided the best indications of respondent comprehension. PMID:24586520

  10. Cognitive vs. affective listening modes and judgments of music--an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Brattico, Elvira; Jacobsen, Thomas; De Baene, Wouter; Glerean, Enrico; Tervaniemi, Mari

    2010-12-01

    The neural correlates of processing deviations from Western music rules are relatively well known. Less is known of the neural dynamics of top-down listening modes and affective liking judgments in relation with judgments of tonal correctness. In this study, subjects determined if tonal chord sequences sounded correct or incorrect, or if they liked them or not, while their electroencephalogram (EEG) was measured. The last chord of the sequences could be congruous with the previous context, ambiguous (unusual but still enjoyable) or harmonically inappropriate. The cognitive vs. affective listening modes were differentiated in the event-related potential (ERP) responses already before the ending chord, indicating different preparation for the judgment tasks. Furthermore, three neural events tagged the decision process preceding the behavioral responses. First, an early negativity, peaking at about 280ms, was elicited by chord incorrectness and by disliking judgments only over the right hemisphere. Second, at about 500ms from the end of the sequence a positive brain response was elicited by the negative answers of both tasks. Third, at about 1200ms, a late positive potential (LPP) was elicited by the liking judgment task whereas a large negative brain response was elicited by the correctness judgment task, indexing that only at that late latency preceding the button press subjects decided how to judge the cadences. This is the first study to reveal the dissociation between neural processes occurring during affective vs. cognitive listening modes and judgments of music.

  11. Mindful judgment and decision making.

    PubMed

    Weber, Elke U; Johnson, Eric J

    2009-01-01

    A full range of psychological processes has been put into play to explain judgment and choice phenomena. Complementing work on attention, information integration, and learning, decision research over the past 10 years has also examined the effects of goals, mental representation, and memory processes. In addition to deliberative processes, automatic processes have gotten closer attention, and the emotions revolution has put affective processes on a footing equal to cognitive ones. Psychological process models provide natural predictions about individual differences and lifespan changes and integrate across judgment and decision making (JDM) phenomena. "Mindful" JDM research leverages our knowledge about psychological processes into causal explanations for important judgment and choice regularities, emphasizing the adaptive use of an abundance of processing alternatives. Such explanations supplement and support existing mathematical descriptions of phenomena such as loss aversion or hyperbolic discounting. Unlike such descriptions, they also provide entry points for interventions designed to help people overcome judgments or choices considered undesirable.

  12. Associative Processes in Intuitive Judgment

    PubMed Central

    Morewedge, Carey K.; Kahneman, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Dual-system models of reasoning attribute errors of judgment to two failures. The automatic operations of a “System 1” generate a faulty intuition, which the controlled operations of a “System 2” fail to detect and correct. We identify System 1 with the automatic operations of associative memory and draw on research in the priming paradigm to describe how it operates. We explain how three features of associative memory—associative coherence, attribute substitution, and processing fluency—give rise to major biases of intuitive judgment. Our article highlights both the ability of System 1 to create complex and skilled judgments and the role of the system as a source of judgment errors. PMID:20696611

  13. Moral reasoning and emotion attributions of adolescent bullies, victims, and bully-victims.

    PubMed

    Perren, Sonja; Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, Eveline; Malti, Tina; Hymel, Shelley

    2012-11-01

    This study investigated different facets of moral development in bullies, victims, and bully-victims among Swiss adolescents. Extending previous research, we focused on both bullying and victimization in relation to adolescents' morally disengaged and morally responsible reasoning as well as moral emotion attributions. A total of 516 adolescents aged 12-18 (57% females) reported the frequency of involvement in bullying and victimization. Participants were categorized as bullies (14.3%), bully-victims (3.9%), and victims (9.7%). Moral judgment, moral justifications, and emotion attributions to a hypothetical perpetrator of a moral transgression (relational aggression) were assessed. Bullies showed more morally disengaged reasoning than non-involved students. Bully-victims more frequently indicated that violating moral rules is right. Victims produced more victim-oriented justifications (i.e., more empathy) but fewer moral rules. Among victims, the frequency of morally responsible justifications decreased and the frequency of deviant rules increased with age. The findings are discussed from an integrative moral developmental perspective.

  14. Moral development and recidivism: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Van Vugt, Eveline; Gibbs, John; Stams, Geert Jan; Bijleveld, Catrien; Hendriks, Jan; van der Laan, Peter

    2011-12-01

    A meta-analysis of 19 studies (N = 15,992 offenders) showed a significant inverse relation between more mature moral development and recidivism. Moderator analyses revealed a larger effect size for moral cognition (r = .20) than for moral emotion (r = .11). Effect sizes for production measures (r = .57) were much larger than for recognition measures (r = .16) and unstructured (clinical) judgment (r = .10). Larger effect sizes were found for female delinquents (r = .32) than for male delinquents (r = .21). Only small differences in effect sizes were found between juvenile delinquents (r = .10) and adult delinquents (r = .16). Finally, self-report measures of recidivism revealed much larger effect sizes (r = .32) than official reports of recidivism (r = .09). The discussion focuses on the theoretical and practical meaning of the magnitude of the effect size for the relation between moral development and recidivism.

  15. From ethics of care to psychology of care: reconnecting ethics of care to contemporary moral psychology

    PubMed Central

    Govrin, Aner

    2014-01-01

    Moral psychology once regarded ethics of care as a promising theory. However, there is evidence to suggest that nowadays moral psychology completely ignores ethics of care’s various insights. Moreover, ethics of care’s core concepts – compassion, dependence, and the importance of early relations to moral development– are no longer considered to be relevant to the development of new theories in the field. In this paper, I will firstly discuss some of the reasons which, over recent years, have contributed to the marginalization of the role of ethics of care in moral psychology. Next, I will show that ethics of care’s most promising idea centered on the care given to an infant and the importance of that care to the development of moral thinking. In this context, I will be describing the implications of John Bowlby’s attachment theories, infant research, findings in moral psychology and neuroscience. I will argue that ethics of care needs to be radically re-thought and replaced by a psychology of care, an attachment approach to moral judgment, which would establish the centrality of the caregiver’s role in moral development. The philosophical implications of this approach to the understanding of the “rationalists” and “intuitionists” debate about the true nature of moral judgment is also discussed. PMID:25368588

  16. Passage of Time Judgments Is Relative to Temporal Expectation.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Ryosuke; Yotsumoto, Yuko

    2017-01-01

    Time seems to pass quickly sometimes or slowly at other times. While this belief is prevalent, the psychological bases of such judgments on speed of time have remained unclear. In this study, we tested following two hypotheses: (1) the passage of time judgment (POTJ) is a function of the discrepancy between felt duration and temporal expectation of events and (2) POTJ is based on two distinct components: post hoc comparison of expected and felt durations and online anticipation of the end of an event. In four experiments, participants engaged in N-back tasks for several minutes and rated their POTJ during the tasks. Their temporal expectations were manipulated by providing them with false instructions on task durations. The results consistently supported the hypotheses and confirmed the idea that temporal expectation plays an important role in POTJ. In addition, the current findings might explain our daily temporal experiences such as "time flies when you are having fun."

  17. Passage of Time Judgments Is Relative to Temporal Expectation

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Ryosuke; Yotsumoto, Yuko

    2017-01-01

    Time seems to pass quickly sometimes or slowly at other times. While this belief is prevalent, the psychological bases of such judgments on speed of time have remained unclear. In this study, we tested following two hypotheses: (1) the passage of time judgment (POTJ) is a function of the discrepancy between felt duration and temporal expectation of events and (2) POTJ is based on two distinct components: post hoc comparison of expected and felt durations and online anticipation of the end of an event. In four experiments, participants engaged in N-back tasks for several minutes and rated their POTJ during the tasks. Their temporal expectations were manipulated by providing them with false instructions on task durations. The results consistently supported the hypotheses and confirmed the idea that temporal expectation plays an important role in POTJ. In addition, the current findings might explain our daily temporal experiences such as “time flies when you are having fun.” PMID:28261128

  18. Addiction and disability: moral and policy issues.

    PubMed

    Wasserman, David

    2004-02-01

    This article discusses the conceptual, ethical, and policy issues raised by the legal classification of drug addiction as an impairment, and of some nonusing drug addicts as people with disabilities. It focuses on the questions of (1) what moral judgments, if any, underlie the classification of addiction as an impairment; (2) whether it makes sense to apportion the burdens of drug addiction between chemical, biological, social, political, and other causes; (3) how considerations of distributive justice may compel or constrain measures to ease the burdens of drug addiction; and (4) whether it is justifiable to deny the current users of illegal substances legal protections available to the current users of legal substances.

  19. Syntax in a native language still continues to develop in adults: honorification judgment in Japanese.

    PubMed

    Momo, Kanako; Sakai, Hiromu; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2008-10-01

    Native languages (L1s) are tacitly assumed to be complete and stable in adults. Here we report an unexpected individual variation in judgment of L1 regarding Japanese sentences including honorification, and further clarify its neural basis with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). By contrasting an honorification judgment task with a spelling judgment task, the lower performance group showed more extensive activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus than did the higher performance group. Moreover, activation in the left dorsal and ventral triangular parts negatively correlated with the performance of the honorification judgment task. This modulation pattern demonstrates that cortical activations recruited for sentence processing depend on individual performances even in L1.

  20. The effect of global versus local processing styles on assimilation versus contrast in social judgment.

    PubMed

    Förster, Jens; Liberman, Nira; Kuschel, Stefanie

    2008-04-01

    The authors propose a global/local processing style model (GLOMO) for assimilation and contrast effects in social judgment. GLOMO is based on Schwarz and Bless' (1992, 2007) inclusion-exclusion model, which suggests that when information is included into a category, assimilation occurs, whereas when information is excluded from a category, contrast occurs. According to GLOMO, inclusion versus exclusion should be influenced by whether people process information globally or locally. In 5 experiments, using both disambiguation and social comparison, the authors induced local versus global processing through perceptual tasks and time perspective and showed that global processing produced assimilation, whereas local processing produced contrast. The experiments showed that processing styles elicited in one task can carry over to other tasks and influence social judgments. Furthermore, they found that hemisphere activation and accessibility of judgment-consistent knowledge partially mediated these effects. Implications for current and classic models of social judgment are discussed.

  1. Moral Education between Hope and Hopelessness: The Legacy of Janusz Korczak

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Efron, Sara Efrat

    2008-01-01

    The responsibility for addressing morality and moral education in the current moral climate is a daunting task for conscientious educators. What educational response can extricate us from the debilitating feelings of hopelessness and helplessness as we are confronted by horrific terrorist actions, controversial use of military might, displays of…

  2. The relevance of moral norms in distinct relational contexts: Purity versus harm norms regulate self-directed actions

    PubMed Central

    Dungan, James A.; Chakroff, Alek; Young, Liane

    2017-01-01

    Recent efforts to partition the space of morality have focused on the descriptive content of distinct moral domains (e.g., harm versus purity), or alternatively, the relationship between the perpetrator and victim of moral violations. Across three studies, we demonstrate that harm and purity norms are relevant in distinct relational contexts. Moral judgments of purity violations, compared to harm violations, are relatively more sensitive to the negative impact perpetrators have on themselves versus other victims (Study 1). This pattern replicates across a wide array of harm and purity violations varying in severity (Studies 2 and 3). Moreover, while perceptions of harm predict moral judgment consistently across relational contexts, perceptions of purity predict moral judgment more for self-directed actions, where perpetrators violate themselves, compared to dyadic actions, where perpetrators violate other victims (Study 3). Together, these studies reveal how an action’s content and its relational context interact to influence moral judgment, providing novel insights into the adaptive functions of harm and purity norms. PMID:28278214

  3. The relevance of moral norms in distinct relational contexts: Purity versus harm norms regulate self-directed actions.

    PubMed

    Dungan, James A; Chakroff, Alek; Young, Liane

    2017-01-01

    Recent efforts to partition the space of morality have focused on the descriptive content of distinct moral domains (e.g., harm versus purity), or alternatively, the relationship between the perpetrator and victim of moral violations. Across three studies, we demonstrate that harm and purity norms are relevant in distinct relational contexts. Moral judgments of purity violations, compared to harm violations, are relatively more sensitive to the negative impact perpetrators have on themselves versus other victims (Study 1). This pattern replicates across a wide array of harm and purity violations varying in severity (Studies 2 and 3). Moreover, while perceptions of harm predict moral judgment consistently across relational contexts, perceptions of purity predict moral judgment more for self-directed actions, where perpetrators violate themselves, compared to dyadic actions, where perpetrators violate other victims (Study 3). Together, these studies reveal how an action's content and its relational context interact to influence moral judgment, providing novel insights into the adaptive functions of harm and purity norms.

  4. Nonadditivity in Inference Judgments.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-11-01

    NUMBER 2GOV T ACCESSION NO. S . RECIPIENT’S CATALOG NUMBER WHIPP 16 4_ ’). t 4. TITLE (and Subtitle) S . TYPE OF REPORT & PERIOD COVERED Interim Technical...NUMBER(.) Lola L. Lopes N00014-81-C-0069 S . PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME AND ADDRESS 10. PROGRAM ELEMENT. PROJE[CT. TASK AREA & WORK UNIT NUMUERS...rule in that both are qualitatively additive. Int principle , however, averaging can be differentially weighted, in which case it becomes non

  5. Morale and Productivity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-06-01

    ABSTRACT (maximum 200 words) This research establishes methodology to measure morale as a function of productivity. Relationships between morale...productivity. Relationships between morale, ability, training, and experience are linked to productivity so that managers can incentivize employee...9 III. THEORETICAL RELATIONSHIPS ......................................................................11 A. MARGINAL

  6. Mapping the Moral Domain

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Jesse; Nosek, Brian A.; Haidt, Jonathan; Iyer, Ravi; Koleva, Spassena; Ditto, Peter H.

    2010-01-01

    The moral domain is broader than the empathy and justice concerns assessed by existing measures of moral competence, and it is not just a subset of the values assessed by value inventories. To fill the need for reliable and theoretically-grounded measurement of the full range of moral concerns, we developed the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) based on a theoretical model of five universally available (but variably developed) sets of moral intuitions: Harm/care, Fairness/reciprocity, Ingroup/loyalty, Authority/respect, and Purity/sanctity. We present evidence for the internal and external validity of the scale and the model, and in doing so present new findings about morality: 1. Comparative model fitting of confirmatory factor analyses provides empirical justification for a five-factor structure of moral concerns. 2. Convergent/discriminant validity evidence suggests that moral concerns predict personality features and social group attitudes not previously considered morally relevant. 3. We establish pragmatic validity of the measure in providing new knowledge and research opportunities concerning demographic and cultural differences in moral intuitions. These analyses provide evidence for the usefulness of Moral Foundations Theory in simultaneously increasing the scope and sharpening the resolution of psychological views of morality. PMID:21244182

  7. Compassion and Moral Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Susky, John E.

    1979-01-01

    Critiquing Skinner's and Kohlberg's moral development theories as inadequate, the author asserts that affective development (compassion, empathy, caring) is necessary to moral action. While saying that schools are limited in their ability to provide moral education, he outlines qualities of an educational environment which could facilitate moral…

  8. Cultivating Moral Resilience.

    PubMed

    Rushton, Cynda Hylton

    2017-02-01

    : Decades of research have documented the frequency, sources, and consequences of moral distress. However, few studies have focused on interventions designed to diminish its negative effects. The cultivation of moral resilience-the ability to respond positively to the distress and adversity caused by an ethically complex situation-is proposed as a method to transform moral distress.

  9. Sentimentalist Moral Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slote, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Care ethics, and moral sentimentalism more generally, have not developed a picture of moral education that is comparable in scope or depth to the rationalist/Kantian/Rawlsian account of moral education that has been offered by Lawrence Kohlberg. But it is possible to do so if one borrows from the work of Martin Hoffman and makes systematic use of…

  10. Conceptualizing Moral Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tuana, Nancy

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this research is to provide an overview of the fundamental elements of moral literacy. Moral literacy involves three basic components: ethics sensitivity; ethical reasoning skills; and moral imagination. It is the contention of the author that though math and reading literacy is highly valued by the American educational…

  11. The Moral University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berube, Maurice R.; Berube, Clair T.

    2010-01-01

    The Moral University examines the ways that universities act morally toward students, faculty, their communities and the nation. It considers the effectiveness of moral reasoning courses in the curriculum and the growth of leadership courses. The book deals with the myriad ways in which universities act positively toward their communities. It also…

  12. Are Psychopaths Morally Sensitive?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maxwell, Bruce; Le Sage, Leonie

    2009-01-01

    Philosophical and psychological opinion is divided over whether moral sensitivity, understood as the ability to pick out a situation's morally salient features, necessarily involves emotional engagement. This paper seeks to offer insight into this question. It reasons that if moral sensitivity does draw significantly on affective capacities of…

  13. The Immoral Landscape? Scientists Are Associated with Violations of Morality

    PubMed Central

    Rutjens, Bastiaan T.; Heine, Steven J.

    2016-01-01

    Do people think that scientists are bad people? Although surveys find that science is a highly respected profession, a growing discourse has emerged regarding how science is often judged negatively. We report ten studies (N = 2328) that investigated morality judgments of scientists and compared those with judgments of various control groups, including atheists. A persistent intuitive association between scientists and disturbing immoral conduct emerged for violations of the binding moral foundations, particularly when this pertained to violations of purity. However, there was no association in the context of the individualizing moral foundations related to fairness and care. Other evidence found that scientists were perceived as similar to others in their concerns with the individualizing moral foundations of fairness and care, yet as departing for all of the binding foundations of loyalty, authority, and purity. Furthermore, participants stereotyped scientists particularly as robot-like and lacking emotions, as well as valuing knowledge over morality and being potentially dangerous. The observed intuitive immorality associations are partially due to these explicit stereotypes but do not correlate with any perceived atheism. We conclude that scientists are perceived not as inherently immoral, but as capable of immoral conduct. PMID:27045849

  14. The Immoral Landscape? Scientists Are Associated with Violations of Morality.

    PubMed

    Rutjens, Bastiaan T; Heine, Steven J

    2016-01-01

    Do people think that scientists are bad people? Although surveys find that science is a highly respected profession, a growing discourse has emerged regarding how science is often judged negatively. We report ten studies (N = 2328) that investigated morality judgments of scientists and compared those with judgments of various control groups, including atheists. A persistent intuitive association between scientists and disturbing immoral conduct emerged for violations of the binding moral foundations, particularly when this pertained to violations of purity. However, there was no association in the context of the individualizing moral foundations related to fairness and care. Other evidence found that scientists were perceived as similar to others in their concerns with the individualizing moral foundations of fairness and care, yet as departing for all of the binding foundations of loyalty, authority, and purity. Furthermore, participants stereotyped scientists particularly as robot-like and lacking emotions, as well as valuing knowledge over morality and being potentially dangerous. The observed intuitive immorality associations are partially due to these explicit stereotypes but do not correlate with any perceived atheism. We conclude that scientists are perceived not as inherently immoral, but as capable of immoral conduct.

  15. Overdistribution illusions: Categorical judgments produce them, confidence ratings reduce them.

    PubMed

    Brainerd, C J; Nakamura, K; Reyna, V F; Holliday, R E

    2017-01-01

    Overdistribution is a form of memory distortion in which an event is remembered as belonging to too many episodic states, states that are logically or empirically incompatible with each other. We investigated a response formatting method of suppressing 2 basic types of overdistribution, disjunction and conjunction illusions, which parallel some classic illusions in the judgment and decision making literature. In this method, subjects respond to memory probes by rating their confidence that test cues belong to specific episodic states (e.g., presented on List 1, presented on List 2), rather than by making the usual categorical judgments about those states. The central prediction, which was derived from the task calibration principle of fuzzy-trace theory, was that confidence ratings should reduce overdistribution by diminishing subjects' reliance on noncompensatory gist memories. The data of 3 experiments agreed with that prediction. In Experiment 1, there were reliable disjunction illusions with categorical judgments but not with confidence ratings. In Experiment 2, both response formats produced reliable disjunction illusions, but those for confidence ratings were much smaller than those for categorical judgments. In Experiment 3, there were reliable conjunction illusions with categorical judgments but not with confidence ratings. Apropos of recent controversies over confidence-accuracy correlations in memory, such correlations were positive for hits, negative for correct rejections, and the 2 types of correlations were of equal magnitude. (PsycINFO Database Record

  16. Patients with schizophrenia selectively impaired in temporal order judgments.

    PubMed

    Capa, Rémi L; Duval, Céline Z; Blaison, Dorine; Giersch, Anne

    2014-06-01

    The ability to order events in time plays a pervasive role in cognitive functions, but has only rarely been explored in patients with schizophrenia. Results we obtained recently suggested that patients have difficulties following events over time. However, this impairment concerned implicit responses at very short asynchronies, and it is not known whether it generalizes to subjective temporal order judgments. Here, we make a direct comparison between temporal order judgments and simultaneity/asynchrony discrimination in the same patients. Two squares were displayed on the screen either simultaneously or with an asynchrony of 24 to 96ms. In one session 20 patients and 20 controls made a temporal order judgment and in the other they discriminated between simultaneous and asynchronous stimuli. Controls recorded similar performances in the two tasks at asynchronies above 50ms, whereas patients displayed a sizeable impairment in temporal order judgment selectively. This impairment occurred in the easiest conditions, with the largest SOAs (Stimulus Onset Asynchronies) and only in the temporal order judgment. The results are the first evidence that patients with schizophrenia have a selective difficulty determining temporal order, even for asynchronies producing a clear perception of asynchrony. This impairment may mediate difficulties engaging oneself in everyday life events.

  17. Orienting Tasks as Sources of Contextual Information in List Discrimination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fritzen, James D.

    1977-01-01

    A list discrimination paradigm was used to examine the effects of orienting tasks upon the later temporal discrimination of words. The orienting task involved judgments about the relatedness of the words in a list to some concept. (Editor)

  18. Eager feelings and vigilant reasons: Regulatory focus differences in judging moral wrongs

    PubMed Central

    Cornwell, James F. M.; Higgins, E. Tory

    2015-01-01

    For over a decade, moral psychologists have been actively researching the processes underlying moral judgments that are made intuitively without reference to an action’s concrete harms or injustice, such as the well-known case of non-procreative, consensual incest. We suggest that the reason some judge this scenario as wrong (using intuitive feelings) and others do not (using deliberative reasons) is due to an important motivational distinction. Consistent with this view, across seven studies, we demonstrate that negative judgments of such intuitive moral scenarios are more intense when processed in the promotion focus compared to the prevention focus, and that this is due to differences in whether eager (intuitive) versus vigilant (deliberative) means are employed in judging these moral wrongs. By examining various boundary conditions for this phenomenon and foundations for these judgments, we learn about the overall differences between promotion and prevention regarding how proscriptive judgments are processed, and begin to integrate these differences with existing theories in moral psychology. PMID:26726912

  19. The failure of medical education to develop moral reasoning in medical students

    PubMed Central

    Murrell, Vicki S.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives The goal of this study was to determine differences in moral judgment among students in medical school. Methods This cross-sectional study involved students currently enrolled in undergraduate medical education. Recruited via email, 192 students took an online version of the Defining Issues Test to determine their current stage of moral judgment, as well as their percentage of post conventional thought. Independent variables included year of graduation, which indicated curriculum completion as well as participation in a professionalism course. Data was analyzed primarily using One-Way Analysis of Variance. Results Of the 192 participants, 165 responses were utilized. ANOVA showed no significant differences in moral judgment between or among any of the student cohorts, which were grouped by year of matriculation. Comparisons included students in the four years of medical school, divided by graduation year; students about to graduate (n=30) vs. those still in school (n=135); and students who had participated in a course in professionalism (n=91) vs. those who had not (n=74). Conclusions These results demonstrate a lack of evolution in the moral reasoning of medical students and raise the issue of what might stimulate positive changes in moral judgment during the medical school experience. PMID:25543016

  20. Religion, morality, evolution.

    PubMed

    Bloom, Paul

    2012-01-01

    How did religion evolve? What effect does religion have on our moral beliefs and moral actions? These questions are related, as some scholars propose that religion has evolved to enhance altruistic behavior toward members of one's group. I review here data from survey studies (both within and across countries), priming experiments, and correlational studies of the effects of religion on racial prejudice. I conclude that religion has powerfully good moral effects and powerfully bad moral effects, but these are due to aspects of religion that are shared by other human practices. There is surprisingly little evidence for a moral effect of specifically religious beliefs.

  1. "On the money" - monetary and numerical judgments of currency.

    PubMed

    Goldman, Ronit; Ganor-Stern, Dana; Tzelgov, Joseph

    2012-10-01

    Numerical and monetary judgments of currency were examined using two tasks-a monetary value task (which coin has a higher monetary value), and a numerical value task (which coin has a higher numerical value). In Experiment 1 participants were presented with pictures of coins of the Israeli currency. The Israeli currency is the shekel, which is composed of 100 agorot (equivalent to a dollar composed of 100 cents). Higher discriminability between shekels compared to agorot due to importance in everyday life was reflected in faster monetary comparisons of shekel pairs compared to agorot pairs. Automatic processing of numerical value was demonstrated for monetary judgments. When presented with pairs composed of one coin from each monetary category, responses were faster to pairs that were monetary-numerical congruent (e.g., 10 shekels vs. 5 agorot) compared to incongruent (e.g., 5 shekels vs. 10 agorot). Numerical value judgments were unaffected by such congruency. There was evidence for the automatic activation of physical size mainly in the numerical task. A similar picture was obtained in Experiment 2 where instead of pictures of coins we used verbal descriptions of currency, demonstrating the generality of our results.

  2. Distinct information critically distinguishes judgments of face familiarity and identity.

    PubMed

    Smith, Marie L; Volna, Blanka; Ewing, Louise

    2016-11-01

    Accurately determining the familiarity of another and correctly establishing their identity are vital social skills. A considerable body of work has explored their perceptual and neural underpinnings and debate remains regarding whether they are dissociable, that is, separable parts of a dual process, or different aspects of a common retrieval process. Less is known about the specific visual information that guides familiarity judgments and how this compares to the information used to identify a face by name. Here we sought to establish the critical information underlying participants' judgments of facial familiarity and identification. We created a new standardized stimulus set comprising 6 personally familiar and 12 unfamiliar faces and applied the Bubbles reverse-correlation methodology to establish the information driving correct performance in each task. Results revealed that markedly different information underlies familiarity and identity judgments. When categorizing familiarity, participants relied more upon lower spatial-frequency, broad facial cues (eye and face shape) than when categorizing identity, which relied on fine details in the internal features (eyes and mouth). These results provide novel evidence of qualitatively distinct information use in familiarity and identification judgments and emphasize the importance of considering the task set for participants and their processing strategy when investigating face recognition. (PsycINFO Database Record

  3. The effect of sad facial expressions on weight judgment

    PubMed Central

    Weston, Trent D.; Hass, Norah C.; Lim, Seung-Lark

    2015-01-01

    Although the body weight evaluation (e.g., normal or overweight) of others relies on perceptual impressions, it also can be influenced by other psychosocial factors. In this study, we explored the effect of task-irrelevant emotional facial expressions on judgments of body weight and the relationship between emotion-induced weight judgment bias and other psychosocial variables including attitudes toward obese persons. Forty-four participants were asked to quickly make binary body weight decisions for 960 randomized sad and neutral faces of varying weight levels presented on a computer screen. The results showed that sad facial expressions systematically decreased the decision threshold of overweight judgments for male faces. This perceptual decision bias by emotional expressions was positively correlated with the belief that being overweight is not under the control of obese persons. Our results provide experimental evidence that task-irrelevant emotional expressions can systematically change the decision threshold for weight judgments, demonstrating that sad expressions can make faces appear more overweight than they would otherwise be judged. PMID:25914669

  4. Moral Hard-Wiring and Moral Enhancement.

    PubMed

    Persson, Ingmar; Savulescu, Julian

    2017-03-16

    We have argued for an urgent need for moral bioenhancement; that human moral psychology is limited in its ability to address current existential threats due to the evolutionary function of morality to maximize cooperation in small groups. We address here Powell and Buchanan's novel objection that there is an 'inclusivist anomaly': humans have the capacity to care beyond in-groups. They propose that 'exclusivist' (group-based) morality is sensitive to environmental cues that historically indicated out-group threat. When this is not present, we are inclusivist. They conclude that moral bioenhancement is unnecessary or less effective than socio-cultural interventions. We argue that Powell and Buchanan underestimate the hard-wiring features of moral psychology; their appeal to adaptively plastic, conditionally expressed responses accounts for only a fragment of our moral psychology. In addition to restrictions on our altruistic concern that their account addresses - such as racism and sexism - there are ones it is ill-suited to address: that our concern is stronger for kin and friends and for concrete individuals rather than for statistical lives; also our bias towards the near future. Hard-wired features of our moral psychology that are not clearly restrictions in altruistic concern also include reciprocity, tit-for-tat, and others. Biomedical means are not the only, and maybe not the most important, means of moral enhancement. Socio-cultural means are of great importance and there are currently no biomedical interventions for many hard-wired features. Nevertheless research is desirable because the influence of these features is greater than our critics think.

  5. Children's moral emotions and moral cognition: towards an integrative perspective.

    PubMed

    Malti, Tina; Latzko, Brigitte

    2010-01-01

    This chapter presents a brief introduction to the developmental and educational literature linking children's moral emotions to cognitive moral development. A central premise of the chapter is that an integrative developmental perspective on moral emotions and moral cognition provides an important conceptual framework for understanding children's emerging morality and designing developmentally sensitive moral intervention strategies. The subsequent chapters present promising conceptual approaches and empirical evidence linking children's moral emotions to moral cognition. Examples of integrated educational interventions intended to enhance children's moral development are presented and discussed.

  6. Grammaticality judgments in autism: deviance or delay.

    PubMed

    Eigsti, Inge-Marie; Bennetto, Loisa

    2009-11-01

    Language in autism has been the subject of intense interest, because communication deficits are central to the disorder, and because autism serves as an arena for testing theories of language acquisition. High-functioning older children with autism are often considered to have intact grammatical abilities, despite pragmatic impairments. Given the heterogeneity in language skills at younger ages, this assumption merits further investigation. Participants with autism (n=21, aged nine to seventeen years), matched on chronological age, receptive vocabulary and IQ, to 22 typically developing individuals, completed a grammaticality judgment task. Participants with autism were significantly less sensitive than controls, specifically for third person singular and present progressive marking. Performance interacted with sentence length, with lower sensitivity to errors occurring at the end of the longest stimulus sentences. Performance sensitivity was associated with onset of single word and phrase speech, and with severity of autistic symptomatology. Implications of findings are discussed.

  7. Judgments of and by Representativeness

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-05-15

    Keprt 0 Judgments Of and By Representativeness,,I Jan. , *80agoAprO &1 i, 7. A. COPATaNRA ___ N00014-79-C-0077 Am;os /ftversky - ail hea S . PERFORMING...value and a variable; ..4 an instance and a category; I& a sample and a population; 4(1 an effect and a cause. The principles of representativenes...reduces it probability. Several studies of judgment are reported in which naive and sophi- DD I FjA017 1473 ITorION OF I Nov S IIS isoSOLETE Unclassified S

  8. Eye Contact Judgment Is Influenced by Perceivers' Social Anxiety But Not by Their Affective State.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tingji; Nummenmaa, Lauri; Hietanen, Jari K

    2017-01-01

    Fast and accurate judgment of whether another person is making eye contact or not is crucial for our social interaction. As affective states have been shown to influence social perceptions and judgments, we investigated the influence of observers' own affective states and trait anxiety on their eye contact judgments. In two experiments, participants were required to judge whether animated faces (Experiment 1) and real faces (Experiment 2) with varying gaze angles were looking at them or not. Participants performed the task in pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant odor conditions. The results from two experiments showed that eye contact judgments were not modulated by observers' affective state, yet participants with higher levels of social anxiety accepted a wider range of gaze deviations from the direct gaze as eye contact. We conclude that gaze direction judgments depend on individual differences in affective predispositions, yet they are not amenable to situational affective influences.

  9. Eye Contact Judgment Is Influenced by Perceivers’ Social Anxiety But Not by Their Affective State

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tingji; Nummenmaa, Lauri; Hietanen, Jari K.

    2017-01-01

    Fast and accurate judgment of whether another person is making eye contact or not is crucial for our social interaction. As affective states have been shown to influence social perceptions and judgments, we investigated the influence of observers’ own affective states and trait anxiety on their eye contact judgments. In two experiments, participants were required to judge whether animated faces (Experiment 1) and real faces (Experiment 2) with varying gaze angles were looking at them or not. Participants performed the task in pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant odor conditions. The results from two experiments showed that eye contact judgments were not modulated by observers’ affective state, yet participants with higher levels of social anxiety accepted a wider range of gaze deviations from the direct gaze as eye contact. We conclude that gaze direction judgments depend on individual differences in affective predispositions, yet they are not amenable to situational affective influences. PMID:28344569

  10. Reasoning about interpersonal responsibility when making judgments about scenarios depicting close personal relationships.

    PubMed

    Neff, Kristin D; Turiel, Elliot; Anshel, Daphne

    2002-06-01

    This study examined the moral reasoning of 36 young adults (M age = 20.8 yr., evenly divided by sex) about situations involving close interpersonal relationships: best friends, spouses, and parents or children. Participants were presented stories in which personal needs and desires were in conflict with interpersonal concerns. When asked how the conflicts should be resolved, the large majority of participants judged that personal desires should be subordinated to interpersonal concerns, justifying their judgments with reference to concern for others, relationship maintenance, or relationship responsibilities. No sex differences in judgments or justifications were found. In addition, most judged that the act of meeting another's needs in a close relationship was an obligatory responsibility and that such responsibilities generalized to people living in other societies. Thus, participants considered interpersonal responsibilities to be moral obligations that apply across cultural boundaries and did not consider them to be matters of personal choice.

  11. Merely opting out of a public good is moralized: an error management approach to cooperation.

    PubMed

    Delton, Andrew W; Nemirow, Jason; Robertson, Theresa E; Cimino, Aldo; Cosmides, Leda

    2013-10-01

    People regularly free ride on collective benefits, consuming them without contributing to their creation. In response, free riders are often moralized, becoming targets of negative moral judgments, anger, ostracism, or punishment. Moralization can change free riders' behavior (e.g., encouraging them to contribute or discouraging them from taking future benefits) or it can motivate others, including moralizers, to avoid or exclude free riders; these effects of moralization are critical to sustaining human cooperation. Based on theories of error management and fundamental social domains from evolutionary psychology, we propose that the decision to moralize is a cue-driven process. One cue investigated in past work is observing a person illicitly consume collective benefits. Here, we test whether the mind uses a 2nd cue: merely opting out of contributing. Use of this cue creates a phenomenon of preventive moralization: moralization of people who have not yet exploited collective benefits but who might-or might not--in the future. We tested for preventive moralization across 9 studies using implicit and explicit measures of moralization, a behavioral measure of costly punishment, mediation analyses of the underlying processes, and a nationally representative sample of almost 1,000 U.S. adults. Results revealed that merely opting out of contributing to the creation of exploitable collective benefits--despite not actually exploiting collective benefits-elicited moralization. Results further showed that preventive moralization is not due to the moralization of selfishness or deviance but instead follows from the uncertainty inherent in moralization decisions. These results imply that even people who will never exploit collective benefits can nonetheless be targets of moralization. We discuss implications for social and political dynamics.

  12. Education in Moral Theory and the Improvement of Moral Thought

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friday, Jonathan

    2004-01-01

    This article questions whether the study of normative moral theory and its application to particular moral problems has a beneficial effect upon someone seeking to improve the quality of their moral thinking. A broad outline of the conception of moral thinking underlying moral theory and applied ethics is considered, particularly the logical…

  13. Morality and moral development: Traditional Hindu concepts.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Chhitij; Dhingra, Vishal; Bhardwaj, Anupam; Srivastava, Alka

    2013-01-01

    Morality (from the Latin word moralitas that means "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong). It is determined by how one's genetic makeup interacts with the environment. The development of morality has been a subject of investigation for a number of decades, and our understanding of neuro-biological and psychological mechanisms has increased manifolds in the last few decades. Development of morality has been of particular significance to psychiatric literature because of its significant contribution to the development of one's personality and it's aberration in various disorders. Cultures that have been just, equal and moral have been widely accepted and appreciated. In this review, we shall summarize the modern theories of moral development and then look into a part of our past and cultural heritage and review the traditional Hindu concepts of morality and their contribution to development of one's personality and their relevance in the current times.

  14. Morality and moral development: Traditional Hindu concepts

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, Chhitij; Dhingra, Vishal; Bhardwaj, Anupam; Srivastava, Alka

    2013-01-01

    Morality (from the Latin word moralitas that means “manner, character, proper behavior”) is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong). It is determined by how one's genetic makeup interacts with the environment. The development of morality has been a subject of investigation for a number of decades, and our understanding of neuro-biological and psychological mechanisms has increased manifolds in the last few decades. Development of morality has been of particular significance to psychiatric literature because of its significant contribution to the development of one's personality and it's aberration in various disorders. Cultures that have been just, equal and moral have been widely accepted and appreciated. In this review, we shall summarize the modern theories of moral development and then look into a part of our past and cultural heritage and review the traditional Hindu concepts of morality and their contribution to development of one's personality and their relevance in the current times. PMID:23858269

  15. Dissociation between Judgments and Outcome-Expectancy Measures in Covariation Learning: A Signal Detection Theory Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perales, Jose C.; Catena, Andres; Shanks, David R.; Gonzalez, Jose A.

    2005-01-01

    A number of studies using trial-by-trial learning tasks have shown that judgments of covariation between a cue c and an outcome o deviate from normative metrics. Parameters based on trial-by-trial predictions were estimated from signal detection theory (SDT) in a standard causal learning task. Results showed that manipulations of P(c) when…

  16. Topics in Probabilistic Judgment Aggregation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Guanchun

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation is a compilation of several studies that are united by their relevance to probabilistic judgment aggregation. In the face of complex and uncertain events, panels of judges are frequently consulted to provide probabilistic forecasts, and aggregation of such estimates in groups often yield better results than could have been made…

  17. Expert judgment and expert systems

    SciTech Connect

    Mumpower, J.; Phillips, L.D.; Renn, O.; Uppuluri, V.R.R.

    1987-01-01

    This volume collects researchers from the fields of psychology, decision analysis, and artificial intelligence. The purposes were to assess similarities, differences, and complementarities among the three approaches to the study of expert judgment; to evaluate their relative strengths and weaknesses; and to propose profitable linkages between them. Each of the papers in the present volume is directed toward one or more of these goals.

  18. What Happened to Intelligent Judgment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carter, Margie

    2011-01-01

    In so many cases, hours spent focused on documenting accountability to standards actually decreases the possibility for quality improvements through genuine reflection, self-examination, and the exercise of intelligent judgment. Focusing only on ratings and requirements narrows one's thinking and exemplifies the tendency toward stagnation. The…

  19. Moral realism in nursing.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Steven D

    2014-04-01

    For more than 15 years Professor Per Nortvedt has been arguing the case for moral realism in nursing and the health-care context more generally. His arguments focus on the clinical contexts of nursing and medicine and are supplemented by a series of persuasive examples. Following a description of moral realism, and the kinds of considerations that support it, criticisms of it are developed that seem persuasive. It is argued that our moral responses are explained by our beliefs as opposed to moral realities. In particular, two key arguments presented by Nortvedt are challenged: the so-called argument from convergence and the argument from clinical sensitivity. Both of these key planks in the case for moral realism are rejected, and an alternative 'social conditioning' account briefly sketched, which, it is claimed, has the same explanatory power as Nortvedt's thesis but does not rest on an appeal to independently existing moral properties.

  20. Are You Morally Modified?

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Neil; Douglas, Thomas; Kahane, Guy; Terbeck, Sylvia; Cowen, Philip J.; Hewstone, Miles; Savulescu, Julian

    2015-01-01

    A number of concerns have been raised about the possible future use of pharmaceuticals designed to enhance cognitive, affective, and motivational processes, particularly where the aim is to produce morally better decisions or behavior. In this article, we draw attention to what is arguably a more worrying possibility: that pharmaceuticals currently in widespread therapeutic use are already having unintended effects on these processes, and thus on moral decision making and morally significant behavior. We review current evidence on the moral effects of three widely used drugs or drug types: (i) propranolol, (ii) selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and (iii) drugs that effect oxytocin physiology. This evidence suggests that the alterations to moral decision making and behavior caused by these agents may have important and difficult-to-evaluate consequences, at least at the population level. We argue that the moral effects of these and other widely used pharmaceuticals warrant further empirical research and ethical analysis. PMID:25892904

  1. Haunted by a doppelgänger: irrelevant facial similarity affects rule-based judgments.

    PubMed

    von Helversen, Bettina; Herzog, Stefan M; Rieskamp, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    Judging other people is a common and important task. Every day professionals make decisions that affect the lives of other people when they diagnose medical conditions, grant parole, or hire new employees. To prevent discrimination, professional standards require that decision makers render accurate and unbiased judgments solely based on relevant information. Facial similarity to previously encountered persons can be a potential source of bias. Psychological research suggests that people only rely on similarity-based judgment strategies if the provided information does not allow them to make accurate rule-based judgments. Our study shows, however, that facial similarity to previously encountered persons influences judgment even in situations in which relevant information is available for making accurate rule-based judgments and where similarity is irrelevant for the task and relying on similarity is detrimental. In two experiments in an employment context we show that applicants who looked similar to high-performing former employees were judged as more suitable than applicants who looked similar to low-performing former employees. This similarity effect was found despite the fact that the participants used the relevant résumé information about the applicants by following a rule-based judgment strategy. These findings suggest that similarity-based and rule-based processes simultaneously underlie human judgment.

  2. A "How-To" Guide for Designing Judgment Bias Studies to Assess Captive Animal Welfare.

    PubMed

    Bethell, Emily J

    2015-01-01

    Robust methods to assess nonhuman animal emotion are essential for ensuring good welfare in captivity. Cognitive bias measures such as the judgment bias task have recently emerged as promising tools to assess animal emotion. The simple design and objective response measures make judgment bias tasks suitable for use across species and contexts. In reviewing 64 studies published to date, it emerged that (a) judgment biases have been measured in a number of mammals and birds and an invertebrate; (b) no study has tested judgment bias in any species of fish, amphibian, or reptile; and (c) no study has yet investigated judgment bias in a zoo or aquarium. This article proposes that judgment bias measures are highly suitable for use with these understudied taxa and can provide new insight into welfare in endangered species housed in zoos and aquariums, where poor welfare impacts breeding success and, ultimately, species survival. The article includes a "how-to" guide to designing judgment bias tests with recommendations for working with currently neglected "exotics" including fishes, amphibians, and reptiles.

  3. An Explanation for the Role of the Amygdala in Aesthetic Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Richard H. A. H.; Cornelissen, Frans W.

    2017-01-01

    It has been proposed that the top-down guidance of feature-based attention is the basis for the involvement of the amygdala in various tasks requiring emotional decision-making (Jacobs et al., 2012a). Aesthetic judgments are correlated with particular visual features and can be considered emotional in nature (Jacobs et al., 2016). Moreover, we have previously shown that various aesthetic judgments result in observers preferentially attending to different visual features (Jacobs et al., 2010). Here, we argue that—together—this explains why the amygdalae become active during aesthetic judgments of visual materials. We discuss potential implications and predictions of this theory that can be tested experimentally. PMID:28303095

  4. An Explanation for the Role of the Amygdala in Aesthetic Judgments.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Richard H A H; Cornelissen, Frans W

    2017-01-01

    It has been proposed that the top-down guidance of feature-based attention is the basis for the involvement of the amygdala in various tasks requiring emotional decision-making (Jacobs et al., 2012a). Aesthetic judgments are correlated with particular visual features and can be considered emotional in nature (Jacobs et al., 2016). Moreover, we have previously shown that various aesthetic judgments result in observers preferentially attending to different visual features (Jacobs et al., 2010). Here, we argue that-together-this explains why the amygdalae become active during aesthetic judgments of visual materials. We discuss potential implications and predictions of this theory that can be tested experimentally.

  5. Toward a Procedural Theory of Judgment.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-12-01

    18 SUPPLEMENTARY NOTESj 19 KEY WORDS (Contnu.e on .*old. It n.c.-e rv arId Id.,I’, by blWork nb.,) Judgment Multiplying models Algebraic models...process that might be drawn from algebraic models of judgment. Next, three common forms of judgment are described (averaging rules, relative ratio...in a manner that is systematic and replicable. Furthermore, their judgments often reveal algebraic patterns that suggest the operation of some

  6. Ethics under uncertainty: the morality and appropriateness of utilitarianism when outcomes are uncertain.

    PubMed

    Kortenkamp, Katherine V; Moore, Colleen F

    2014-01-01

    Real-life moral dilemmas inevitably involve uncertainty, yet research has not considered how uncertainty affects utilitarian moral judgments. In addition, even though moral dilemma researchers regularly ask respondents, "What is appropriate?" but interpret it to mean, "What is moral?," little research has examined whether a difference exists between asking these 2 types of questions. In this study, 140 college students read moral dilemmas that contained certain or uncertain consequences and then responded as to whether it was appropriate and whether it was moral to kill 1 to save many (a utilitarian choice). Ratings of the appropriateness and morality of the utilitarian choice were lower under uncertainty than certainty. A follow-up experiment found that these results could not be explained entirely by a change in the expected values of the outcomes or a desire to avoid the worst-case scenario. In addition, the utilitarian choice to kill 1 to save many was rated as more appropriate than moral. The results imply that moral decision making may depend critically on whether uncertainties in outcomes are admitted and whether people are asked about appropriateness or morality.

  7. A Theoretically Based Review of Theory and Research in Judgment and Decision Making,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-02-01

    that the conversational aspect of judgment studies deserves more careful consideration than it has received in past research, our own included" (1982...possible. Each is discussed in turn. Organzing principles. The process of organizing information into a judgment or answer has been the primary focus...approach their task. Researchers may publish careful descriptions of the instructions they give their subjects, but fail to specify the implications of the

  8. The Impact of Partial Sleep Deprivation on Moral Reasoning in Military Officers

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, Olav Kjellevold; Pallesen, Ståle; Eid, Jarle

    2010-01-01

    Study Objectives: The present study explores the impact of long-term partial sleep deprivation on the activation of moral justice schemas, which are suggested to play a prominent role in moral reasoning and the formation of moral judgments and behavior. Design: Participants judged 5 dilemmas in rested and partially sleep deprived condition, in a counterbalanced design. Setting: In classroom and field exercises at the Norwegian Naval Academy and the Norwegian Army Academy. Participants: Seventy-one Norwegian naval and army officer cadets. Measurements and Results: The results showed that the officers' ability to conduct mature and principally oriented moral reasoning was severely impaired during partial sleep deprivation compared to the rested state. At the same time, the officers became substantially more rules-oriented in the sleep deprived condition, while self-oriented moral reasoning did not change. Interaction effects showed that those officers who displayed high levels of mature moral reasoning (n = 24) in the rested condition, lost much of this capacity during sleep deprivation in favor of a strong increase in rules-oriented moral reasoning as well as self-orientation. Conversely, officers at low levels of mature moral reasoning in rested condition (n = 23) were unaffected by sleep deprivation. Conclusions: The present data show that long-term partial sleep deprivation has an impact on the activation of moral justice schemas, and consequently on the ability to make moral justice judgments. Citation: Olsen OK; Pallesen S; Eid J. The impact of partial sleep deprivation on moral reasoning in military officers. SLEEP 2010;33(8):1086-1090. PMID:20815191

  9. Moralized Psychology or Psychologized Morality? Ethics and Psychology in Recent Theorizing about Moral and Character Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, David

    2007-01-01

    Moral philosophy seems well placed to claim the key role in theorizing about moral education. Indeed, moral philosophers have from antiquity had much to say about psychological and other processes of moral formation. Given this history, it may seem ironic that much systematic latter-day theorizing about moral education has been social scientific,…

  10. 21 CFR 1404.920 - Civil judgment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 9 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Civil judgment. 1404.920 Section 1404.920 Food and Drugs OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY GOVERNMENTWIDE DEBARMENT AND SUSPENSION (NONPROCUREMENT) Definitions § 1404.920 Civil judgment. Civil judgment means the disposition of a civil action by any court...

  11. 29 CFR 1471.920 - Civil judgment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... SUSPENSION (NONPROCUREMENT) Definitions § 1471.920 Civil judgment. Civil judgment means the disposition of a civil action by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether by verdict, decision, settlement... 29 Labor 4 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Civil judgment. 1471.920 Section 1471.920 Labor...

  12. Engaging Students in Social Judgment Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallard, Jessica

    2010-01-01

    Social Judgment Theory is a way to explain when persuasive messages are most likely to succeed and how people make judgments about them. This theory is often covered in communication theory and persuasion courses, but is also applicable when discussing persuasion in basic speech and introductory communication courses. Social Judgment Theory…

  13. 22 CFR 1006.920 - Civil judgment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 22 Foreign Relations 2 2011-04-01 2009-04-01 true Civil judgment. 1006.920 Section 1006.920...) Definitions § 1006.920 Civil judgment. Civil judgment means the disposition of a civil action by any court of... creates a civil liability for the complained of wrongful acts, or a final determination of liability...

  14. 2 CFR 180.915 - Civil judgment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 2 Grants and Agreements 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Civil judgment. 180.915 Section 180.915... GOVERNMENTWIDE DEBARMENT AND SUSPENSION (NONPROCUREMENT) Definitions § 180.915 Civil judgment. Civil judgment means the disposition of a civil action by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether by...

  15. 29 CFR 1471.920 - Civil judgment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 4 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Civil judgment. 1471.920 Section 1471.920 Labor Regulations... SUSPENSION (NONPROCUREMENT) Definitions § 1471.920 Civil judgment. Civil judgment means the disposition of a civil action by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether by verdict, decision,...

  16. 29 CFR 98.920 - Civil judgment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Civil judgment. 98.920 Section 98.920 Labor Office of the Secretary of Labor GOVERNMENTWIDE DEBARMENT AND SUSPENSION (NONPROCUREMENT) Definitions § 98.920 Civil judgment. Civil judgment means the disposition of a civil action by any court of competent...

  17. 22 CFR 208.920 - Civil judgment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 22 Foreign Relations 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Civil judgment. 208.920 Section 208.920 Foreign...) Definitions § 208.920 Civil judgment. Civil judgment means the disposition of a civil action by any court of... creates a civil liability for the complained of wrongful acts, or a final determination of liability...

  18. 21 CFR 1404.920 - Civil judgment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 9 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Civil judgment. 1404.920 Section 1404.920 Food and...) Definitions § 1404.920 Civil judgment. Civil judgment means the disposition of a civil action by any court of... creates a civil liability for the complained of wrongful acts, or a final determination of liability...

  19. 31 CFR 19.920 - Civil judgment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 31 Money and Finance: Treasury 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Civil judgment. 19.920 Section 19.920... SUSPENSION (NONPROCUREMENT) Definitions § 19.920 Civil judgment. Civil judgment means the disposition of a civil action by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether by verdict, decision,...

  20. 34 CFR 85.920 - Civil judgment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 34 Education 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Civil judgment. 85.920 Section 85.920 Education Office...) Definitions § 85.920 Civil judgment. Civil judgment means the disposition of a civil action by any court of... creates a civil liability for the complained of wrongful acts, or a final determination of liability...