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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. Relativism, Objectivity and Moral Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Partington, Geoffrey

    1979-01-01

    Reaction against the naive moral absolutism of past historical writing has frequently led to unconditional moral and cultural relativism which is equally dangerous. A viable solution is contingent relativism in historical judgments, combining explicit and examinable criteria of human values and concern for contexts of time and place. (Author/SJL)

  7. Utilitarian moral judgment in psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    Kruepke, Michael; Zeier, Joshua; Newman, Joseph P.

    2012-01-01

    Psychopathic behavior is characteristically amoral, but to date research studies have largely failed to identify any systematic differences in moral judgment capability between psychopaths and non-psychopaths. In this study, we investigate whether significant differences in moral judgment emerge when taking into account the phenotypic heterogeneity of the disorder through a well-validated distinction between psychopathic subtypes. Three groups of incarcerated participants [low-anxious psychopaths (n = 12), high-anxious psychopaths (n = 12) and non-psychopaths (n = 24)] completed a moral judgment test involving hypothetical dilemmas. The moral dilemmas featured ‘personal’ (i.e. involving direct physical harm) or ‘impersonal’ (i.e. involving indirect or remote harm) actions. Compared to non-psychopaths, both groups of psychopaths were significantly more likely to endorse the impersonal actions. However, only the low-anxious psychopaths were significantly more likely to endorse the personal harms when commission of the harm would maximize aggregate welfare—the ‘utilitarian’ choice. High-anxious psychopaths and non-psychopaths did not significantly differ in their personal moral judgments. These results provide novel laboratory evidence of abnormal moral judgment in psychopaths, as well as additional support for the importance of considering psychopathic subtypes. PMID:21768207

  8. Utilitarian moral judgment in psychopathy.

    PubMed

    Koenigs, Michael; Kruepke, Michael; Zeier, Joshua; Newman, Joseph P

    2012-08-01

    Psychopathic behavior is characteristically amoral, but to date research studies have largely failed to identify any systematic differences in moral judgment capability between psychopaths and non-psychopaths. In this study, we investigate whether significant differences in moral judgment emerge when taking into account the phenotypic heterogeneity of the disorder through a well-validated distinction between psychopathic subtypes. Three groups of incarcerated participants [low-anxious psychopaths (n = 12), high-anxious psychopaths (n = 12) and non-psychopaths (n = 24)] completed a moral judgment test involving hypothetical dilemmas. The moral dilemmas featured 'personal' (i.e. involving direct physical harm) or 'impersonal' (i.e. involving indirect or remote harm) actions. Compared to non-psychopaths, both groups of psychopaths were significantly more likely to endorse the impersonal actions. However, only the low-anxious psychopaths were significantly more likely to endorse the personal harms when commission of the harm would maximize aggregate welfare-the 'utilitarian' choice. High-anxious psychopaths and non-psychopaths did not significantly differ in their personal moral judgments. These results provide novel laboratory evidence of abnormal moral judgment in psychopaths, as well as additional support for the importance of considering psychopathic subtypes. PMID:21768207

  9. 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.

  10. Predicting Compliance Behavior from Moral Judgment Scales

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Froming, William J.; Cooper, Robert G., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    Two experiments with college males examined the relationship between moral judgment and compliance in a modified Asch paradigm. Moral judgment was assessed using Kohlberg's dilemmas in one experiment and with Rest's Defining Issues in the second experiment. (Editor/RK)

  11. Moral Judgments of Aggressive and Nonaggressive Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa

    1989-01-01

    Reports on a study of moral judgments in aggressive and nonaggressive children. Assessed moral judgment by presenting the children with stories of moral conflict in everyday life using peer rating. Results showed significant differences according to gender and no constant level of moral reasoning was measured in either aggressive or nonaggressive…

  12. Individual moral judgment and cultural ideologies.

    PubMed

    Narvaez, D; Getz, I; Rest, J R; Thoma, S J

    1999-03-01

    Moral judgment cannot be reduced to cultural ideology, or vice versa. But when each construct is measured separately, then combined, the product predicts powerfully to moral thinking. In Study 1, 2 churches (N = 96) were selected for their differences on religious ideology, political identity, and moral judgment. By combining these 3 variables, a multiple correlation of .79 predicted to members' moral thinking (opinions on human rights issues). Study 2 replicated this finding in a secular sample, with the formula established in Study 1 (R = .77). Individual conceptual development in moral judgment and socialization into cultural ideology co-occur, simultaneously and reciprocally, in parallel, and not serially. Individual development in moral judgment provides the epistemological categories for cultural ideology, which in turn influences the course of moral judgment, to produce moral thinking (e.g., opinions about abortion, free speech).

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Functional networks in emotional moral and nonmoral social judgments.

    PubMed

    Moll, Jorge; de Oliveira-Souza, Ricardo; Bramati, Ivanei E; Grafman, Jordan

    2002-07-01

    Reading daily newspaper articles often evokes opinions and social judgments about the characters and stories. Social and moral judgments rely on the proper functioning of neural circuits concerned with complex cognitive and emotional processes. To examine whether dissociable neural systems mediate emotionally charged moral and nonmoral social judgments, we used a visual sentence verification task in conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that a network comprising the medial orbitofrontal cortex, the temporal pole and the superior temporal sulcus of the left hemisphere was specifically activated by moral judgments. In contrast, judgment of emotionally evocative, but non-moral statements activated the left amygdala, lingual gyri, and the lateral orbital gyrus. These findings provide new evidence that the orbitofrontal cortex has dedicated subregions specialized in processing specific forms of social behavior. PMID:12169253

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. Emotion and deliberative reasoning in moral judgment.

    PubMed

    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 are consistent with the

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25414690

  20. The controversy over retrospective moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Allen

    1996-09-01

    The mandate of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments required that the Committee take a position on the validity of retrospective moral judgments. However, throughout its period of operation, the Committee remained divided on the question of whether sound judgments of individual culpability and wrongdoing should be included in its Final Report. This essay examines the arguments that various committee members marshalled to support their opposing views on retrospective moral judgment and explains the significance of the controversy.

  1. Inference of trustworthiness from intuitive moral judgments.

    PubMed

    Everett, Jim A C; Pizarro, David A; Crockett, M J

    2016-06-01

    Moral judgments play a critical role in motivating and enforcing human cooperation, and research on the proximate mechanisms of moral judgments highlights the importance of intuitive, automatic processes in forming such judgments. Intuitive moral judgments often share characteristics with deontological theories in normative ethics, which argue that certain acts (such as killing) are absolutely wrong, regardless of their consequences. Why do moral intuitions typically follow deontological prescriptions, as opposed to those of other ethical theories? Here, we test a functional explanation for this phenomenon by investigating whether agents who express deontological moral judgments are more valued as social partners. Across 5 studies, we show that people who make characteristically deontological judgments are preferred as social partners, perceived as more moral and trustworthy, and are trusted more in economic games. These findings provide empirical support for a partner choice account of moral intuitions whereby typically deontological judgments confer an adaptive function by increasing a person's likelihood of being chosen as a cooperation partner. Therefore, deontological moral intuitions may represent an evolutionarily prescribed prior that was selected for through partner choice mechanisms. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27054685

  2. 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…

  3. Moral judgments, emotions and the utilitarian brain.

    PubMed

    Moll, Jorge; de Oliveira-Souza, Ricardo

    2007-08-01

    The investigation of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying the moral mind is of paramount importance for understanding complex human behaviors, from altruism to antisocial acts. A new study on patients with prefrontal damage provides key insights on the neurobiology of moral judgment and raises new questions on the mechanisms by which reason and emotion contribute to moral cognition. PMID:17602852

  4. A Longitudinal Study of Moral Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colby, Anne; And Others

    A 20-year study to verify Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral development through a new research design, the Standard Issue Scoring System, is reported. Kohlberg theorizes that an individual progresses through several stages in attaining moral judgment. As children grow older, they are able to integrate diverse points of view on a moral conflict.…

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Reflection and reasoning in moral judgment.

    PubMed

    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 responding, as individuals who reflected more on the CRT made more utilitarian judgments. A follow-up study suggested that trait reflectiveness is also associated with increased utilitarian judgment. In Experiment 2, subjects considered a scenario involving incest between consenting adult siblings, a scenario known for eliciting emotionally driven condemnation that resists reasoned persuasion. Here, we manipulated two factors related to moral reasoning: argument strength and deliberation time. These factors interacted in a manner consistent with moral reasoning: A strong argument defending the incestuous behavior was more persuasive than a weak argument, but only when increased deliberation time encouraged subjects to reflect. PMID:22049931

  9. Cognitive Load Selectively Interferes with Utilitarian Moral Judgment

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Joshua D.; Morelli, Sylvia A.; Lowenberg, Kelly; Nystrom, Leigh E.; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2008-01-01

    Traditional theories of moral development emphasize the role of controlled cognition in mature moral judgment, while a more recent trend emphasizes intuitive and emotional processes. Here we test a dual-process theory synthesizing these perspectives. More specifically, our theory associates utilitarian moral judgment (approving of harmful actions that maximize good consequences) with controlled cognitive processes and associates non-utilitarian moral judgment with automatic emotional responses. Consistent with this theory, we find that a cognitive load manipulation selectively interferes with utilitarian judgment. This interference effect provides direct evidence for the influence of controlled cognitive processes in moral judgment, and utilitarian moral judgment more specifically. PMID:18158145

  10. Children's Interpretive Understanding, Moral Judgments, and Emotion Attributions: Relations to Social Behaviour

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

    The study investigated interpretive understanding, moral judgments, and emotion attributions in relation to social behaviour in a sample of 59 5-year-old, 123 7-year-old, and 130 9-year-old children. Interpretive understanding was assessed by two tasks measuring children's understanding of ambiguous situations. Moral judgments and emotion…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. Cognitive Load Selectively Interferes with Utilitarian Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Joshua D.; Morelli, Sylvia A.; Lowenberg, Kelly; Nystrom, Leigh E.; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2008-01-01

    Traditional theories of moral development emphasize the role of controlled cognition in mature moral judgment, while a more recent trend emphasizes intuitive and emotional processes. Here we test a dual-process theory synthesizing these perspectives. More specifically, our theory associates utilitarian moral judgment (approving of harmful actions…

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22037688

  16. 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.

  17. Individual differences in moral judgment competence influence neural correlates of socio-normative judgments

    PubMed Central

    Wartenburger, Isabell; Mériau, Katja; Scheibe, Christina; Goodenough, Oliver R.; Villringer, Arno; van der Meer, Elke; Heekeren, Hauke R.

    2008-01-01

    To investigate how individual differences in moral judgment competence are reflected in the human brain, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, while 23 participants made either socio-normative or grammatical judgments. Participants with lower moral judgment competence recruited the left ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the left posterior superior temporal sulcus more than participants with greater competence in this domain when identifying social norm violations. Moreover, moral judgment competence scores were inversely correlated with activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during socio-normative relative to grammatical judgments. Greater activity in right DLPFC in participants with lower moral judgment competence indicates increased recruitment of rule-based knowledge and its controlled application during socio-normative judgments. These data support current models of the neurocognition of morality according to which both emotional and cognitive components play an important role. PMID:19015093

  18. The neural basis of intuitive and counterintuitive moral judgment

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies on moral decision-making have thus far largely focused on differences between moral judgments with opposing utilitarian (well-being maximizing) and deontological (duty-based) content. However, these studies have investigated moral dilemmas involving extreme situations, and did not control for two distinct dimensions of moral judgment: whether or not it is intuitive (immediately compelling to most people) and whether it is utilitarian or deontological in content. By contrasting dilemmas where utilitarian judgments are counterintuitive with dilemmas in which they are intuitive, we were able to use functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the neural correlates of intuitive and counterintuitive judgments across a range of moral situations. Irrespective of content (utilitarian/deontological), counterintuitive moral judgments were associated with greater difficulty and with activation in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex, suggesting that such judgments may involve emotional conflict; intuitive judgments were linked to activation in the visual and premotor cortex. In addition, we obtained evidence that neural differences in moral judgment in such dilemmas are largely due to whether they are intuitive and not, as previously assumed, to differences between utilitarian and deontological judgments. Our findings therefore do not support theories that have generally associated utilitarian and deontological judgments with distinct neural systems. PMID:21421730

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. How Does Moral Judgment Change with Age and Giftedness?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alnabhan, Mousa

    2011-01-01

    The current study aimed at identifying the differences in moral Judgment levels among female students according to their giftedness and grade levels. In specific, the study attempted to answer the following questions: (1) Does moral judgment differ due to the differences in giftedness and grade levels? (2) Is it possible to efficiently predict the…

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Children's Moral and Affective Judgments Regarding Provocation and Retaliation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smetana, Judith G.; Campione-Barr, Nicole; Yell, Nicole

    2003-01-01

    Children's moral judgments, attributions of emotion, and their associations were examined in hypothetical, prototypical situations and situations of provocation and peer retaliation. Children judged prototypical and provoked moral transgressions (hitting and teasing). Hypothetical moral transgressions were judged to be more serious and deserving…

  5. 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."…

  6. 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?…

  7. Moral Judgment as a Function of Age, Sex, and Stimulus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeman, Sue J. M.; Giebink, John W.

    1979-01-01

    Provides data in support of Lawrence Kohlberg's moral development theory. Shows comparable moral judgments for boys and girls at ages 11 and 17, but higher moral reasoning in 14-year-old girls than in their male peers. (Author/RL)

  8. Experiencing Physical Pain Leads to More Sympathetic Moral Judgments.

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. Tainting the soul: purity concerns predict moral judgments of suicide.

    PubMed

    Rottman, Joshua; Kelemen, Deborah; Young, Liane

    2014-02-01

    Moral violations are typically defined as actions that harm others. However, suicide is considered immoral even though the perpetrator is also the victim. To determine whether concerns about purity rather than harm predict moral condemnation of suicide, we presented American adults with obituaries describing suicide or homicide victims. While harm was the only variable predicting moral judgments of homicide, perceived harm (toward others, the self, or God) did not significantly account for variance in moral judgments of suicide. Instead, regardless of political and religious views and contrary to explicit beliefs about their own moral judgments, participants were more likely to morally condemn suicide if they (i) believed suicide tainted the victims' souls, (ii) reported greater concerns about purity in an independent questionnaire, (iii) experienced more disgust in response to the obituaries, or (iv) reported greater trait disgust. Thus, suicide is deemed immoral to the extent that it is considered impure. PMID:24333538

  13. Tainting the soul: purity concerns predict moral judgments of suicide.

    PubMed

    Rottman, Joshua; Kelemen, Deborah; Young, Liane

    2014-02-01

    Moral violations are typically defined as actions that harm others. However, suicide is considered immoral even though the perpetrator is also the victim. To determine whether concerns about purity rather than harm predict moral condemnation of suicide, we presented American adults with obituaries describing suicide or homicide victims. While harm was the only variable predicting moral judgments of homicide, perceived harm (toward others, the self, or God) did not significantly account for variance in moral judgments of suicide. Instead, regardless of political and religious views and contrary to explicit beliefs about their own moral judgments, participants were more likely to morally condemn suicide if they (i) believed suicide tainted the victims' souls, (ii) reported greater concerns about purity in an independent questionnaire, (iii) experienced more disgust in response to the obituaries, or (iv) reported greater trait disgust. Thus, suicide is deemed immoral to the extent that it is considered impure.

  14. 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. PMID:27367300

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:25910382

  17. 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.

  18. Liberals and conservatives rely on common moral foundations when making moral judgments about influential people.

    PubMed

    Frimer, Jeremy A; Biesanz, Jeremy C; Walker, Lawrence J; MacKinlay, Callan W

    2013-06-01

    Do liberals and conservatives have qualitatively different moral points of view? Specifically, do liberals and conservatives rely on the same or different sets of moral foundations-care, fairness, loyalty, authority, and purity (Haidt, 2012)-when making moral judgments about influential people? In Study 1, 100 experts evaluated the impact that 40 influential figures had on each moral foundation, yielding stimulus materials for the remaining studies. In Study 2, 177 American liberal and conservative professors rated the moral character of the same figures. Liberals and conservatives relied on the same 3 moral foundations: For both groups, promoting care, fairness, and purity-but not authority or loyalty-predicted moral judgments of the targets. For liberals, promoting authority negatively predicted moral judgments. Political ideology moderated the purity-moral and especially authority-moral relationships, implying that purity and authority are grounds for political disagreement. Study 3 replicated these results with 222 folk raters. Folk liberals and conservatives disagreed even less about the moral standing of the targets than did experts. Together, these findings imply that moral foundation theory may have exaggerated differences between liberals and conservatives. The moral codes of liberals and conservatives do differ systematically; however, their similarities outweigh their differences. Liberals and conservatives alike rely on care, fairness, and purity when making moral judgments about influential people. PMID:23586414

  19. 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…

  20. Effects of Experienced Disgust on Morally-Relevant Judgments.

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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

  2. Story Content as a Factor in Children's Moral Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moran, James D., III

    This study investigates effects of perceived rule-breaking on the moral reasoning of young children. Thirty first-grade children (15 males and 15 females) were read 10 randomly ordered moral judgment stories by one of three experimenters. Each story was accompanied by a two-frame cartoon-like drawing depicting the action. Two stories of each of…

  3. 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…

  4. Low levels of empathic concern predict utilitarian moral judgment.

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

  6. The Relationship between Moral Decision Making and Patterns of Consolidation and Transition in Moral Judgment Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thoma, Stephen J.; Rest, James R.

    1999-01-01

    Assessed the relationship between a measure of consolidation and transition in moral-judgment development and utility of moral concepts in sociomoral decision making in multiple cross-sectional and longitudinal samples. Found that participants' reliance on a Kohlbergian moral framework was highest during periods of consolidation and lowest during…

  7. 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. PMID:24672018

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:26918742

  10. 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.

  11. The development of moral judgments concerning capital punishment.

    PubMed

    Kohlberg, L; Elfenbein, D

    1975-07-01

    Data from a 20-year longitudinal study of the development of moral judgment in American males indicate that the most mature stages evince moral condemnation of the death penalty. The authors conclude that American moral standards are evolving towards a view of execution as unjust punishment. They contend that a theory of punishment based on the highest stage of moral reasoning is more valid than lower-stage justifications for capital punishment, and that it provides a rational basis for asserting the immorality--and unconstitutionality--of capital punishment, irrespective of uncertainties as to the deterrent efficacy of the death penalty.

  12. For the greater goods? Ownership rights and utilitarian moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Millar, J Charles; Turri, John; Friedman, Ori

    2014-10-01

    People often judge it unacceptable to directly harm a person, even when this is necessary to produce an overall positive outcome, such as saving five other lives. We demonstrate that similar judgments arise when people consider damage to owned objects. In two experiments, participants considered dilemmas where saving five inanimate objects required destroying one. Participants judged this unacceptable when it required violating another's ownership rights, but not otherwise. They also judged that sacrificing another's object was less acceptable as a means than as a side-effect; judgments did not depend on whether property damage involved personal force. These findings inform theories of moral decision-making. They show that utilitarian judgment can be decreased without physical harm to persons, and without personal force. The findings also show that the distinction between means and side-effects influences the acceptability of damaging objects, and that ownership impacts utilitarian moral judgment. PMID:24972369

  13. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Children's Moral Judgments and Moral Emotions Following Exclusion of Children with Disabilities: Relations with Inclusive Education, Age, and Contact Intensity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gasser, Luciano; Malti, Tina; Buholzer, Alois

    2013-01-01

    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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. Moral Emotions and Moral Judgments in Children's Narratives: Comparing Real-Life and Hypothetical Transgressions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

    How children make meaning of their own social experiences in situations involving moral issues is central to their subsequent affective and cognitive moral learning. Our study of young children's narratives describing their interpersonal conflicts shows that the emotions and judgments constructed in the course of these real-life narratives differ…

  19. Discrepancies between Judgment and Choice of Action in Moral Dilemmas

    PubMed Central

    Tassy, Sébastien; Oullier, Olivier; Mancini, Julien; Wicker, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    Everyone has experienced the potential discrepancy between what one judges as morally acceptable and what one actually does when a choice between alternative behaviors is to be made. The present study explores empirically whether judgment and choice of action differ when people make decisions on dilemmas involving moral issues. Two hundred and forty participants evaluated 24 moral and non-moral dilemmas either by judging (“Is it acceptable to…”) or reporting the choice of action they would make (“Would you do…”). We also investigated the influence of varying the number of people benefiting from the decision and the closeness of relationship of the decision maker with the potential victim on these two types of decision. Variations in the number of beneficiaries from the decision did not influence judgment nor choice of action. By contrast, closeness of relationship with the victim had a greater influence on the choice of action than on judgment. This differentiation between evaluative judgments and choices of action argues in favor of each of them being supported by (at least partially) different psychological processes. PMID:23720645

  20. The Contact Principle and Utilitarian Moral Judgments in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pellizzoni, Sandra; Siegal, Michael; Surian, Luca

    2010-01-01

    In three experiments involving 207 preschoolers and 28 adults, we investigated the extent to which young children base moral judgments of actions aimed to protect others on utilitarian principles. When asked to judge the rightness of intervening to hurt one person in order to save five others, the large majority of children aged 3 to 5 years…

  1. 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. PMID:25355480

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. The effect of analytic and experiential modes of thought on moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Kvaran, Trevor; Nichols, Shaun; Sanfey, Alan

    2013-01-01

    According to dual-process theories, moral judgments are the result of two competing processes: a fast, automatic, affect-driven process and a slow, deliberative, reason-based process. Accordingly, these models make clear and testable predictions about the influence of each system. Although a small number of studies have attempted to examine each process independently in the context of moral judgment, no study has yet tried to experimentally manipulate both processes within a single study. In this chapter, a well-established "mode-of-thought" priming technique was used to place participants in either an experiential/emotional or analytic mode while completing a task in which participants provide judgments about a series of moral dilemmas. We predicted that individuals primed analytically would make more utilitarian responses than control participants, while emotional priming would lead to less utilitarian responses. Support was found for both of these predictions. Implications of these findings for dual-process theories of moral judgment will be discussed. PMID:23317833

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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

  11. Moral judgment of young sex offenders with and without intellectual disabilities.

    PubMed

    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 with and without ID significantly differed in moral judgment stage regarding general life, sexual and own abuse victim situations. Juvenile sex offenders with ID generally showed stage 2 moral reasoning, which indicated that their justifications for moral decisions were dominated by instrumental and pragmatic reciprocity, whereas juvenile sex offenders without ID used reasons and justifications representing transitional moral stage 2/3 moral judgment, indicating that the maintenance of interpersonal relationships was considered to a certain extent in their justifications for moral decisions. Future research should examine to what extent moral judgment of offenders with ID should be targeted in treatment.

  12. 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

  13. The contact principle and utilitarian moral judgments in young children.

    PubMed

    Pellizzoni, Sandra; Siegal, Michael; Surian, Luca

    2010-03-01

    In three experiments involving 207 preschoolers and 28 adults, we investigated the extent to which young children base moral judgments of actions aimed to protect others on utilitarian principles. When asked to judge the rightness of intervening to hurt one person in order to save five others, the large majority of children aged 3 to 5 years advocated intervention in contrast to another situation with the reverse cost/benefit ratio. This course of action was seen as acceptable by most children only when it did not require the agent to have physical contact with the victim and the victim's harm was intended to produce the greatest good for the greatest number. Overall, the children's responses were remarkably similar to those reported in adult studies. These findings document the extent to which some constraints on moral judgment are present in early human development. PMID:20136922

  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. 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. PMID:26375450

  16. The relationship between moral judgment and cooperation in children with high-functioning autism.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Zhu, Liqi; Gummerum, Michaela

    2014-03-07

    This study investigated moral judgment in children with high-functioning autism and their cooperation in prisoner's dilemma game with partners of different moralities. Thirty-eight 6- to 12-year-old high-functioning autistic (HFA) children and 31 typically developing (TD) children were recruited. Children were asked to judge story protagonists' morality. After making this moral judgment correctly, they were asked to play with the morally nice and the morally naughty child in a repeated prisoner's dilemma game. Results showed that both HFA and TD children made correct moral judgments, and that HFA children might even have more rigid criteria for what constitutes morally naughty acts. HFA children's cooperation did not differ depending on the morality of the interaction partner, while TD children showed higher cooperation when interacting with the morally nice than the morally naughty child did. Thus, partner's morality did influence TD children's but not HFA children's subsequent cooperation.

  17. 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

  18. Adolescents Educated in Israel and in the Soviet Union: Differences in Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ziv, Avner; And Others

    1975-01-01

    Moral judgments of Israeli and Soviet educated adolescents who had recently arrived in Israel were compared on a relativistic-realistic dimension, using a specially designed instrument - the Morality Shifting in Adolescence Questionnaire. Soviety educated adolescents were significantly more realistically oriented in moral judgment and in both…

  19. 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,…

  20. Manipulating Morality: Third-Party Intentions Alter Moral Judgments by Changing Causal Reasoning.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Jonathan; Shaw, Alex

    2015-08-01

    The present studies investigate how the intentions of third parties influence judgments of moral responsibility for other agents who commit immoral acts. Using cases in which an agent acts under some situational constraint brought about by a third party, we ask whether the agent is blamed less for the immoral act when the third party intended for that act to occur. Study 1 demonstrates that third-party intentions do influence judgments of blame. Study 2 finds that third-party intentions only influence moral judgments when the agent's actions precisely match the third party's intention. Study 3 shows that this effect arises from changes in participants' causal perception that the third party was controlling the agent. Studies 4 and 5, respectively, show that the effect cannot be explained by changes in the distribution of blame or perceived differences in situational constraint faced by the agent.

  1. 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. PMID:27317926

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  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. Do Contributors to Intellect Explain the Moral Judgment Abilities of Gifted Youth?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derryberry, W. Pitt; Barger, Brian

    2008-01-01

    To assess reaction time and attributional complexity as factors contributing to the relatively high moral judgment of gifted youth, a sample of 30 gifted youth and 30 college students responded to a computerized measure of moral judgment development, which also indexed reaction time. Additionally, participants completed a measurement of…

  6. Moral Judgment: Differences Between City, Kibbutz, and Israeli Arab Preadolescents on the Realistic-Relativistic Dimension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ziv, Avner; And Others

    1978-01-01

    Preadolescents in three subcultures--city, kibbutz, and Israeli Arabs--were compared on the realistic-relativistic dimension of moral judgment. City children were more relativistic in their judgment. The results were explained in light of Wright's theory of moral behavior and attributed to the differences in socialization pattern in the three…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. The Impact of Higher Education on Moral Judgment Development. Project Report 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rest, James R.

    The document discusses the nature of moral judgment, reviews previous studies which link higher education to moral judgment, and presents results of a longitudinal study comparing college and non-college subjects. This project report from the Higher Education and Cognitive-Social Development Project at the University of Minnesota is presented in…

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

    PubMed

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:23276265

  15. No Absolutism Here: Harm Predicts Moral Judgment 30× Better Than Disgust-Commentary on Scott, Inbar, & Rozin (2016).

    PubMed

    Gray, Kurt; Schein, Chelsea

    2016-05-01

    Moral absolutism is the idea that people's moral judgments are insensitive to considerations of harm. Scott, Inbar, and Rozin (2016, this issue) claim that most moral opponents to genetically modified organisms are absolutely opposed-motivated by disgust and not harm. Yet there is no evidence for moral absolutism in their data. Perceived risk/harm is the most significant predictor of moral judgments for "absolutists," accounting for 30 times more variance than disgust. Reanalyses suggest that disgust is not even a significant predictor of the moral judgments of absolutists once accounting for perceived harm and anger. Instead of revealing actual moral absolutism, Scott et al. find only empty absolutism: hypothetical, forecasted, self-reported moral absolutism. Strikingly, the moral judgments of so-called absolutists are somewhat more sensitive to consequentialist concerns than those of nonabsolutists. Mediation reanalyses reveal that moral judgments are most proximally predicted by harm and not disgust, consistent with dyadic morality.

  16. No Absolutism Here: Harm Predicts Moral Judgment 30× Better Than Disgust-Commentary on Scott, Inbar, & Rozin (2016).

    PubMed

    Gray, Kurt; Schein, Chelsea

    2016-05-01

    Moral absolutism is the idea that people's moral judgments are insensitive to considerations of harm. Scott, Inbar, and Rozin (2016, this issue) claim that most moral opponents to genetically modified organisms are absolutely opposed-motivated by disgust and not harm. Yet there is no evidence for moral absolutism in their data. Perceived risk/harm is the most significant predictor of moral judgments for "absolutists," accounting for 30 times more variance than disgust. Reanalyses suggest that disgust is not even a significant predictor of the moral judgments of absolutists once accounting for perceived harm and anger. Instead of revealing actual moral absolutism, Scott et al. find only empty absolutism: hypothetical, forecasted, self-reported moral absolutism. Strikingly, the moral judgments of so-called absolutists are somewhat more sensitive to consequentialist concerns than those of nonabsolutists. Mediation reanalyses reveal that moral judgments are most proximally predicted by harm and not disgust, consistent with dyadic morality. PMID:27217244

  17. Schools as Promoters of Moral Judgment: The Essential Role of Teachers' Encouragement of Critical Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinstock, Michael; Assor, Avi; Broide, Galia

    2009-01-01

    The assumption that high level functioning is characterized by a great deal of autonomy is central to some major theories of moral development [Kohlberg (in T. Lickona (ed.) "Moral development and behavior: Theory, research and social issues," 1976); Piaget ("The moral judgment of the child", 1932)] and to the self-determination theory of…

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26200702

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Purity matters more than harm in moral judgments of suicide: response to Gray (2014).

    PubMed

    Rottman, Joshua; Kelemen, Deborah; Young, Liane

    2014-10-01

    Many people judge suicide to be immoral. We have found evidence that these moral judgments are primarily predicted by people's belief that suicide taints the soul and by independent concerns about purity. This finding is inconsistent with accounts that define morality as fundamentally based upon harm considerations. In this commentary, we respond to a critique of our finding, and we provide further support for our original conclusions. Even when applying new exclusion criteria to our data, an examination of effect sizes demonstrates that concerns about purity robustly and meaningfully explain variance in moral judgments of suicide. While harm concerns sometimes predict moral judgments of suicide alongside purity concerns, they reliably explain a much smaller proportion of the variance than do purity concerns. Therefore, data from six studies continue to suggest that the relevance of harm concerns for moral judgments of suicide is substantially overshadowed by the contribution of purity concerns.

  3. 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

  4. Reciprocal associations between young children's developing moral judgments and theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Smetana, Judith G; Jambon, Marc; Conry-Murray, Clare; Sturge-Apple, Melissa L

    2012-07-01

    Associations between young children's developing theory of mind (ToM) and judgments of prototypical moral transgressions were examined 3 times across 1 year in 70 American middle class 2.5- to 4-year-olds. Separate path models controlling for cross-time stability in judgments, within-time associations, and children's age at Wave 1 indicated that across both 6-month intervals, children who evaluated moral acts as more wrong independent of authority had more mature ToM 6 months later; in addition, judgments of moral transgressions as less permissible at Wave 2 also led to more advanced ToM at Wave 3. Children with more advanced ToM judged that moral rules are more alterable, however, and rated moral transgressions as less deserving of punishment. Finally, more advanced ToM initially led to evaluations of moral transgressions as less independent of rules and then to judgments of moral transgressions as more independent of rules. During the preschool years, early moral judgments and theory of mind appear to develop as reciprocal, bidirectional processes.

  5. Harm concerns predict moral judgments of suicide: comment on Rottman, Kelemen and Young (2014).

    PubMed

    Gray, Kurt

    2014-10-01

    Two prominent theories offer different perspectives on the role of harm in moral cognition. Dyadic morality suggests that harm-related concerns are pervasive, whereas moral pluralism suggests that these concerns apply only to canonically harmful violations (e.g., murder), and not impure violations (e.g., suicide). Rottman et al. (2014) contrast these two theories by examining moral judgments of suicide. They conclude that suicide wrongness is independent of harm, therefore arguing against dyadic morality and for moral pluralism. However, these conclusions may be overstated; across all these studies, a meta-analysis reveals that harm is a significant predictor of suicide judgments. Moreover, the association between harm and suicide wrongness may be suppressed in individual studies by insufficient power, restrictive exclusion criteria, a single bivariate outlier, and reliance upon the conventional significance threshold of p<.05. In revised analyses harm is robustly associated with suicide wrongness, consistent with dyadic morality.

  6. The Effect of Training Children to Consider Intentions When Making Moral Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jensen, Larry C.; Hafen, Gregory E.

    1973-01-01

    Study investigated whether a training program could foster the maturation of moral judgments in prekindergarten children, and the differential effects of two training methods: discussion and verbal discrimination. (Authors/CB)

  7. 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…

  8. Reciprocal Associations between Young Children's Developing Moral Judgments and Theory of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smetana, Judith G.; Jambon, Marc; Conry-Murray, Clare; Sturge-Apple, Melissa L.

    2012-01-01

    Associations between young children's developing theory of mind (ToM) and judgments of prototypical moral transgressions were examined 3 times across 1 year in 70 American middle class 2.5- to 4-year-olds. Separate path models controlling for cross-time stability in judgments, within-time associations, and children's age at Wave 1 indicated that…

  9. Moral Judgments and Emotions: Adolescents' Evaluations in Intergroup Social Exclusion Contexts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Harming kin to save strangers: further evidence for abnormally utilitarian moral judgments after ventromedial prefrontal damage.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

    The ventromedial PFC (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, that is, scenarios that pit compelling utilitarian considerations of aggregate welfare against the highly emotionally aversive act of directly causing harm to others [Koenigs, M., Young, L., Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., Cushman, F., Hauser, M., et al. Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgments. Nature, 446, 908-911, 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. In addition, all groups were more likely to endorse utilitarian outcomes in the Other perspective as compared with 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 [Greene, J. D. Why are VMPFC patients more utilitarian?: A dual-process theory of moral judgment explains. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 322-323, 2007; Koenigs, M., Young, L., Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., Cushman, F., Hauser, M., et al. Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgments. Nature, 446, 908-911, 2007]. PMID:20946057

  14. Harming kin to save strangers: further evidence for abnormally utilitarian moral judgments after ventromedial prefrontal damage.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

    The ventromedial PFC (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, that is, scenarios that pit compelling utilitarian considerations of aggregate welfare against the highly emotionally aversive act of directly causing harm to others [Koenigs, M., Young, L., Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., Cushman, F., Hauser, M., et al. Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgments. Nature, 446, 908-911, 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. In addition, all groups were more likely to endorse utilitarian outcomes in the Other perspective as compared with 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 [Greene, J. D. Why are VMPFC patients more utilitarian?: A dual-process theory of moral judgment explains. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 322-323, 2007; Koenigs, M., Young, L., Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., Cushman, F., Hauser, M., et al. Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgments. Nature, 446, 908-911, 2007].

  15. Situational variation in moral judgment: In a stage or on a stage?

    PubMed

    Carpendale, J I; Krebs, D L

    1992-04-01

    Two issues were examined in this study-the consistency of moral judgment across different types of dilemma and different social contexts, and the relationship between the structure (stage) of moral judgment and the content of moral decisions. Forty subjects were given two hypothetical dilemmas about business decisions and two standard Kohlberg dilemmas. Half the subjects directed their responses to a business audience, half to a philosophical audience. Responses to the moral dilemmas were scored in accordance with the Colby and Kohlberg (1987) scoring manual. Stage of moral reasoning was found to be significantly higher on the Kohlberg dilemmas than on the business dilemmas. A significant interaction between type of dilemma and audience was attributed to the tendency of subjects directing their responses to a business audience to interpret one of the business dilemmas in terms of the moral order of business, but for subjects directing their responses to a philosophy audience to treat it as a philosophical dilemma. The other business dilemma evoked uniformly low-level moral judgments. The amount of selfishness intrinsic in subjects' moral choices on the business dilemmas was significantly negatively correlated with moral maturity on the business dilemmas, but not with their moral maturity on Kohlberg's test. These results are interpreted as more consistent with models of moral development such as those advanced by C. G. Levine ([1979] "Stage Acquisition and Stage Use: An Appraisal of Stage Displacement Explanations of Variation in Moral Reasoning, " Human Development, Vol. 22, pp. 145-164), J. Rest ([1983] "Morality," in: P. H. Mussen [ed.], J. H. Flavell and E. Markman [Vol. eds.], Handbook of Child Psychology [Vol. 3, 4th ed.], John Wiley & Sons, New York), and R. Harré ([1984]) Personal Being: A Theory for Individual Psychology, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts), which posit a relatively wide range of within-person stage use and emphasize the

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26414248

  20. 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.

  1. An FMRI investigation of spontaneous mental state inference for moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Young, Liane; Saxe, Rebecca

    2009-07-01

    Human moral judgment depends critically on "theory of mind," the capacity to represent the mental states of agents. Recent studies suggest that the right TPJ (RTPJ) and, to lesser extent, the left TPJ (LTPJ), the precuneus (PC), and the medial pFC (MPFC) are robustly recruited when participants read explicit statements of an agent's beliefs and then judge the moral status of the agent's action. Real-world interactions, by contrast, often require social partners to infer each other's mental states. The current study uses fMRI to probe the role of these brain regions in supporting spontaneous mental state inference in the service of moral judgment. Participants read descriptions of a protagonist's action and then either (i) "moral" facts about the action's effect on another person or (ii) "nonmoral" facts about the situation. The RTPJ, PC, and MPFC were recruited selectively for moral over nonmoral facts, suggesting that processing moral stimuli elicits spontaneous mental state inference. In a second experiment, participants read the same scenarios, but explicit statements of belief preceded the facts: Protagonists believed their actions would cause harm or not. The response in the RTPJ, PC, and LTPJ was again higher for moral facts but also distinguished between neutral and negative outcomes. Together, the results illuminate two aspects of theory of mind in moral judgment: (1) spontaneous belief inference and (2) stimulus-driven belief integration. PMID:18823250

  2. [On the necessity to distinguishing judgment from subjective choice in the cognitive neuroscience of morality].

    PubMed

    Tassy, Sébastien

    2011-10-01

    Recently, cognitive neuroscience has shed new light on our understanding of the neural underpinning of humans' morality. These findings allow for a fundamental questioning and rethinking of the alleged dichotomy between reason and emotion, that has profoundly shaped both moral philosophy and moral psychology. Functional neuroimaging and neuropsychology studies have provided strong arguments favoring a dynamic and interdependent interaction between rational and emotional processes in the brain. Yet another fundamental issue remains largely unexplored: the dissociation between certain behaviours and the moral judgments that seem to precede them. The importance of this dissociation was highlighted in a study of psychopathic patients during which they preserved their moral judgments while frequently engaging in completely non moral behaviour. Such dissociation could result from the cognitive difference between an objective moral judgement with no personal consequence, and a subjective behavioural choice that has effective or potential personal consequences. Consequently, the results of moral dilemma experiments would differ widely depending whether they explore objective or subjective moral evaluations. That these evaluations involve two distinct neural processes should be taken into account when exploring the neural bases of human morality.

  3. 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. PMID:21943064

  4. 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. PMID:22689217

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

    PubMed

    Cardinale, Elise M; Marsh, Abigail A

    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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27016146

  9. Children's Metamemorial Judgments in an Event Recall Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roebers, Claudia M.; von der Linden, Nicole; Schneider, Wolfgang; Howie, Pauline

    2007-01-01

    Two studies were conducted in which two different indicators of metacognitive monitoring were investigated in a complex everyday memory task. In the first phase of each experiment, 8- and 10-year-olds as well as adults were shown a short event (video) and gave judgments of learning, that is, rated their certainty that they would later be able to…

  10. '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.

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:25985442

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The role of causal and intentional judgments in moral reasoning in individuals with high functioning autism.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

    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 responsibility and the punishment he deserves for his action. Adults with HFA/AS did not differ in judgments of suffering and causality from adults with typical development. However, subtle difficulties with judgments of intentional action and moral judgments were observed in participants with HFA/AS. These results are discussed in the light of emerging studies that deal with integrity of moral reasoning in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

  17. The role of causal and intentional judgments in moral reasoning in individuals with high functioning autism.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

    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 responsibility and the punishment he deserves for his action. Adults with HFA/AS did not differ in judgments of suffering and causality from adults with typical development. However, subtle difficulties with judgments of intentional action and moral judgments were observed in participants with HFA/AS. These results are discussed in the light of emerging studies that deal with integrity of moral reasoning in individuals with autism spectrum disorders. PMID:22760338

  18. 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

  19. 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 used stage…

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Sociocultural Influences on Moral Judgments: East-West, Male-Female, and Young-Old.

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:27367795

  6. 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

  7. Aggressive and nonaggressive children's moral judgments and moral emotion attributions in situations involving retaliation and unprovoked aggression.

    PubMed

    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 assessed by an interview including questions about their moral judgments and emotion attributions. Aggressive children judged retaliations as less serious than did nonaggressive children. They also referred less often to the harmful consequences of retaliation and were more likely to excuse the retaliation because of the provocation. In unprovoked aggressive situations younger aggressive children, compared with the younger nonaggressive children, attributed more happiness to transgressors, more anger to victims, and less sadness to transgressors and victims. The results are discussed in terms of previous research on aggressive children's moral understanding of retaliation and unprovoked aggression.

  8. Group-based discrimination in judgments of moral purity-related behaviors: experimental and archival evidence.

    PubMed

    Masicampo, E J; Barth, Maria; Ambady, Nalini

    2014-12-01

    Knowledge of individuals' group membership can alter moral judgments of their behavior. We found that such moral judgments were amplified when judgers learned that a person belonged to a group shown to elicit disgust in others. When a person was labeled as obese, a hippie, or "trailer trash," people judged that person's behavior differently than when such descriptors were omitted: Virtuous behaviors were more highly praised, and moral violations were more severely criticized. Such group-based discrimination in moral judgment was specific to the domain of moral purity. Members of disgust-eliciting groups but not members of other minorities were the target of harsh judgments for purity violations (e.g., lewd behavior) but not for other violations (e.g., refusing to help others). The same pattern held true for virtuous behaviors, so that members of disgust-eliciting groups were more highly praised than others but only in the purity domain. Furthermore, group-based discrimination was mediated by feelings of disgust toward the target group but not by other emotions. Last, analysis of New York Police Department officers' encounters with suspected criminals revealed a similar pattern to that found in laboratory experiments. Police officers were increasingly likely to make an arrest or issue a summons as body mass index increased (i.e., as obesity rose) among people suspected of purity crimes (e.g., prostitution) but not of other crimes (e.g., burglary). Thus, moral judgments in the lab and in the real world exhibit patterns of discrimination that are both group and behavior specific.

  9. Group-based discrimination in judgments of moral purity-related behaviors: experimental and archival evidence.

    PubMed

    Masicampo, E J; Barth, Maria; Ambady, Nalini

    2014-12-01

    Knowledge of individuals' group membership can alter moral judgments of their behavior. We found that such moral judgments were amplified when judgers learned that a person belonged to a group shown to elicit disgust in others. When a person was labeled as obese, a hippie, or "trailer trash," people judged that person's behavior differently than when such descriptors were omitted: Virtuous behaviors were more highly praised, and moral violations were more severely criticized. Such group-based discrimination in moral judgment was specific to the domain of moral purity. Members of disgust-eliciting groups but not members of other minorities were the target of harsh judgments for purity violations (e.g., lewd behavior) but not for other violations (e.g., refusing to help others). The same pattern held true for virtuous behaviors, so that members of disgust-eliciting groups were more highly praised than others but only in the purity domain. Furthermore, group-based discrimination was mediated by feelings of disgust toward the target group but not by other emotions. Last, analysis of New York Police Department officers' encounters with suspected criminals revealed a similar pattern to that found in laboratory experiments. Police officers were increasingly likely to make an arrest or issue a summons as body mass index increased (i.e., as obesity rose) among people suspected of purity crimes (e.g., prostitution) but not of other crimes (e.g., burglary). Thus, moral judgments in the lab and in the real world exhibit patterns of discrimination that are both group and behavior specific. PMID:25199041

  10. Effects of Judgment on Memory: Experiments in Recognition Bias and Process Dissociation in a Professional Judgment Task

    PubMed

    Ricchiute

    1997-04-01

    Three experiments investigated post-judgment memory bias in a professional task for which the judge is liable. The experimental setting replicates a task in which a subordinate documents evidence after making a judgment, and a reviewer affirms or overrules the judgment from evidence the subordinate documents. This setting is common, for example, in auditing firms, law firms, and investment banking houses. The results lead to three findings. First, subordinates' judgments interact with evidence in memory to bias their post-judgment recognition of the evidence they will document in evidence files. Second, subordinate memory performance is consistent with the predictions of process dissociation: Conscious recollection is lower when attention is divided, but unconscious familiarity is invariant to attention manipulations. Third, the incomplete evidence sets that subordinates recognize and document systematically bias reviewers' judgments in the direction of subordinates' judgments. PMID:9236163

  11. 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…

  12. Cognitive Processes and Young Children's Use of Intention and Consequence Information in Moral Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rotenberg, Ken

    1980-01-01

    Investigates the reflectivity hypothesis by assessing (1) individual differences in preschool children's decentration ability and cognitive style of reflection-impulsivity and (2) the effects of instructing preschool children to adopt a reflective search strategy in their use of intention and consequence information in moral judgments. (Author/RH)

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Developmental Changes and Interrelationships Among Role-Taking, Moral Judgments and Children's Sharing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olejnik, Anthony B.

    This study investigated the interrelationships among the development of role-taking skills, moral judgments, and sharing behavior of boys and girls in K-3. A total of 160 lower middle class white children (20 boys and 20 girls from each grade) participated in the study. Data were collected on four measures: (1) sharing candy with a friend, (2)…

  16. 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. PMID:27505424

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Moral Judgment in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zalla, Tiziana; Barlassina, Luca; Buon, Marine; Leboyer, Marion

    2011-01-01

    The ability of a group of adults with high functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) to distinguish moral, conventional and disgust transgressions was investigated using a set of six transgression scenarios, each of which was followed by questions about permissibility, seriousness, authority contingency and justification. The results…

  20. Divergent Effects of Different Positive Emotions on Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strohminger, Nina; Lewis, Richard L.; Meyer, David E.

    2011-01-01

    Positive emotions are often treated as relatively similar in their cognitive-behavioral effects, and as having unambiguously beneficial consequences. For example, Valdesolo and DeSteno (2006) reported that a humorous video made people more prone to choose a utilitarian solution to a moral dilemma. They attributed this finding to increased positive…

  1. Beliefs about the true self explain asymmetries based on moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Newman, George E; De Freitas, Julian; Knobe, Joshua

    2015-01-01

    Past research has identified a number of asymmetries based on moral judgments. Beliefs about (a) what a person values, (b) whether a person is happy, (c) whether a person has shown weakness of will, and (d) whether a person deserves praise or blame seem to depend critically on whether participants themselves find the agent's behavior to be morally good or bad. To date, however, the origins of these asymmetries remain unknown. The present studies examine whether beliefs about an agent's "true self" explain these observed asymmetries based on moral judgment. Using the identical materials from previous studies in this area, a series of five experiments indicate that people show a general tendency to conclude that deep inside every individual there is a "true self" calling him or her to behave in ways that are morally virtuous. In turn, this belief causes people to hold different intuitions about what the agent values, whether the agent is happy, whether he or she has shown weakness of will, and whether he or she deserves praise or blame. These results not only help to answer important questions about how people attribute various mental states to others; they also contribute to important theoretical debates regarding how moral values may shape our beliefs about phenomena that, on the surface, appear to be decidedly non-moral in nature. PMID:25039306

  2. Testosterone administration in females modulates moral judgment and patterns of brain activation and functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chenyi; Decety, Jean; Huang, Pin-Chia; Chen, Chin-Yau; Cheng, Yawei

    2016-10-01

    Morality is defined as prescriptive norms regarding how people should treat one another, and includes concepts of fairness, justice, and rights. One recent study with moral dilemmas suggested that testosterone administration increases utilitarian judgments, which depends on second-to-fourth (2D: 4D) digit ratio, as a proxy of prenatal priming. However, the neural mechanism by which acute testosterone modulates moral reasoning remains to be determined. Using a placebo-controlled within-subject design, the current study examined the neuromodulatory effect of testosterone in young females by combining moral dilemmas, 2D: 4D, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and subjective ratings of morally laden scenarios. Results showed that testosterone administration elicited more utilitarian responses to evitable dilemmas. The high 2D: 4D group scored more punishments for moral evaluation, whereas the low 2D: 4D group did the opposite. The activity in the amygdala, anterior insular cortex, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) was increased when participants evaluated morally unorthodox actions (intentional harm). The activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus/temporoparietal junction (pSTS/TPJ) to accidental harm was decreased, specific to the high 2D: 4D group. The functional connectivity between the amygdala and dlPFC was reduced. The activity in the pSTS/TPJ to perceived agency predicted utilitarian responses to evitable dilemmas. The findings demonstrate the acute effect of testosterone on neural responses associated with moral judgment, and provide evidence to support that prenatal sex-hormones priming could be important for early neurodevelopment, which plays a crucial role in the neural and behavioral manifestations of testosterone on adult moral reasoning. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3417-3430, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Testosterone administration in females modulates moral judgment and patterns of brain activation and functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chenyi; Decety, Jean; Huang, Pin-Chia; Chen, Chin-Yau; Cheng, Yawei

    2016-10-01

    Morality is defined as prescriptive norms regarding how people should treat one another, and includes concepts of fairness, justice, and rights. One recent study with moral dilemmas suggested that testosterone administration increases utilitarian judgments, which depends on second-to-fourth (2D: 4D) digit ratio, as a proxy of prenatal priming. However, the neural mechanism by which acute testosterone modulates moral reasoning remains to be determined. Using a placebo-controlled within-subject design, the current study examined the neuromodulatory effect of testosterone in young females by combining moral dilemmas, 2D: 4D, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and subjective ratings of morally laden scenarios. Results showed that testosterone administration elicited more utilitarian responses to evitable dilemmas. The high 2D: 4D group scored more punishments for moral evaluation, whereas the low 2D: 4D group did the opposite. The activity in the amygdala, anterior insular cortex, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) was increased when participants evaluated morally unorthodox actions (intentional harm). The activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus/temporoparietal junction (pSTS/TPJ) to accidental harm was decreased, specific to the high 2D: 4D group. The functional connectivity between the amygdala and dlPFC was reduced. The activity in the pSTS/TPJ to perceived agency predicted utilitarian responses to evitable dilemmas. The findings demonstrate the acute effect of testosterone on neural responses associated with moral judgment, and provide evidence to support that prenatal sex-hormones priming could be important for early neurodevelopment, which plays a crucial role in the neural and behavioral manifestations of testosterone on adult moral reasoning. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3417-3430, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27145084

  4. Disentangling the Effect of Valence and Arousal on Judgments Concerning Moral Transgressions.

    PubMed

    de la Viña, Luis; Garcia-Burgos, David; Okan, Yasmina; Cándido, Antonio; González, Felisa

    2015-01-01

    An increasing body of research has investigated the effect of emotions on judgments concerning moral transgressions. Yet, few studies have controlled for arousal levels associated with the emotions. High arousal may affect moral processing by triggering attention to salient features of transgressions, independently of valence. Therefore previously documented differences in effects of negative and positive emotions may have been confounded by differences in arousal. We conducted two studies to shed light on this issue. In Study 1 we developed a questionnaire including vignettes selected on the basis of psychometrical properties (i.e., mean ratings of the actions and variability). This questionnaire was administered to participants in Study 2, after presenting them with selected pictures inducing different valence but equivalent levels of arousal. Negative pictures led to more severe moral judgments than neutral (p = .054, d = 0.60) and positive pictures (p = .002, d = 1.02), for vignettes that were not associated with extreme judgments. In contrast, positive pictures did not reliably affect judgments concerning such vignettes. These findings suggest that the observed effects of emotions cannot be accounted for by an increase in attention linked to the arousal which accompanies these emotions.

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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

  7. The interactive effects of mortality salience and political orientation on moral judgments.

    PubMed

    Bassett, Jonathan F; Van Tongeren, Daryl R; Green, Jeffrey D; Sonntag, Michael E; Kilpatrick, Harrison

    2015-06-01

    In two studies, the authors examined how threat induced by reminders of mortality would moderate the effect of political orientation on moral judgments. In Study 1, university students (n = 113) categorized their political orientation, were randomly assigned to complete a fear of death or public speaking scale, and then completed a moral foundations questionnaire. In Study 2, university students (n = 123) rated their political orientations, were randomly assigned to write about their own death or dental pain, and then completed a moral foundations questionnaire. In both studies, mortality salience intensified the moral differences between liberals and conservatives. These findings were primarily the result of the reactions of liberals, who responded to mortality salience with increased ratings of the fairness/cheating virtue in Study 1 and the care/harm virtue in Study 2.

  8. The interactive effects of mortality salience and political orientation on moral judgments.

    PubMed

    Bassett, Jonathan F; Van Tongeren, Daryl R; Green, Jeffrey D; Sonntag, Michael E; Kilpatrick, Harrison

    2015-06-01

    In two studies, the authors examined how threat induced by reminders of mortality would moderate the effect of political orientation on moral judgments. In Study 1, university students (n = 113) categorized their political orientation, were randomly assigned to complete a fear of death or public speaking scale, and then completed a moral foundations questionnaire. In Study 2, university students (n = 123) rated their political orientations, were randomly assigned to write about their own death or dental pain, and then completed a moral foundations questionnaire. In both studies, mortality salience intensified the moral differences between liberals and conservatives. These findings were primarily the result of the reactions of liberals, who responded to mortality salience with increased ratings of the fairness/cheating virtue in Study 1 and the care/harm virtue in Study 2. PMID:25302551

  9. Moral asymmetries in judgments of agency withstand ludicrous causal deviance

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Paulo; Holbrook, Colin; Swiney, Lauren

    2015-01-01

    Americans have been shown to attribute greater intentionality to immoral than to amoral actions in cases of causal deviance, that is, cases where a goal is satisfied in a way that deviates from initially planned means (e.g., a gunman wants to hit a target and his hand slips, but the bullet ricochets off a rock into the target). However, past research has yet to assess whether this asymmetry persists in cases of extreme causal deviance. Here, we manipulated the level of mild to extreme causal deviance of an immoral versus amoral act. The asymmetry in attributions of intentionality was observed at all but the most extreme level of causal deviance, and, as we hypothesized, was mediated by attributions of blame/credit and judgments of action performance. These findings are discussed as they support a multiple-concepts interpretation of the asymmetry, wherein blame renders a naïve concept of intentional action (the outcome matches the intention) more salient than a composite concept (the outcome matches the intention and was brought about by planned means), and in terms of their implications for cross-cultural research on judgments of agency. PMID:26441755

  10. 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. PMID:20231177

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:25791902

  13. Hand over Heart Primes Moral Judgments and Behavior.

    PubMed

    Parzuchowski, Michal; Wojciszke, Bogdan

    2014-01-01

    Morality is a prominent guide of both action and perception. We argue that non-emotional gestures can prime the abstract concept of honesty. Four studies demonstrated that the emblematic gesture associated with honesty (putting a hand on one's heart) increased the level of honesty perceived by others, and increased the honesty shown in one's own behavior. Target persons performing this gesture were described in terms associated with honesty, and appeared more trustworthy to others than when the same targets were photographed with a control gesture. Persons performing the hand-over-heart gesture provided more honest assessments of others' attractiveness, and refrained from cheating, as compared to persons performing neutral gestures. These findings suggest that bodily experience associated with abstract concepts can influence both one's perceptions of others, and one's own complex actions. Further, our findings suggest that this influence is not mediated by changes in affective states. PMID:24489423

  14. Hand over Heart Primes Moral Judgments and Behavior.

    PubMed

    Parzuchowski, Michal; Wojciszke, Bogdan

    2014-01-01

    Morality is a prominent guide of both action and perception. We argue that non-emotional gestures can prime the abstract concept of honesty. Four studies demonstrated that the emblematic gesture associated with honesty (putting a hand on one's heart) increased the level of honesty perceived by others, and increased the honesty shown in one's own behavior. Target persons performing this gesture were described in terms associated with honesty, and appeared more trustworthy to others than when the same targets were photographed with a control gesture. Persons performing the hand-over-heart gesture provided more honest assessments of others' attractiveness, and refrained from cheating, as compared to persons performing neutral gestures. These findings suggest that bodily experience associated with abstract concepts can influence both one's perceptions of others, and one's own complex actions. Further, our findings suggest that this influence is not mediated by changes in affective states.

  15. The neural basis of the interaction between theory of mind and moral judgment

    PubMed Central

    Young, Liane; Cushman, Fiery; Hauser, Marc; Saxe, Rebecca

    2007-01-01

    Is the basis of criminality an act that causes harm, or an act undertaken with the belief that one will cause harm? The present study takes a cognitive neuroscience approach to investigating how information about an agent's beliefs and an action's consequences contribute to moral judgment. We build on prior developmental evidence showing that these factors contribute differentially to the young child's moral judgments coupled with neurobiological evidence suggesting a role for the right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ) in belief attribution. Participants read vignettes in a 2 × 2 design: protagonists produced either a negative or neutral outcome based on the belief that they were causing the negative outcome (“negative” belief) or the neutral outcome (“neutral” belief). The RTPJ showed significant activation above baseline for all four conditions but was modulated by an interaction between belief and outcome. Specifically, the RTPJ response was highest for cases of attempted harm, where protagonists were condemned for actions that they believed would cause harm to others, even though the harm did not occur. The results not only suggest a general role for belief attribution during moral judgment, but also add detail to our understanding of the interaction between these processes at both the neural and behavioral levels. PMID:17485679

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25477851

  17. When the future feels worse than the past: a temporal inconsistency in moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Eugene M

    2010-11-01

    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, and because such emotional reactions often guide moral intuitions, judgments of moral behavior may be more extreme in prospect than in retrospect. In 7 studies, participants judged future bad deeds more negatively, and future good deeds more positively, than equivalent behavior in the equidistant past. In addition, participants thought that future unfair actions deserved more punishment than past unfair actions, and were more willing to sacrifice their own financial gain to be treated fairly in the future compared with in the past. These patterns were explained in part by the stronger emotions that were evoked by thoughts of future events than by thoughts of past events. Taken together, the results suggest that permission for actions with ethical connotations may be harder to get than forgiveness for those same actions, and demonstrate a systematic way in which moral judgments of the same action are inconsistent across time.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 U.S. The present 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, though male and Jewish participants were more accepting of such exclusion and less accepting of including an outgroup member. 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. PMID:24188040

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  9. Neural correlates of moral judgments in first- and third-person perspectives: implications for neuroethics and beyond

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There appears to be an inconsistency in experimental paradigms used in fMRI research on moral judgments. As stimuli, moral dilemmas or moral statements/ pictures that induce emotional reactions are usually employed; a main difference between these stimuli is the perspective of the participants reflecting first-person (moral dilemmas) or third-person perspective (moral reactions). The present study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in order to investigate the neural correlates of moral judgments in either first- or third-person perspective. Results Our results indicate that different neural mechanisms appear to be involved in these perspectives. Although conjunction analysis revealed common activation in the anterior medial prefrontal cortex, third person-perspective elicited unique activations in hippocampus and visual cortex. The common activation can be explained by the role the anterior medial prefrontal cortex may play in integrating different information types and also by its involvement in theory of mind. Our results also indicate that the so-called "actor-observer bias" affects moral evaluation in the third-person perspective, possibly due to the involvement of the hippocampus. We suggest two possible ways in which the hippocampus may support the process of moral judgment: by the engagement of episodic memory and its role in understanding the behaviors and emotions of others. Conclusion We posit that these findings demonstrate that first or third person perspectives in moral cognition involve distinct neural processes, that are important to different aspects of moral judgments. These  results are important to a deepened understanding of neural correlates of moral cognition—the so-called “first tradition” of neuroethics, with the caveat that any results must be interpreted and employed with prudence, so as to heed neuroethics “second tradition” that sustains the pragmatic evaluation of outcomes, capabilities and

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:20194515

  12. 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…

  13. Effects of EQUIP for Educators on Students' Self-Serving Cognitive Distortions, Moral Judgment, and Antisocial Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

    A quasi-experimental pretest/posttest study using a control group was conducted to investigate the effects of EQUIP for Educators--implemented as a universal prevention program--on prevalence of antisocial behavior, attitude towards antisocial behavior, self serving cognitive distortions, and moral judgment of young adolescents. Participants were…

  14. The mere exposure effect is differentially sensitive to different judgment tasks.

    PubMed

    Seamon, J G; McKenna, P A; Binder, N

    1998-03-01

    The mere exposure effect is the increase in positive affect that results from the repeated exposure to previously novel stimuli. We sought to determine if judgments other than affective preference could reliably produce a mere exposure effect for two-dimensional random shapes. In two experiments, we found that brighter and darker judgments did not differentiate target from distracter shapes, liking judgments led to target selection greater than chance, and disliking judgments led to distracter selection greater than chance. These results for brighter, darker, and liking judgments were obtained regardless of whether shape recognition was greater (Experiment 1) or not greater (Experiment 2) than chance. Effects of prior exposure to novel shapes were reliably observed only for affective judgment tasks. These results are inconsistent with general predictions made by the nonspecific activation hypothesis, but not the affective primacy or perceptual fluency hypotheses which were discussed in terms of cognitive neuroscience research.

  15. Go with the Flow: How to Master a Nonlinear Multiple-Cue Judgment Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olsson, Anna-Carin; Enkvist, Tommy; Juslin, Peter

    2006-01-01

    The authors examined the cognitive processes that participants use in linear and nonlinear multiple-cue judgment tasks, hypothesizing that people are unable to use explicit cue abstraction in a nonlinear task, instead turning to exemplar memory. Experiment 1 confirmed that people are unable to use cue abstraction in nonlinear tasks but failed…

  16. Swiss children's moral and psychological judgments about inclusion and exclusion of children with disabilities.

    PubMed

    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 expect the inclusion of children with mental or physical disabilities in academic and athletic contexts compared to social contexts. Moreover, older children more consistently coordinated disability type with context of exclusion. There were also significant differences depending on the type of classroom. The findings extend existing research on exclusion by investigating exclusion based on disability across different age groups and educational settings.

  17. 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

  18. Children's Metacognitive Judgments in an Eyewitness Identification Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keast, Amber; Brewer, Neil; Wells, Gary L.

    2007-01-01

    Two experiments examined children's metacognitive monitoring of recognition judgments within an eyewitness identification paradigm. A confidence-accuracy (CA) calibration approach was used to examine patterns of calibration, over-/underconfidence, and resolution. In Experiment 1, children (n=619, mean age=11 years 10 months) and adults (n=600)…

  19. ‘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

  20. Adaptive changes between cue abstraction and exemplar memory in a multiple-cue judgment task with continuous cues.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Linea; Juslin, Peter; Olsson, Henrik

    2007-12-01

    The majority of previous studies on multiple-cue judgment with continuous cues have involved comparisons between judgments and multiple linear regression models that integrated cues into a judgment. The authors present an experiment indicating that in a judgment task with additive combination of multiple continuous cues, people indeed displayed abstract knowledge of the cue criterion relations that was mentally integrated into a judgment, but in a task with multiplicative combination of continuous cues, people instead relied on retrieval of memory traces of similar judgment cases (exemplars). These results suggest that people may adopt qualitatively distinct forms of knowledge, depending on the structure of a multiple-cue judgment task. The authors discuss implications for theories of multiple-cue judgment. PMID:18229487

  1. 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). PMID:23860419

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Trait physical disgust is related to moral judgments outside of the purity domain.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Hanah A; Anderson, Adam K

    2014-04-01

    Although there is an emerging consensus that disgust plays a role in human morality, it remains unclear whether this role is limited to transgressions that contain elements of physical disgust (e.g., gory murders, sexual crimes), or whether disgust is also involved in "pure" forms of morality. To address this issue, we examined the relationship between individual differences in the tendency to experience disgust toward physical stimuli (i.e., trait physical disgust) and reactions to pure moral transgressions. Across two studies, individuals higher in trait physical disgust judged moral transgressions to be more wrong than did their low-disgust counterparts, and were also more likely to moralize violations of social convention. Controlling for gender, trait anxiety, trait anger, and social conservatism did not eliminate trait disgust effects. These results suggest that disgust's role in morality is not limited to issues of purity or bodily norms, and that disgust may play a role in setting the boundaries of the moral domain.

  5. Bringing free will down to Earth: people's psychological concept of free will and its role in moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Monroe, Andrew E; Dillon, Kyle D; Malle, Bertram F

    2014-07-01

    Belief in free will is widespread, and this belief is supposed to undergird moral and legal judgment. Despite the importance of the free will concept, however, there remains widespread confusion regarding its definition and its connection to blame. We address this confusion by testing two prominent models of the folk concept of free will-a metaphysical model, in which free will involves a soul as an uncaused "first mover," and a psychological model, in which free will involves choice, alignment with desires, and lack of constraints. We test the predictions of these two models by creating agents that vary in their capacity for choice and the presence of a soul. In two studies, people's judgments of free will and blame for these agents show little to no basis in ascriptions of a soul but are powerfully predicted by ascriptions of choice capacity. These results support a psychological model of the folk concept of free will.

  6. Bringing free will down to Earth: people's psychological concept of free will and its role in moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Monroe, Andrew E; Dillon, Kyle D; Malle, Bertram F

    2014-07-01

    Belief in free will is widespread, and this belief is supposed to undergird moral and legal judgment. Despite the importance of the free will concept, however, there remains widespread confusion regarding its definition and its connection to blame. We address this confusion by testing two prominent models of the folk concept of free will-a metaphysical model, in which free will involves a soul as an uncaused "first mover," and a psychological model, in which free will involves choice, alignment with desires, and lack of constraints. We test the predictions of these two models by creating agents that vary in their capacity for choice and the presence of a soul. In two studies, people's judgments of free will and blame for these agents show little to no basis in ascriptions of a soul but are powerfully predicted by ascriptions of choice capacity. These results support a psychological model of the folk concept of free will. PMID:24842311

  7. "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

  8. "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. PMID:26688551

  9. "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.

  10. 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

  11. Go with the flow: How to master a nonlinear multiple-cue judgment task.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Anna-Carin; Enkvist, Tommy; Juslin, Peter

    2006-11-01

    The authors examined the cognitive processes that participants use in linear and nonlinear multiple-cue judgment tasks, hypothesizing that people are unable to use explicit cue abstraction in a nonlinear task, instead turning to exemplar memory. Experiment 1 confirmed that people are unable to use cue abstraction in nonlinear tasks but failed to confirm the hypothesized, spontaneous shift to exemplar memory. Instead, the participants appeared to be trapped in persistent and futile attempts to abstract the cue-criterion relations. Only after being instructed to rely on exemplar memory in Experiment 2 did they master the nonlinear task. The results suggest that adaptive shifts of representation need not occur spontaneously and that analytical thought may sometimes harm performance in nonlinear tasks. PMID:17087590

  12. 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…

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:27375454

  16. 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

  17. A dose of ruthlessness: interpersonal moral judgment is hardened by the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam.

    PubMed

    Perkins, Adam M; Leonard, Ania M; Weaver, Kristin; Dalton, Jeffrey A; Mehta, Mitul A; Kumari, Veena; Williams, Steven C R; Ettinger, Ulrich

    2013-08-01

    Neuroimaging data suggest that emotional brain systems are more strongly engaged by moral dilemmas in which innocent people are directly harmed than by dilemmas in which harm is remotely inflicted. In order to test the possibility that this emotional engagement involves anxiety, we investigated the effects of 1 mg and 2 mg of the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam on the response choices of 40 healthy volunteers (20 male) in moral-personal, moral-impersonal, and nonmoral dilemmas. We found that lorazepam caused a dose-dependent increase in participants' willingness to endorse responses that directly harm other humans in moral-personal dilemmas but did not significantly affect response choices in moral-impersonal dilemmas or nonmoral dilemmas. Within the set of moral-personal dilemmas that we administered, lorazepam increased the willingness to harm others in dilemmas where harm was inflicted for selfish reasons (dubbed low-conflict dilemmas) as well as responses to dilemmas where others were harmed for utilitarian reasons (i.e., for the greater good, dubbed high-conflict dilemmas). This suggests that anxiety exerts a general inhibitory effect on harmful acts toward other humans regardless of whether the motivation for those harmful acts is selfish or utilitarian. Lorazepam is also a sedative drug, but we found that lorazepam slowed decision times equally in all 3 dilemma types. This finding implies that its specific capacity to increase ruthlessness in moral-personal dilemmas was not a confound caused by sedation.

  18. A dose of ruthlessness: interpersonal moral judgment is hardened by the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam.

    PubMed

    Perkins, Adam M; Leonard, Ania M; Weaver, Kristin; Dalton, Jeffrey A; Mehta, Mitul A; Kumari, Veena; Williams, Steven C R; Ettinger, Ulrich

    2013-08-01

    Neuroimaging data suggest that emotional brain systems are more strongly engaged by moral dilemmas in which innocent people are directly harmed than by dilemmas in which harm is remotely inflicted. In order to test the possibility that this emotional engagement involves anxiety, we investigated the effects of 1 mg and 2 mg of the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam on the response choices of 40 healthy volunteers (20 male) in moral-personal, moral-impersonal, and nonmoral dilemmas. We found that lorazepam caused a dose-dependent increase in participants' willingness to endorse responses that directly harm other humans in moral-personal dilemmas but did not significantly affect response choices in moral-impersonal dilemmas or nonmoral dilemmas. Within the set of moral-personal dilemmas that we administered, lorazepam increased the willingness to harm others in dilemmas where harm was inflicted for selfish reasons (dubbed low-conflict dilemmas) as well as responses to dilemmas where others were harmed for utilitarian reasons (i.e., for the greater good, dubbed high-conflict dilemmas). This suggests that anxiety exerts a general inhibitory effect on harmful acts toward other humans regardless of whether the motivation for those harmful acts is selfish or utilitarian. Lorazepam is also a sedative drug, but we found that lorazepam slowed decision times equally in all 3 dilemma types. This finding implies that its specific capacity to increase ruthlessness in moral-personal dilemmas was not a confound caused by sedation. PMID:23025561

  19. Culture and moral judgment: how are conflicts between justice and interpersonal responsibilities resolved?

    PubMed

    Miller, J G; Bersoff, D M

    1992-04-01

    A 2-session study examined Indian and American adults' and children's (N = 140) reasoning about moral dilemmas involving conflicts between interpersonal and justice expectations. Most Indians gave priority to the interpersonal expectations, whereas most Americans gave priority to the justice expectations. Indians tended to categorize their conflict resolutions in moral terms. In contrast, when Americans gave priority to the interpersonal alternatives, they tended to categorize their resolutions in personal terms. Results imply that Indians possess a postconventional moral code in which interpersonal responsibilities are seen in as fully principled terms as justice obligations and may be accorded precedence over justice obligations. Findings also suggest that a personal morality of interpersonal responsiveness and caring is linked to highly rights-oriented cultural views, such as those emphasized in the United States.

  20. 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.

  1. Social modulation of spatial judgment: The case of line bisection task.

    PubMed

    D'Ascenzo, Stefania; Rubichi, Sandro; Di Gregorio, Gianluca; Tommasi, Luca

    2016-06-01

    Our actions are influenced by the social context in which they are performed, specifically it has been shown that observing others' actions influences the execution of the same action. In the present study, we examined whether and to what extent observers are influenced by the presence and performance of another person in a visual spatial task, using a line bisection paradigm in which two participants performed the task in turns while sitting in front of each other. Thirty pairs of participants took part in the experiment, which was divided into a non-social and a social session. In the latter, each participant was alternately an agent (performing the task) and an observer (evaluating covertly the other's performance). Results show that the leftward bias (pseudoneglect) in the line bisection task was significantly reduced when the task was performed in the social session, although the bias (both in the non-social and in the social session) was observed only when the left hand was used. Moreover, a dissociation between performance and perception was observed: the judgment given to the other's performance (which visually deviated in the direction opposite to one's own bias due to the spatial arrangement of participants and their facing vantage points) was significantly in disagreement with one's own performance. Overall, our results demonstrate that the other's presence influences our own action during a line bisection task and that spatial judgments on other's performance can modulate our own performance, even when coordination between participants is not required. Results are discussed in relation to social influence and perspective taking in the general framework of interpersonal resonance.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Ripple effects in memory: judgments of moral blame can distort memory for events.

    PubMed

    Pizarro, David A; Laney, Cara; Morris, Erin K; Loftus, Elizabeth F

    2006-04-01

    Can judging an individual as being morally responsible for a negative act affect memory for details of the act? We presented participants with a story describing an individual (Frank) who committed a crime (he walked out on a restaurant bill). Some participants were told that the negative act was not intentional and that Frank was essentially a good person. Others were told that the negative act was intentional and that Frank actually enjoyed it. Control participants were given no extra information. All the participants then judged Frank's moral responsibility for walking out on the bill. When asked a week later to recall information about the event, the participants who had received negative information about Frank remembered that Frank had walked out on a larger restaurant bill than he actually had. Moreover, the degree of memory distortion was predicted by the degree of moral blame that had been attributed to Frank.

  6. fMRI data from Korean, Chinese and English subjects in a word rhyming judgment task.

    PubMed

    Cao, Fan

    2016-06-01

    This article includes the description of data information from a visual word rhyming judgment task in native Korean, native Chinese and native English speakers. You will find fMRI data information including experimental design, MRI protocol, and brain activation results from a conjunction analysis of the three groups of subjects. Other results from the same study were published in "How does language distance between L1 and L2 affect the L2 brain network? An fMRI study of Korean-Chinese-English trilinguals" (Kim et al., 2015 [1]).

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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,…

  10. 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…

  11. Examining Moral Judgment and Ethical Decision-Making in Information Technology Managers and Their Relationship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shahand, Assadullah

    2010-01-01

    Growing incidences of corporate ethical misconducts have revived the debate over ethical reasoning and moral development of corporate managers. The role of information technology (IT) in the ethical dilemmas is becoming more evident as virtual environments become increasingly popular, organizations adopt digital form of record keeping, and the…

  12. 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…

  13. The role of short-term memory capacity and task experience for overconfidence in judgment under uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Hansson, Patrik; Juslin, Peter; Winman, Anders

    2008-09-01

    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 limited task experience or from short-term memory limitations. As predicted by the naive sampling model (P. Juslin, A. Winman, & P. Hansson, 2007), overconfidence with probability judgment is rapidly reduced by additional task experience, whereas overconfidence with intuitive confidence intervals is minimally affected even by extensive task experience. In contrast to the minor bias with probability judgment, the extreme overconfidence bias with intuitive confidence intervals is correlated with short-term memory capacity. The proposed interpretation is that increased task experience is not sufficient to cure the overconfidence with confidence intervals because it stems from short-term memory limitations. PMID:18763889

  14. 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.…

  15. Contextual and Perceptual Brain Processes Underlying Moral Cognition: A Quantitative Meta-Analysis of Moral Reasoning and Moral Emotions

    PubMed Central

    Sevinc, Gunes; Spreng, R. Nathan

    2014-01-01

    Background and Objectives Human morality has been investigated using a variety of tasks ranging from judgments of hypothetical dilemmas to viewing morally salient stimuli. These experiments have provided insight into neural correlates of moral judgments and emotions, yet these approaches reveal important differences in moral cognition. Moral reasoning tasks require active deliberation while moral emotion tasks involve the perception of stimuli with moral implications. We examined convergent and divergent brain activity associated with these experimental paradigms taking a quantitative meta-analytic approach. Data Source A systematic search of the literature yielded 40 studies. Studies involving explicit decisions in a moral situation were categorized as active (n = 22); studies evoking moral emotions were categorized as passive (n = 18). We conducted a coordinate-based meta-analysis using the Activation Likelihood Estimation to determine reliable patterns of brain activity. Results & Conclusions Results revealed a convergent pattern of reliable brain activity for both task categories in regions of the default network, consistent with the social and contextual information processes supported by this brain network. Active tasks revealed more reliable activity in the temporoparietal junction, angular gyrus and temporal pole. Active tasks demand deliberative reasoning and may disproportionately involve the retrieval of social knowledge from memory, mental state attribution, and construction of the context through associative processes. In contrast, passive tasks reliably engaged regions associated with visual and emotional information processing, including lingual gyrus and the amygdala. A laterality effect was observed in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, with active tasks engaging the left, and passive tasks engaging the right. While overlapping activity patterns suggest a shared neural network for both tasks, differential activity suggests that processing of

  16. 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. PMID:27232522

  17. 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 preference was the…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:26508562

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26158671

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. Effects on automatic attention due to exposure to pictures of emotional faces while performing Chinese word judgment tasks.

    PubMed

    Junhong, Huang; Renlai, Zhou; Senqi, Hu

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to investigate the automatic processing of emotional facial expressions while performing low or high demand cognitive tasks under unattended conditions. In Experiment 1, 35 subjects performed low (judging the structure of Chinese words) and high (judging the tone of Chinese words) cognitive load tasks while exposed to unattended pictures of fearful, neutral, or happy faces. The results revealed that the reaction time was slower and the performance accuracy was higher while performing the low cognitive load task than while performing the high cognitive load task. Exposure to fearful faces resulted in significantly longer reaction times and lower accuracy than exposure to neutral faces on the low cognitive load task. In Experiment 2, 26 subjects performed the same word judgment tasks and their brain event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured for a period of 800 ms after the onset of the task stimulus. The amplitudes of the early component of ERP around 176 ms (P2) elicited by unattended fearful faces over frontal-central-parietal recording sites was significantly larger than those elicited by unattended neutral faces while performing the word structure judgment task. Together, the findings of the two experiments indicated that unattended fearful faces captured significantly more attention resources than unattended neutral faces on a low cognitive load task, but not on a high cognitive load task. It was concluded that fearful faces could automatically capture attention if residues of attention resources were available under the unattended condition.

  13. Abnormal Moral Reasoning in Complete and Partial Callosotomy Patients

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Michael B.; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter; Young, Liane; King, Danielle; Paggi, Aldo; Fabri, Mara; Polonara, Gabriele; Gazzaniga, Michael S.

    2010-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies suggest lateralized cerebral mechanisms in the right temporal parietal junction are involved in complex social and moral reasoning, such as ascribing beliefs to others. Based on this evidence, we tested 3 anterior-resected and 3 complete callosotomy patients along with 22 normal subjects on a reasoning task that required verbal moral judgments. All 6 patients based their judgments primarily on the outcome of the actions, disregarding the beliefs of the agents. The similarity in performance between complete and partial callosotomy patients suggests that normal judgments of morality require full interhemispheric integration of information critically supported by the right temporal parietal junction and right frontal processes. PMID:20188113

  14. Hand mental rotation is not systematically altered by actual body position: Laterality judgment versus same-different comparison tasks.

    PubMed

    Hoyek, Nady; Di Rienzo, Franck; Collet, Christian; Creveaux, Thomas; Guillot, Aymeric

    2014-02-01

    It is commonly believed that during mental rotation of body parts, participants tend to imagine their own body part moving toward the stimulus, thus using an egocentric strategy. Several studies have also shown that the mental rotation of hands is affected by the actual hand position, especially if the hand is kept in an awkward position. However, this hand posture effect, as well as the use of an egocentric strategy during mental rotation of body parts, is not systematic. Several experiments have demonstrated that manipulating the stimulus features or the paradigm could induce a shift to visual and allocentric strategies. Here, we studied the effects of hand posture and biomechanical constraints on one-hand mental rotation (laterality judgment task), two-hand mental rotation (same-different judgment task), and mental rotation of one or two alphanumeric symbols (control tasks). Effects of posture and biomechanical constraints were observed solely for the laterality judgment task. Response times in the same-different hand mental rotation items were influenced by the angular disparity between the stimuli. We interpreted our result as evidence of the use of different strategies for each task. Future research should focus on disentangling the exact subprocesses in which an egocentric strategy is used, in order to propose better tests for participants with motor impairments.

  15. Handedness change after dominant side amputation: Evaluation from a hand laterality judgment task.

    PubMed

    Xiaoli Guo; Yuanyuan Lyu; Bekrater-Bodmann, Robin; Flor, Herta; Shanbao Tong

    2015-08-01

    Amputation of the dominant hand forces patients to use their non-dominant hand exclusively. Whether this chronic forced use of the non-dominant hand would affect the handedness preference remains an open question. In this study, the handedness preference in amputees was evaluated using a hand laterality judgment task by comparing recognition speeds of their lost hand and remaining hand. A handedness index was defined as lateralization between response times to the left hand and the right hand. Healthy controls responded faster to the pictures of dominant hand than that of non-dominant hand, while amputees did not show this handedness advantage. The handedness index was significantly correlated to the response time, accuracy, amputation age and the time post amputation. Amputees with poorer performance experienced severer handedness change and new amputees were more likely to suffer handedness change. Our results suggest that handedness is changed after dominant side amputation and the handedness change might not be induced by chronic use of the intact hand. PMID:26738149

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. 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

  18. History and Moral Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Roger W.

    1987-01-01

    Focusing on the Holocaust, Smith uses David Wyman's book "The Abandonment of the Jews," to explore the reasons why America delayed its attempts to save Jews from concentration camps. Considering what the current American response would be to the Holocaust, Smith concludes that while there is more sensitivity, there can be no confidence that future…

  19. The neural mechanism of biomechanical constraints in the hand laterality judgment task: A near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Meng, Shuang; Oi, Misato; Sekiyama, Kaoru; Saito, Hirofumi

    2016-08-01

    The mental rotation (MR) task is defined as a discrimination task between mirror-reversed images involving discrepancy in angular orientation. Various studies have shown that the MR task likely causes mental imagery, that is, visual and/or motor imagery, depending on stimulus types. When figures of rotated hands are presented to be identified as a left or right hand, reaction times (RTs) usually show an effect of biomechanical constraints (BC): a hand in a position difficult to reach with a real movement results in longer RTs. The BC effect as a marker of motor imagery has been investigated by brain function measures (fMRI, PET, EEG and MEG) as well as by RTs. Unlike other neuroimaging techniques, NIRS (near-infrared spectroscopy) imposes few physical constraints on participants and is relatively unaffected by motion artifact, which permits serial assessments of tasks in relaxed and natural environment. Focusing on these advantages, a NIRS study on motor imagery in HLJ was carried out in which we measured the brain activation during the HLJ task and a single character judgment task. In the HLJ task, both the RTs and the activity of the left superior parietal lobe (SPL) showed an interaction between Hand (left, right) and Orientation (135°, 225°) i.e., the BC effect, but not in the character judgment task. More specifically, in the analysis of BC-related activity of SPL, although the Hand×Orientation interaction was significant, the left SPL for the left hand significantly increased from 135° to 225°, but the reversed increase (from 225° to 135°) was not found for the right hand. These results suggest that left SPL is involved in the BC effect and NIRS differentiates left hand awkwardness of right-hander in the HLJ task.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Dissociating sequence learning performance in Parkinson's disease: Visuomotor sequence acquisition and pattern judgment on a serial reaction time task.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jared G; McDowall, John

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the sequence learning performance of 16 non-demented patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) was compared with 18 age-matched healthy controls on a verbal version of the serial reaction time (SRT) task intended to encapsulate both visuomotor- and judgment-linked learning processes. Visuomotor sequence performance in PD patients was closely related to baseline response speed, with robust learning demonstrated by patients who responded with comparable speed to controls but severely impaired performance in patients who responded slowly. In contrast, both fast- and slow-responding PD patients were able to successfully categorise patterns according to their sequential status, a performance that was linked to declarative memory for the sequence. The findings highlight the important role of event timing in SRT performance and are in accord with the hypothesis that, despite the important role played by the basal ganglia in motor sequence learning, basal ganglionic dysfunction may not substantially impair sequence order learning so much as the translation of sequence knowledge into rapid motor performance for some PD patients. Intact pattern judgment on the SRT experiment suggests that the integrity of the neostriatum is not essential for learning judgment-linked categorical information about sequences of temporal stimulus movement.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:26934582

  6. 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. PMID:24893344

  7. 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

  8. Measuring Aspects of Morality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ziv, Avner

    1976-01-01

    A group test measuring five aspects of morality in children is presented. The aspects are: resistance to temptation, stage of moral judgment, confession after transgression, reaction of fear or guilt, and severity of punishment for transgression. (Editor)

  9. 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…

  10. Enhancing Moral and Ethical Judgment through the Use of Case Histories: An Ethics Course for Pre-Service Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mc Danel de García, Mary Anne

    2013-01-01

    This article refers to an action research project involving pre-service teachers. The purpose of this study was to determine if specific learning outcomes could be successfully employed as objectives for an ethics course for preservice teacher preparation. Real life case histories were used by students to identify and reflect upon moral and…

  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. Moral reasoning: hints and allegations.

    PubMed

    Paxton, Joseph M; Greene, Joshua D

    2010-07-01

    Recent research in moral psychology highlights the role of emotion and intuition in moral judgment. In the wake of these findings, the role and significance of moral reasoning remain uncertain. In this article, we distinguish among different kinds of moral reasoning and review evidence suggesting that at least some kinds of moral reasoning play significant roles in moral judgment, including roles in abandoning moral intuitions in the absence of justifying reasons, applying both deontological and utilitarian moral principles, and counteracting automatic tendencies toward bias that would otherwise dominate behavior. We argue that little is known about the psychology of moral reasoning and that it may yet prove to be a potent social force.

  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. Emotional Origins of Morality--A Sketch.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomson, Anne

    1989-01-01

    Traces the development of the capacity to make moral judgments. States that emotions involve judgments as well as actions. Discusses the susceptibility of moral beings to remorse and explores the nature of sympathy and resentment. (GG)

  15. Effects of response bias and judgment framing on operator use of an automated aid in a target detection task.

    PubMed

    Rice, Stephen; McCarley, Jason S

    2011-12-01

    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 operators' cognitive responses to different forms of automation error. The present experiments therefore examined the effects of automation false alarms and misses on human performance under conditions in which the different forms of error were matched in their perceptual characteristics. Young adult participants performed a simulated baggage x-ray screening task while assisted by an automated diagnostic aid. Judgments from the aid were rendered as text messages presented at the onset of each trial, and every trial was followed by a second text message providing response feedback. Thus, misses and false alarms from the aid were matched for their perceptual salience. Experiment 1 found that even under these conditions, false alarms from the aid produced poorer human performance and engendered lower automation use than misses from the aid. Experiment 2, however, found that the asymmetry between misses and false alarms was reduced when the aid's false alarms were framed as neutral messages rather than explicit misjudgments. Results suggest that automation false alarms and misses differ in their inherent cognitive salience and imply that changes in diagnosis framing may allow designers to encourage better use of imperfectly reliable automated aids.

  16. Different neural responses to a moral valence decision task in unipolar and bipolar depression.

    PubMed

    Radaelli, Daniele; Dallaspezia, Sara; Poletti, Sara; Smeraldi, Enrico; Falini, Andrea; Colombo, Cristina; Benedetti, Francesco

    2013-12-17

    Objectives. Patients affected by bipolar disorder (BP) and major depressive disorder (UP) share the susceptibility to experience depression and differ in their susceptibility to mania, but clinical studies suggest that the biological substrates of the two disorders could influence the apparently similar depressive phases. The few brain imaging studies available described different brain metabolic and neural correlates of UP and BP. Methods. We studied the BOLD neural response to a moral valence decision task targeting the depressive biases in information processing in 36 subjects (14 BP, 11 UP, and 11 controls). Results. Main differences between UP and controls and between UP and BP were detected in left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC, BA 47). Neural responses of BP patients differed from those of control subjects in multiple brain areas, including anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and medial PFC, bilateral dorsolateral PFC, temporal cortex and insula, and parietal and occipital cortex. Conclusions. Our results are in agreement with hypotheses of dysfunctions in corticolimbic circuitries regulating affects and emotions in mood disorders and suggest that specific abnormalities, particularly in ventrolateral PFC, are not the same in UP and BP depression. PMID:24455401

  17. Different Neural Responses to a Moral Valence Decision Task in Unipolar and Bipolar Depression

    PubMed Central

    Radaelli, Daniele; Dallaspezia, Sara; Smeraldi, Enrico; Falini, Andrea; Colombo, Cristina; Benedetti, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Objectives. Patients affected by bipolar disorder (BP) and major depressive disorder (UP) share the susceptibility to experience depression and differ in their susceptibility to mania, but clinical studies suggest that the biological substrates of the two disorders could influence the apparently similar depressive phases. The few brain imaging studies available described different brain metabolic and neural correlates of UP and BP. Methods. We studied the BOLD neural response to a moral valence decision task targeting the depressive biases in information processing in 36 subjects (14 BP, 11 UP, and 11 controls). Results. Main differences between UP and controls and between UP and BP were detected in left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC, BA 47). Neural responses of BP patients differed from those of control subjects in multiple brain areas, including anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and medial PFC, bilateral dorsolateral PFC, temporal cortex and insula, and parietal and occipital cortex. Conclusions. Our results are in agreement with hypotheses of dysfunctions in corticolimbic circuitries regulating affects and emotions in mood disorders and suggest that specific abnormalities, particularly in ventrolateral PFC, are not the same in UP and BP depression. PMID:24455401

  18. Modifying Moral Reasoning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Martin F.

    The application of Information Integration Theory (Anderson, 1981), a general model of social judgment, overcomes shortcomings in the evaluation of moral development by offering a clear distinction between moral values and reasoning. To test the applicability of Anderson's theory to moral development research, two experiments were conducted using…

  19. Contra-Kohlberg: A Philosophical Reinterpretation of Moral Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Senchuk, Dennis M.

    1981-01-01

    The validity of Lawrence Kohlberg's empirical findings and of his cognitive developmental approach to understanding moral development is questioned. An alternative theory of moral development which emphasizes moral sensibility as well as reasoned moral judgment is proposed. (PP)

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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)

  4. A Comparison of Kohlberg's and Hogan's Theories of Moral Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsujimoto, Richard N.; Nardi, Peter M.

    1978-01-01

    Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning and Hogan's theory of moral character were studied in relation to: (1) Rule Compliance; (2) Avoidance of Stealing; and (3) Moral Judgment. Hogan's theory was superior in predicting Rule Compliance while Kohlberg's theory was superior in predicting the Avoidance of Stealing and Moral Judgment. (Author/JAC)

  5. 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…

  6. Moral reasoning: hints and allegations.

    PubMed

    Paxton, Joseph M; Greene, Joshua D

    2010-07-01

    Recent research in moral psychology highlights the role of emotion and intuition in moral judgment. In the wake of these findings, the role and significance of moral reasoning remain uncertain. In this article, we distinguish among different kinds of moral reasoning and review evidence suggesting that at least some kinds of moral reasoning play significant roles in moral judgment, including roles in abandoning moral intuitions in the absence of justifying reasons, applying both deontological and utilitarian moral principles, and counteracting automatic tendencies toward bias that would otherwise dominate behavior. We argue that little is known about the psychology of moral reasoning and that it may yet prove to be a potent social force. PMID:25163874

  7. Vertical position of Chinese power words influences power judgments: Evidence from spatial compatibility task and event-related Potentials.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiangci; Jia, Huibin; Wang, Enguo; Du, Chenguang; Wu, Xianghua; Dang, Caiping

    2016-04-01

    The present study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to explore the influence of vertical position on power judgments. Participants were asked to identify whether a Chinese word represented a powerful or powerless group (e.g., "king" or "servant"), which was presented in the top or bottom of the screen. The behavioral analysis showed that judging the power of powerful words were significantly faster when they were presented at the top position, compared with when they were presented at the bottom position. The ERP analysis showed enhanced N1 amplitude for congruent trials (i.e., the powerful words in the top and the powerless words in the bottom of the screen) and larger P300 and LPC amplitude for incongruent trials (i.e., the powerful words in the bottom and the powerless words in the top of the screen). The present findings provide further electrophysiological evidence that thinking about power can automatically activate the underlying spatial up-down (verticality) image schema and that the influence of vertical position on the power judgments not only occurs at the early perceptual stage of power word processing, but also at the higher cognitive stage (i.e., allocation of attention resources, conflict solving and response selection). This study revealed the neural underpinnings of metaphor congruent effect which have great significance to our understanding of the abstract concept power.

  8. Vertical position of Chinese power words influences power judgments: Evidence from spatial compatibility task and event-related Potentials.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiangci; Jia, Huibin; Wang, Enguo; Du, Chenguang; Wu, Xianghua; Dang, Caiping

    2016-04-01

    The present study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to explore the influence of vertical position on power judgments. Participants were asked to identify whether a Chinese word represented a powerful or powerless group (e.g., "king" or "servant"), which was presented in the top or bottom of the screen. The behavioral analysis showed that judging the power of powerful words were significantly faster when they were presented at the top position, compared with when they were presented at the bottom position. The ERP analysis showed enhanced N1 amplitude for congruent trials (i.e., the powerful words in the top and the powerless words in the bottom of the screen) and larger P300 and LPC amplitude for incongruent trials (i.e., the powerful words in the bottom and the powerless words in the top of the screen). The present findings provide further electrophysiological evidence that thinking about power can automatically activate the underlying spatial up-down (verticality) image schema and that the influence of vertical position on the power judgments not only occurs at the early perceptual stage of power word processing, but also at the higher cognitive stage (i.e., allocation of attention resources, conflict solving and response selection). This study revealed the neural underpinnings of metaphor congruent effect which have great significance to our understanding of the abstract concept power. PMID:26975719

  9. Vicarious moral licensing: the influence of others' past moral actions on moral behavior.

    PubMed

    Kouchaki, Maryam

    2011-10-01

    This article investigates the effect of others' prior nonprejudiced behavior on an individual's subsequent behavior. Five studies supported the hypothesis that people are more willing to express prejudiced attitudes when their group members' past behavior has established nonprejudiced credentials. Study 1a showed that participants who were told that their group was more moral than similar other groups were more willing to describe a job as better suited for Whites than for African Americans. In Study 1b, when given information on group members' prior nondiscriminatory behavior (selecting a Hispanic applicant in a prior task), participants subsequently gave more discriminatory ratings to the Hispanic applicant for a position stereotypically suited for majority members (Whites). In Study 2, moral self-concept mediated the effect of others' prior nonprejudiced actions on a participant's subsequent prejudiced behavior such that others' past nonprejudiced actions enhanced the participant's moral self-concept, and this inflated moral self-concept subsequently drove the participant's prejudiced ratings of a Hispanic applicant. In Study 3, the moderating role of identification with the credentialing group was tested. Results showed that participants expressed more prejudiced attitudes toward a Hispanic applicant when they highly identified with the group members behaving in nonprejudiced manner. In Study 4, the credentialing task was dissociated from the participants' own judgmental task, and, in addition, identification with the credentialing group was manipulated rather than measured. Consistent with prior studies, the results showed that participants who first had the opportunity to view an in-group member's nonprejudiced hiring decision were more likely to reject an African American man for a job stereotypically suited for majority members. These studies suggest a vicarious moral licensing effect.

  10. Moral Education in a Plural Society: Malaysia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mukherjee, Hena

    1983-01-01

    Designed for non-Muslim pupils, moral education is being phased into the state-approved curriculum in Malaysia. The objective is the development of a morally mature person who will be able to make independent judgments in a moral conflict situation. The moral education program development is described. (Author/RM)

  11. Moral Reflections on the Columbian Legacy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Axtell, James

    1992-01-01

    Restates in moral terms the legacy of Columbus's voyages. Suggests that the conflict and conflict of humans, plants, organisms, institutions, and ideas raises many moral questions. Suggests that imagination is the key to moral understanding. Argues that past societies pass moral judgment on one another through the study of contemporary moral…

  12. Neural basis of moral verdict and moral deliberation

    PubMed Central

    Borg, Jana Schaich; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter; Calhoun, Vince D.; Kiehl, Kent A.

    2011-01-01

    How people judge something to be morally right or wrong is a fundamental question of both the sciences and the humanities. Here we aim to identify the neural processes that underlie the specific conclusion that something is morally wrong. To do this, we introduce a novel distinction between “moral deliberation,” or the weighing of moral considerations, and the formation of a “moral verdict,” or the commitment to one moral conclusion. We predict and identify hemodynamic activity in the bilateral anterior insula and basal ganglia that correlates with committing to the moral verdict “this is morally wrong” as opposed to “this is morally not wrong,” a finding that is consistent with research from economic decision-making. Using comparisons of deliberation-locked vs. verdict-locked analyses, we also demonstrate that hemodynamic activity in high-level cortical regions previously implicated in morality—including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and temporoparietal junction—correlates primarily with moral deliberation as opposed to moral verdicts. These findings provide new insights into what types of processes comprise the enterprise of moral judgment, and in doing so point to a framework for resolving why some clinical patients, including psychopaths, may have intact moral judgment but impaired moral behavior. PMID:21590588

  13. 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)

  14. 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…

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Embodied representation of tool-use action verbs and hand action verbs: evidence from a tone judgment task.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jie; Shu, Hua

    2011-04-15

    Many studies have found that language comprehension involves sensory-motor system. However, the relationship between word form and embodied semantic representation still lacks evidence. The current fMRI study used Chinese tool-use action verbs, hand action verbs and a Mandarin lexical tone task to explore the issue. In the tone task, all verbs showed strong effects in hand motor areas. However, the contrasts between the hand action verbs and the tool-use action verbs yielded differences mainly in tone processing areas, and the hand action verbs had stronger effects. The ROI analyses indicated consistent result pattern with the contrast analyses. In short, these results revealed that word processing involves basic sensory-motor information automatically, whereas the fine grained information which distinguishes among different semantics can be hindered by the processing of word form.

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

    PubMed

    Gibson, S

    2005-10-01

    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

  18. A Neo-Kohlbergian Approach to Morality Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rest, James R.; Narvaez, Darcia; Thoma, Stephen J.; Bebeau, Muriel J.

    2000-01-01

    Proposes a model of moral judgment that builds on Lawrence Kohlberg's core assumptions. Addresses the concerns that have surfaced related to Kohlberg's work in moral judgment. Presents an overview of this model using Kohlberg's basic starting points, ideas from cognitive science, and developments in moral philosophy. (CMK)

  19. The accidental transgressor: morally-relevant theory of mind.

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

    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 morally-relevant false belief theory of mind (MoToM). Children who did not pass false belief ToM were more likely to attribute negative intentions to an accidental transgressor than children who passed false belief ToM, and to use moral reasons when blaming the accidental transgressor. In Experiment 2, children (N = 46) who did not pass false belief ToM viewed it as more acceptable to punish the accidental transgressor than did participants who passed false belief ToM. Findings are discussed in light of research on the emergence of moral judgment and theory of mind.

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:26779106

  3. 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.

  4. Cultural Practices, Oppression, and Morality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turiel, Elliot

    1998-01-01

    Argues that contested meanings, multiple judgments, and conflicts are part of cultures and the individual's thoughts and actions. Contends that people make moral judgments that may affirm or contradict cultural norms and practices, and sometimes invoke concepts of welfare, justice, and rights. Notes that some key aspects of Baumrind's neo-Marxist…

  5. The liver and the moral organ

    PubMed Central

    2006-01-01

    Drawing on an analogy to language, I argue that a suite of novel questions emerge when we consider our moral faculty in a similar light. In particular, I suggest the possibility that our moral judgments are derived from unconscious, intuitive processes that operate over the causal-intentional structure of actions and their consequences. On this model, we are endowed with a moral faculty that generates judgments about permissible and forbidden actions prior to the involvement of our emotions and systems of conscious, rational deliberation. This framing of the problem sets up specific predictions about the role of particular neural structures and psychological processes in the generation of moral judgments as well as in the generation of moral behavior. I sketch the details of these predictions and point to relevant data that speak to the validity of thinking of our moral intuitions as grounded in a moral organ. PMID:18985108

  6. 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)

  7. 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…

  8. The logic of moral outrage.

    PubMed

    Uhlmann, Eric Luis

    2013-02-01

    McCullough et al.’s functionalist model of revenge is highly compatible with the person-centered approach to moral judgment, which emphasizes the adaptive manner in which social perceivers derive character information from moral acts. Evidence includes act–person dissociations in which an act is seen as less immoral than a comparison act, yet as a clearer indicator of poor moral character. PMID:23211645

  9. Brain correlates of aesthetic judgment of beauty.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Thomas; Schubotz, Ricarda I; Höfel, Lea; Cramon, D Yves V

    2006-01-01

    Functional MRI was used to investigate the neural correlates of aesthetic judgments of beauty of geometrical shapes. Participants performed evaluative aesthetic judgments (beautiful or not?) and descriptive symmetry judgments (symmetric or not?) on the same stimulus material. Symmetry was employed because aesthetic judgments are known to be often guided by criteria of symmetry. Novel, abstract graphic patterns were presented to minimize influences of attitudes or memory-related processes and to test effects of stimulus symmetry and complexity. Behavioral results confirmed the influence of stimulus symmetry and complexity on aesthetic judgments. Direct contrasts showed specific activations for aesthetic judgments in the frontomedian cortex (BA 9/10), bilateral prefrontal BA 45/47, and posterior cingulate, left temporal pole, and the temporoparietal junction. In contrast, symmetry judgments elicited specific activations in parietal and premotor areas subserving spatial processing. Interestingly, beautiful judgments enhanced BOLD signals not only in the frontomedian cortex, but also in the left intraparietal sulcus of the symmetry network. Moreover, stimulus complexity caused differential effects for each of the two judgment types. Findings indicate aesthetic judgments of beauty to rely on a network partially overlapping with that underlying evaluative judgments on social and moral cues and substantiate the significance of symmetry and complexity for our judgment of beauty.

  10. Moral expansiveness: Examining variability in the extension of the moral world.

    PubMed

    Crimston, Daniel; Bain, Paul G; Hornsey, Matthew J; Bastian, Brock

    2016-10-01

    The nature of our moral judgments-and the extent to which we treat others with care-depend in part on the distinctions we make between entities deemed worthy or unworthy of moral consideration-our moral boundaries. Philosophers, historians, and social scientists have noted that people's moral boundaries have expanded over the last few centuries, but the notion of moral expansiveness has received limited empirical attention in psychology. This research explores variations in the size of individuals' moral boundaries using the psychological construct of moral expansiveness and introduces the Moral Expansiveness Scale (MES), designed to capture this variation. Across 6 studies, we established the reliability, convergent validity, and predictive validity of the MES. Moral expansiveness was related (but not reducible) to existing moral constructs (moral foundations, moral identity, "moral" universalism values), predictors of moral standing (moral patiency and warmth), and other constructs associated with concern for others (empathy, identification with humanity, connectedness to nature, and social responsibility). Importantly, the MES uniquely predicted willingness to engage in prosocial intentions and behaviors at personal cost independently of these established constructs. Specifically, the MES uniquely predicted willingness to prioritize humanitarian and environmental concerns over personal and national self-interest, willingness to sacrifice one's life to save others (ranging from human out-groups to animals and plants), and volunteering behavior. Results demonstrate that moral expansiveness is a distinct and important factor in understanding moral judgments and their consequences. (PsycINFO Database Record

  11. Moral expansiveness: Examining variability in the extension of the moral world.

    PubMed

    Crimston, Daniel; Bain, Paul G; Hornsey, Matthew J; Bastian, Brock

    2016-10-01

    The nature of our moral judgments-and the extent to which we treat others with care-depend in part on the distinctions we make between entities deemed worthy or unworthy of moral consideration-our moral boundaries. Philosophers, historians, and social scientists have noted that people's moral boundaries have expanded over the last few centuries, but the notion of moral expansiveness has received limited empirical attention in psychology. This research explores variations in the size of individuals' moral boundaries using the psychological construct of moral expansiveness and introduces the Moral Expansiveness Scale (MES), designed to capture this variation. Across 6 studies, we established the reliability, convergent validity, and predictive validity of the MES. Moral expansiveness was related (but not reducible) to existing moral constructs (moral foundations, moral identity, "moral" universalism values), predictors of moral standing (moral patiency and warmth), and other constructs associated with concern for others (empathy, identification with humanity, connectedness to nature, and social responsibility). Importantly, the MES uniquely predicted willingness to engage in prosocial intentions and behaviors at personal cost independently of these established constructs. Specifically, the MES uniquely predicted willingness to prioritize humanitarian and environmental concerns over personal and national self-interest, willingness to sacrifice one's life to save others (ranging from human out-groups to animals and plants), and volunteering behavior. Results demonstrate that moral expansiveness is a distinct and important factor in understanding moral judgments and their consequences. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26751743

  12. Fallible Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joynson, Robert B.

    1994-01-01

    The posthumous condemnation of Cyril Burt destroyed his reputation and undermined his life's work on the genetic nature of differences in intelligence. Whether Burt falsified research findings or not, the real significance of the affair lies in what it teaches about scientific methodology and the fallibility of personal judgments. (SLD)

  13. 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…

  14. 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. PMID:25582811

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. [Orbitofrontal cortex and morality].

    PubMed

    Funayama, Michitaka; Mimura, Masaru

    2012-10-01

    Research on the neural substrates of morality is a recently emerging field in neuroscience. The anatomical structures implicated to play a role in morality include the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, cingulate gyrus, amygdala, hippocampus, and basal ganglia. In particular, the orbitofrontal or ventromedial prefrontal areas are thought to be involved in decision-making, and damage to these areas is likely to cause decision-making deficits and/or problems in impulsive control, which may lead to antisocial and less moral behaviors. In this article, we focus on case presentation and theory development with regard to moral judgment. First, we discuss notable cases and syndromes developing after orbitofrontal/ventromedial prefrontal damage, such as the famous cases of Gage and EVR, cases of childhood orbitofrontal damage, forced collectionism, squalor syndrome, and hypermoral syndrome. We then review the proposed theories and neuropsychological mechanisms underlying decision-making deficits following orbitofrontal/ventromedial prefrontal damage, including the somatic-marker hypothesis, reversal learning, preference judgment, theory of mind, and moral dilemma.

  18. Moral Teachers, Moral Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weissbourd, Rick

    2003-01-01

    Argues that schools will largely fail in their efforts to improve the moral and emotional growth of students if they do not attend to the moral and ethical development of teachers, especially urban teachers, who suffer from depression and disillusionment, the two primary causes of which are isolation and stress induced by problem students.…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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 updating" may…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Moral Cognition: Explaining the Gender Difference in Antisocial Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barriga, Alvaro Q.; Morrison, Elizabeth M.; Liau, Albert K.; Gibbs, John C.

    2001-01-01

    Examined whether gender discrepancy in late adolescents' antisocial behavior may be attributed to gender differences in other moral cognitive variables. Found that mature moral judgment and higher moral self-relevance were associated with lower self-serving cognitive distortion, partially mediating the relationship between those variables and…

  5. The complex relation between morality and empathy.

    PubMed

    Decety, Jean; Cowell, Jason M

    2014-07-01

    Morality and empathy are fundamental components of human nature across cultures. However, the wealth of empirical findings from developmental, behavioral, and social neuroscience demonstrates a complex relation between morality and empathy. At times, empathy guides moral judgment, yet other times empathy can interfere with it. To better understand such relations, we propose abandoning the catchall term of empathy in favor of more precise concepts, such as emotional sharing, empathic concern, and affective perspective-taking.

  6. Conflict-dependent dynamic of subthalamic nucleus oscillations during moral decisions.

    PubMed

    Fumagalli, Manuela; Giannicola, Gaia; Rosa, Manuela; Marceglia, Sara; Lucchiari, Claudio; Mrakic-Sposta, Simona; Servello, Domenico; Pacchetti, Claudio; Porta, Mauro; Sassi, Marco; Zangaglia, Roberta; Franzini, Angelo; Albanese, Alberto; Romito, Luigi; Piacentini, Sylvie; Zago, Stefano; Pravettoni, Gabriella; Barbieri, Sergio; Priori, Alberto

    2011-01-01

    Although lesional, neuroimaging, and brain stimulation studies have provided an insight into the neural mechanisms of judgement and decision-making, all these works focused on the cerebral cortex, without investigating the role of subcortical structures such as the basal ganglia. Besides being an effective therapeutic tool, deep brain stimulation (DBS) allows local field potential (LFP) recordings through the stimulation electrodes thus providing a physiological "window" on human subcortical structures. In this study we assessed whether subthalamic nucleus LFP oscillations are modulated by processing of moral conflictual, moral nonconflictual, and neutral statements. To do so, in 16 patients with Parkinson's disease (8 men) bilaterally implanted with subthalamic nucleus (STN) electrodes for DBS, we recorded STN LFPs 4 days after surgery during a moral decision task. During the task, recordings from the STN showed changes in LFP oscillations. Whereas the 14--30 Hz band (beta) changed during the movement executed to perform the task, the 5--13 Hz band (low-frequency) changed when subjects evaluated the content of statements. Low-frequency band power increased significantly more during conflictual than during nonconflictual or neutral sentences. We conclude that STN responds specifically to conflictual moral stimuli, and could be involved in conflictual decisions of all kinds, not only those for moral judgment. LFP oscillations provide novel direct evidence that the neural processing of conflictual decision-making spreads beyond the cortex to the basal ganglia and encompasses a specific subcortical conflict-dependent component. PMID:21061226

  7. 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)…

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

    PubMed

    Christensen, Julia F; Flexas, Albert; de Miguel, Pedro; Cela-Conde, Camilo J; Munar, Enric

    2014-02-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Moral Development in Late Adolescence and Adulthood: A Critique and Reconstruction of Kohlberg's Theory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, John Michael; Gilligan, Carol

    1980-01-01

    Provides an alternative conception of postconventional moral development which fits existing data on late adolescent and adult moral judgment better than Kohlberg's higher stage descriptions. Data is from a longitudinal study of 26 undergraduates at Harvard. (Author/SS)

  11. 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.

  12. Knowing right from wrong, but just not always feeling it: relations among callous-unemotional traits, psychopathological symptoms, and cognitive and affective morality judgments in 8- to 12-year-old boys.

    PubMed

    Feilhauer, Johanna; Cima, Maaike; Benjamins, Caroline; Muris, Peter

    2013-12-01

    The present research expands our understanding of cognitive and affective morality by exploring associations with callous-unemotional (CU) traits and externalizing symptoms. Participants were 46 8- to 12-year-old boys from the community who completed the Affective Morality Index, the Youth Self-Report, and the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits. A pattern of results was found indicating that in particular the combination of high CU traits and high externalizing symptoms was associated with lack of affective morality, and an increased perceived likelihood of recommitting antisocial acts (recidivism). The implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

  13. 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,…

  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. 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…

  16. Striatal dynamics explain duration judgments

    PubMed Central

    Gouvêa, Thiago S; Monteiro, Tiago; Motiwala, Asma; Soares, Sofia; Machens, Christian; Paton, Joseph J

    2015-01-01

    The striatum is an input structure of the basal ganglia implicated in several time-dependent functions including reinforcement learning, decision making, and interval timing. To determine whether striatal ensembles drive subjects' judgments of duration, we manipulated and recorded from striatal neurons in rats performing a duration categorization psychophysical task. We found that the dynamics of striatal neurons predicted duration judgments, and that simultaneously recorded ensembles could judge duration as well as the animal. Furthermore, striatal neurons were necessary for duration judgments, as muscimol infusions produced a specific impairment in animals' duration sensitivity. Lastly, we show that time as encoded by striatal populations ran faster or slower when rats judged a duration as longer or shorter, respectively. These results demonstrate that the speed with which striatal population state changes supports the fundamental ability of animals to judge the passage of time. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11386.001 PMID:26641377

  17. 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. PMID:25473856

  18. 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…

  19. 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. PMID:24340805

  20. 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.

  1. Judgments of auditory-visual affective congruence in adolescents with and without autism: a pilot study of a new task using fMRI.

    PubMed

    Loveland, Katherine A; Steinberg, Joel L; Pearson, Deborah A; Mansour, Rosleen; Reddoch, Stacy

    2008-10-01

    One of the most widely reported developmental deficits associated with autism is difficulty perceiving and expressing emotion appropriately. Brain activation associated with performance on a new task, the Emotional Congruence Task, requires judging affective congruence of facial expression and voice, compared with their sex congruence. Participants in this pilot study were adolescents with normal IQ (n = 5) and autism or without (n = 4) autism. In the emotional congruence condition, as compared to the sex congruence of voice and face, controls had significantly more activation than the Autism group in the orbitofrontal cortex, the superior temporal, parahippocampal, and posterior cingulate gyri and occipital regions. Unlike controls, the Autism group did not have significantly greater prefrontal activation during the emotional congruence condition, but did during the sex congruence condition. Results indicate the Emotional Congruence Task can be used successfully to assess brain activation and behavior associated with integration of auditory and visual information for emotion. While the numbers in the groups are small, the results suggest that brain activity while performing the Emotional Congruence Task differed between adolescents with and without autism in fronto-limbic areas and in the superior temporal region. These findings must be confirmed using larger samples of participants.

  2. 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…

  3. An Overview of the Minnesota Approach to Research in Moral Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thoma, Stephen J.

    2002-01-01

    Traces the history of Minnesota's approach to moral judgment research. Claims this history can be subdivided into four phases, each with a different goal and theoretical consideration. Concludes the Minnesota approach has been a progressive force in the field. Argues that this approach reaffirms Lawrence Kohlberg's view that moral judgments are…

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Stress alters personal moral decision making.

    PubMed

    Youssef, Farid F; Dookeeram, Karine; Basdeo, Vasant; Francis, Emmanuel; Doman, Mekaeel; Mamed, Danielle; Maloo, Stefan; Degannes, Joel; Dobo, Linda; Ditshotlo, Phatsimo; Legall, George

    2012-04-01

    While early studies of moral decision making highlighted the role of rational, conscious executive processes involving frontal lobe activation more recent work has suggested that emotions and gut reactions have a key part to play in moral reasoning. Given that stress can activate many of the same brain regions that are important for and connected to brain centres involved in emotional processing we sought to evaluate if stress could influence moral decision making. Sixty-five undergraduate volunteers were randomly assigned to control (n=33) and experimental groups (n=32). The latter underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and induction of stress was assessed by measurement of salivary cortisol levels. Subjects were then required to provide a response to thirty moral dilemmas via a computer interface that recorded both their decision and reaction time. Three types of dilemmas were used: non-moral, impersonal moral and personal moral. Using a binary logistic model there were no significant predicators of utilitarian response in non-moral and impersonal moral dilemmas. However the stressed group and females were found to predict utilitarian responses to personal moral dilemmas. When comparing percentage utilitarian responses there were no significant differences noted for the non-moral and impersonal moral dilemmas but the stressed group showed significantly less utilitarian responses compared to control subjects. The stress response was significantly negatively correlated with utilitarian responses. Females also showed significantly less utilitarian responses than males. We conclude that activation of the stress response predisposed participants to less utilitarian responses when faced with high conflict personal moral dilemmas and suggest that this offers further support for dual process theory of moral judgment. We also conclude that females tend to make less utilitarian personal moral decisions compared to males, providing further evidence that there are

  7. Stress alters personal moral decision making.

    PubMed

    Youssef, Farid F; Dookeeram, Karine; Basdeo, Vasant; Francis, Emmanuel; Doman, Mekaeel; Mamed, Danielle; Maloo, Stefan; Degannes, Joel; Dobo, Linda; Ditshotlo, Phatsimo; Legall, George

    2012-04-01

    While early studies of moral decision making highlighted the role of rational, conscious executive processes involving frontal lobe activation more recent work has suggested that emotions and gut reactions have a key part to play in moral reasoning. Given that stress can activate many of the same brain regions that are important for and connected to brain centres involved in emotional processing we sought to evaluate if stress could influence moral decision making. Sixty-five undergraduate volunteers were randomly assigned to control (n=33) and experimental groups (n=32). The latter underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and induction of stress was assessed by measurement of salivary cortisol levels. Subjects were then required to provide a response to thirty moral dilemmas via a computer interface that recorded both their decision and reaction time. Three types of dilemmas were used: non-moral, impersonal moral and personal moral. Using a binary logistic model there were no significant predicators of utilitarian response in non-moral and impersonal moral dilemmas. However the stressed group and females were found to predict utilitarian responses to personal moral dilemmas. When comparing percentage utilitarian responses there were no significant differences noted for the non-moral and impersonal moral dilemmas but the stressed group showed significantly less utilitarian responses compared to control subjects. The stress response was significantly negatively correlated with utilitarian responses. Females also showed significantly less utilitarian responses than males. We conclude that activation of the stress response predisposed participants to less utilitarian responses when faced with high conflict personal moral dilemmas and suggest that this offers further support for dual process theory of moral judgment. We also conclude that females tend to make less utilitarian personal moral decisions compared to males, providing further evidence that there are

  8. Marking as Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Val

    2012-01-01

    An aspect of assessment which has received little attention compared with perennial concerns, such as standards or reliability, is the role of judgment in marking. This paper explores marking as an act of judgment, paying particular attention to the nature of judgment and the processes involved. It brings together studies which have explored…

  9. 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

  10. Metacognitive aspects of moral reasoning and behavior.

    PubMed

    Swanson, H L; Hill, G

    1993-01-01

    This study explored the notion that the development of moral reasoning and moral behavior may be linked to metacognition. The awareness of moral processes involved in moral reasoning and behavior was examined in 139 adolescents in three age groups. A number of significant moral metacognition-reasoning-behavior correlations were found. Intercorrelations for all dependent measures increased by age. A factor analysis revealed several components of moral metacognition (person, task, and strategy variables), and these were significantly related to increases in moral reasoning and behavior scores. More important, a contingency analysis supported the notion that specific types of metamoral knowledge (e.g., understanding the purpose, scope, and requirements of moral action) are related to high and low moral reasoning and behavior.

  11. Common morality and moral reform.

    PubMed

    Wallace, K A

    2009-01-01

    The idea of moral reform requires that morality be more than a description of what people do value, for there has to be some measure against which to assess progress. Otherwise, any change is not reform, but simply difference. Therefore, I discuss moral reform in relation to two prescriptive approaches to common morality, which I distinguish as the foundational and the pragmatic. A foundational approach to common morality (e.g., Bernard Gert's) suggests that there is no reform of morality, but of beliefs, values, customs, and practices so as to conform with an unchanging, foundational morality. If, however, there were revision in its foundation (e.g., in rationality), then reform in morality itself would be possible. On a pragmatic view, on the other hand, common morality is relative to human flourishing, and its justification consists in its effectiveness in promoting flourishing. Morality is dependent on what in fact does promote human flourishing and therefore, could be reformed. However, a pragmatic approach, which appears more open to the possibility of moral reform, would need a more robust account of norms by which reform is measured.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. PMID:26091912

  18. 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…

  19. Effect of Training on Reasoning in Moral Choice.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Martin F.

    Moral development is viewed as a matter of progression in the cognitive reasoning and rationale underlying choices and judgments. Traditionally, retrospective reports of rationales have been used to measure moral development levels, resulting in unreliable information. Information Integration Theory attempts to assess individual differences in…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Calibrating One's Moral Compass: How Principal Preparation Shapes School Leaders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larsen, Donald E.; Derrington, Mary Lynne

    2012-01-01

    No textbook that an aspiring principal encounters in preparing for the role of school leader discusses what steps to follow when a member--or members--of the school staff challenge standards of professional judgment and moral rectitude. Instead, the most reliable guide at the principal's disposal may be the "moral compass" upon which the…

  3. 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 =…

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:24760073

  9. Competitive morality.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Gilbert

    2013-02-01

    Baumard et al. argue that partner choice leads to fairness and mutualism, which then form the basis for morality. I comment that mutualism takes us only so far, and I apply the theory of competitive altruism in arguing how strategic investment in behaviours which make one a desirable partner may drive moral conduct.

  10. Social judgments from faces.

    PubMed

    Todorov, Alexander; Mende-Siedlecki, Peter; Dotsch, Ron

    2013-06-01

    People make rapid and consequential social judgments from minimal (non-emotional) facial cues. There has been rapid progress in identifying the perceptual basis of these judgments using data-driven, computational models. In contrast, our understanding of the neural underpinnings of these judgments is rather limited. Meta-analyses of neuroimaging studies find a wide range of seemingly inconsistent responses in the amygdala that co-vary with social judgments from faces. Guided by computational models of social judgments, these responses can be accounted by positing that the amygdala (and posterior face selective regions) tracks face typicality. Atypical faces, whether positively or negatively evaluated, elicit stronger responses in the amygdala. We conclude with the promise of data-driven methods for modeling neural responses to social judgments from faces.

  11. Personal conscience and the problem of moral certitude.

    PubMed

    Vaiani, Cheryl Ellis

    2009-12-01

    The moral practice of nursing requires the difficult work of discerning the best response to an ethical quandary. Determining the right course of action can rarely be discovered by assuming that one value, one theory, one point of view will always and reliably identify the morality of an action. Thus, the role of a nurse is an inherently moral activity that is at the heart and soul of health care. Practitioners who move too quickly to a state of moral certainty about a decision may be missing essential components of the enactment of moral agency. Personal integrity and professional integrity, patient interests, society's expectation of a profession, the balance between rights and obligations within the nurse-patient relationship, acting according to one's conscience, power, control, and moral certainty are a few of the topics that enrich thinking about the moral richness of nursing practice, and will encourage readers to know, to reason, and to act in ways that demonstrate reflective moral judgment.

  12. 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…

  13. 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'…

  14. Moral identity and the expanding circle of moral regard toward out-groups.

    PubMed

    Reed, Americus; Aquino, Karl F

    2003-06-01

    This article examines moral identity and reactions to out-groups during intergroup conflict Four studies suggest that a highly self-important moral identity is associated with an expansive circle of moral regard toward out-group members (Study 1) and more favorable attitudes toward relief efforts to aid out-group members (Study 2). Study 3 examines moral identity and national identity influences on the provision of financial assistance to out-groups. Study 4 investigates the relationship between moral identity and (a) the willingness to harm innocent out-group members not involved in the conflict and (b) moral judgments of revenge and forgiveness toward out-group members directly responsible for transgressions against the in-group. Results are discussed in terms of self-regulatory mechanisms that mitigate in-group favoritism and out-group hostility. PMID:12793589

  15. 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. PMID:21757191

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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 COVERS THE…

  19. 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…

  20. The Development of Justifications for Moral Judgements.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Langford, Peter E.; Claydon, Leslie F.

    This document reports on two studies that used a novel approach to categorize justifications for moral judgments made by Australian subjects from 7 to 15 and from 7 to 21 years of age. The coding categories consisted of levels of abstraction and reflection. Level of abstraction was determined by the reference group used in justifications. Levels…

  1. A constructionist review of morality and emotions: no evidence for specific links between moral content and discrete emotions.

    PubMed

    Cameron, C Daryl; Lindquist, Kristen A; Gray, Kurt

    2015-11-01

    Morality and emotions are linked, but what is the nature of their correspondence? Many "whole number" accounts posit specific correspondences between moral content and discrete emotions, such that harm is linked to anger, and purity is linked to disgust. A review of the literature provides little support for these specific morality-emotion links. Moreover, any apparent specificity may arise from global features shared between morality and emotion, such as affect and conceptual content. These findings are consistent with a constructionist perspective of the mind, which argues against a whole number of discrete and domain-specific mental mechanisms underlying morality and emotion. Instead, constructionism emphasizes the flexible combination of basic and domain-general ingredients such as core affect and conceptualization in creating the experience of moral judgments and discrete emotions. The implications of constructionism in moral psychology are discussed, and we propose an experimental framework for rigorously testing morality-emotion links.

  2. 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.

  3. Moral accountability and integrity in nursing practice.

    PubMed

    LaSala, Cynthia Ann

    2009-12-01

    The therapeutic nature of the nurse-patient relationship is grounded in an ethic of caring. Florence Nightingale envisioned nursing as an art and a science...a blending of humanistic, caring presence with evidence-based knowledge and exquisite skill. In this article, the author explores the caring practice of nursing as a framework for understanding moral accountability and integrity in practice. Being morally accountable and responsible for one's judgment and actions is central to the nurse's role as a moral agent. Nurses who practice with moral integrity possess a strong sense of themselves and act in ways consistent with what they understand is the right thing to do. A review of the literature related to caring theory, the concepts of moral accountability and integrity, and the documents that speak of these values and concepts in professional practice (eg, Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, Nursing's Social Policy Statement) are presented in this article.

  4. 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.

  5. Methodological Issues in the Neuroscience of Moral Judgement

    PubMed Central

    Kahane, Guy; Shackel, Nicholas

    2010-01-01

    Neuroscience and psychology have recently turned their attention to the study of the subpersonal underpinnings of moral judgment. In this article we critically examine an influential strand of research originating in Greene's neuroimaging studies of ‘utilitarian’ and ‘non-utilitarian’ moral judgement. We argue that given that the explananda of this research are specific personal-level states—moral judgments with certain propositional contents—its methodology has to be sensitive to criteria for ascribing states with such contents to subjects. We argue that current research has often failed to meet this constraint by failing to correctly ‘fix’ key aspects of moral judgment, criticism we support by detailed examples from the scientific literature. PMID:22427714

  6. Contextual determinants of pain judgments.

    PubMed

    Martel, M O; Thibault, P; Roy, C; Catchlove, R; Sullivan, M J L

    2008-10-31

    The objective of this study was to examine the influence of variations in contextual features of a physically demanding lifting task on the judgments of others' pain. Healthy undergraduates (n=98) were asked to estimate the pain experience of chronic pain patients who were filmed while lifting canisters at different distances from their body. Of interest was whether contextual information (i.e., lifting posture) contributed to pain estimates beyond the variance accounted for by pain behavior. Results indicated that the judgments of others' pain varied significantly as a function of the contextual features of the pain-eliciting task; observers estimated significantly more pain when watching patients lifting canisters positioned further away from the body than canisters closest from the body. Canister position contributed significant unique variance to the prediction of pain estimates even after controlling for observers' use of pain behavior as a basis of pain estimates. Correlational analyses revealed that greater use of the contextual features when judging others' pain was related to a lower discrepancy (higher accuracy) between estimated and self-reported pain ratings. Results also indicated that observers' level of catastrophizing was associated with more accurate pain estimates. The results of a regression analysis further showed that observers' level of catastrophizing contributed to the prediction of the accuracy of pain estimates over and above the variance accounted for by the utilisation of contextual features. Discussion addresses the processes that might underlie the utilisation of contextual features of a pain-eliciting task when estimating others' pain. PMID:18701219

  7. Effect of training on exposure judgment accuracy of industrial hygienists.

    PubMed

    Vadali, Monika; Ramachandran, Gurumurthy; Mulhausen, John R; Banerjee, Sudipto

    2012-01-01

    Results are presented from a study that investigated the effect of data interpretation training on exposure judgment accuracy of industrial hygienists across several companies in different industry sectors. Participating companies provided monitoring information on specific exposure tasks. Forty-nine hygienists from six companies participated in the study, and 22 industrial tasks were evaluated. The number of monitoring data points for individual tasks varied between 5 and 24. After reviewing all available basic characterization information for the job, task, and chemical, hygienists were asked to provide their judgment on the probability of the 95th percentile of the underlying exposure distribution being located in one of four exposure categories relative to the occupational exposure limit as outlined in the AIHA exposure assessment strategy. Ninety-three qualitative judgments (i.e., without reviewing monitoring data) and 2142 quantitative judgments (i.e., those made after reviewing monitoring data) were obtained. Data interpretation training, with simple rules of thumb for estimating 95th percentiles, was provided to all hygienists. A data interpretation test was administered before and after training. All exposure task judgments were collected before and after training. Data interpretation test accuracy for the hygienists increased from 48% to 67% after training (p < 0.001) and a significant underestimation bias was removed. Hygienist quantitative task judgment accuracy improved from 46% to 69% (p < 0.001) post-training. Accuracy results showed good improvement in industrial hygienists' quantitative judgments as a result of training. Hence, the use of statistical tools is promoted to improve judgments based on monitoring data and provide feedback and calibration to improve qualitative judgments. It may be worthwhile to develop standard training programs to improve exposure judgments.

  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. 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.…

  10. Grouping Information for Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Anuj K.; Oppenheimer, Daniel M.

    2011-01-01

    Models of cue weighting in judgment have typically focused on how decision-makers weight cues individually. Here, the authors propose that people might recognize and weight "groups" of cues. They examine how judgments change when decision-makers focus on cues individually or as parts of groups. Several experiments demonstrate that people can…

  11. 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.…

  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. 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.

  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. PMID:27159969

  15. 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

    2007-03-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Moral intuition: its neural substrates and normative significance.

    PubMed

    Woodward, James; Allman, John

    2007-01-01

    Philosophers use the phrase "moral intuition" to describe the appearance in consciousness of moral judgments or assessments without any awareness of having gone through a conscious reasoning process that produces this assessment. This paper investigates the neural substrates of moral intuition. We propose that moral intuitions are part of a larger set of social intuitions that guide us through complex, highly uncertain and rapidly changing social interactions. Such intuitions are shaped by learning. The neural substrates for moral intuition include fronto-insular, cingulate, and orbito-frontal cortices and associated subcortical structure such as the septum, basil ganglia and amygdala. Understanding the role of these structures undercuts many philosophical doctrines concerning the status of moral intuitions, but vindicates the claim that they can sometimes play a legitimate role in moral decision-making. PMID:18280713

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. Good judgments do not require complex cognition.

    PubMed

    Marewski, Julian N; Gaissmaier, Wolfgang; Gigerenzer, Gerd

    2010-05-01

    What cognitive capabilities allow Homo sapiens to successfully bet on the stock market, to catch balls in baseball games, to accurately predict the outcomes of political elections, or to correctly decide whether a patient needs to be allocated to the coronary care unit? It is a widespread belief in psychology and beyond that complex judgment tasks require complex solutions. Countering this common intuition, in this article, we argue that in an uncertain world actually the opposite is true: Humans do not need complex cognitive strategies to make good inferences, estimations, and other judgments; rather, it is the very simplicity and robustness of our cognitive repertoire that makes Homo sapiens a capable decision maker.

  3. Moral voices of politically engaged urban youth.

    PubMed

    Kirshner, Ben

    2005-01-01

    The relationship between reflection and action is an enduring question for those interested in promoting moral development among young people. Educators struggle to find effective methods for helping youth reason carefully about moral problems and also to show moral commitment in their everyday lives. One place where reflection and action come together is in youth activism, where young people engage in social action campaigns to improve their schools and communities. What are the moral concerns that urban youth raise when given the opportunity? How do these concerns get translated into action? Drawing on original and secondary sources, this chapter discusses four social action campaigns organized by youth in the San Francisco Bay Area, in which youth combined critical moral judgments with social action. The chapter is not an empirical study, but instead an effort to bring attention to the moral and ethical perspectives that politically engaged youth raise. These social action projects suggest that for youth living in low-income neighborhoods with limited resources, the capacity for critical moral reflection about one's surroundings is an important dimension of healthy development. Helping youth assess and transform their local environments represents a promising direction for moral education and youth development.

  4. Priming Children's Use of Intentions in Moral Judgement with Metacognitive Training.

    PubMed

    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

  5. Priming Children's Use of Intentions in Moral Judgement with Metacognitive Training.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Teaching moral reasoning through gesture.

    PubMed

    Beaudoin-Ryan, Leanne; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2014-11-01

    Stem-cell research. Euthanasia. Personhood. Marriage equality. School shootings. Gun control. Death penalty. Ethical dilemmas regularly spark fierce debate about the underlying moral fabric of societies. How do we prepare today's children to be fully informed and thoughtful citizens, capable of moral and ethical decisions? Current approaches to moral education are controversial, requiring adults to serve as either direct ('top-down') or indirect ('bottom-up') conduits of information about morality. A common thread weaving throughout these two educational initiatives is the ability to take multiple perspectives - increases in perspective taking ability have been found to precede advances in moral reasoning. We propose gesture as a behavior uniquely situated to augment perspective taking ability. Requiring gesture during spatial tasks has been shown to catalyze the production of more sophisticated problem-solving strategies, allowing children to profit from instruction. Our data demonstrate that requiring gesture during moral reasoning tasks has similar effects, resulting in increased perspective taking ability subsequent to instruction. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v/gAcRIClU_GY.

  7. Teaching moral reasoning through gesture.

    PubMed

    Beaudoin-Ryan, Leanne; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2014-11-01

    Stem-cell research. Euthanasia. Personhood. Marriage equality. School shootings. Gun control. Death penalty. Ethical dilemmas regularly spark fierce debate about the underlying moral fabric of societies. How do we prepare today's children to be fully informed and thoughtful citizens, capable of moral and ethical decisions? Current approaches to moral education are controversial, requiring adults to serve as either direct ('top-down') or indirect ('bottom-up') conduits of information about morality. A common thread weaving throughout these two educational initiatives is the ability to take multiple perspectives - increases in perspective taking ability have been found to precede advances in moral reasoning. We propose gesture as a behavior uniquely situated to augment perspective taking ability. Requiring gesture during spatial tasks has been shown to catalyze the production of more sophisticated problem-solving strategies, allowing children to profit from instruction. Our data demonstrate that requiring gesture during moral reasoning tasks has similar effects, resulting in increased perspective taking ability subsequent to instruction. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v/gAcRIClU_GY. PMID:24754707

  8. Clinical Judgment and Affective Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strohmer, Douglas C.; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Addressed the limitations of previous work on counselor clinical judgment in a study involving 20 counselors who were asked to make a series of judgments. Results suggested the judgment processes of experienced counselors making diagnoses of affective disorders differs depending on the type of judgment. (JAC)

  9. The Role of Compassion in Moral Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruiz, Pedro Ortega; Vallejos, Ramon Minguez

    1999-01-01

    Proposes compassion as a new model for moral education, emphasizing empathy as a foundation for educating for compassion. Argues that socioaffective experiences, acquisition of social skills, and awakening moral awareness are resources that enable the development of empathy. Suggests emotional guidance and observation-based tasks as practical…

  10. Are patients morally responsible for their errors?

    PubMed

    Buetow, S; Elwyn, G

    2006-05-01

    Amid neglect of patients' contribution to error has been a failure to ask whether patients are morally responsible for their errors. This paper aims to help answer this question and so define a worthy response to the errors. Recent work on medical errors has emphasised system deficiencies and discouraged finding people to blame. We scrutinize this approach from an incompatibilist, agent causation position and draw on Hart's taxonomy of four senses of moral responsibility: role responsibility; capacity responsibility; causal responsibility; and liability responsibility. Each sense is shown to contribute to an overall theoretical judgment as to whether patients are morally responsible for their errors (and success in avoiding them). Though how to weight the senses is unclear, patients appear to be morally responsible for the avoidable errors they make, contribute to or can influence. PMID:16648274

  11. Primacy effects in clinical judgments of contingency.

    PubMed

    Curley, S P; Young, M J; Kingry, M J; Yates, J F

    1988-01-01

    In contingency judgment a primacy effect exists when a conclusion about the relationship between clinical variables is inordinately influenced by cases seen earlier rather than later in a presentation sequence. In this study, medical and nursing trainees evidenced this behavior in a hypothetical clinical judgment situation. The behavior was tied to an attention decrement explanation, by which inattention to the later-presented cases leads to inaccurate recall of the relative frequencies of observed cases, which in turn induces a misjudgment of a disease-finding contingency. An explicit intervention based on this hypothesis, forcing attention to later cases by warning that recall of the case frequencies would be required, was effective in reducing primacy effects among medical students. A related, but less explicit, intervention was also tried. This intervention did not significantly reduce primacy effects among nursing students, but was somewhat effective among general undergraduate students performing a non-clinical contingency judgment task.

  12. 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.

  13. Temporal dynamics of disgust and morality: an event-related potential study.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qun; Yan, Li; Luo, Junlong; Li, An; Zhang, Ye; Tian, Xuehong; Zhang, Dexuan

    2013-01-01

    Disgust is argued to be an emotion that motivates the avoidance of disease-causing entities in the physical domain and unacceptable behaviors in the social-moral domain. Empirical work from behavioral, physiological and brain imaging studies suggests moral judgments are strongly modulated by disgust feelings. Yet, it remains unclear how they are related in the time course of neural processing. Examining the temporal order of disgust emotion and morality could help to clarify the role of disgust in moral judgments. In the present research, a Go/No-Go paradigm was employed to evoke lateralized readiness potentials (LRPs) to investigate the temporal order of physical disgust and moral information processing. Participants were asked to give a "yes" or "no" response regarding the physical disgust and moral wrongness of a social act. The results showed that the evaluation of moral information was processed prior to that of physical disgust information. This suggests that moral information is available earlier than physical disgust, and provides more data on the biological heterogeneity between disgust and morality in terms of the time course of neural activity. The findings implicate that physical disgust emotion may not be necessary for people to make moral judgments. They also suggest that some of our moral experience may be more fundamental (than physical disgust experience) to our survival and development, as humans spend a considerable amount of time engaging in social interaction.

  14. Temporal Dynamics of Disgust and Morality: An Event-Related Potential Study

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Qun; Yan, Li; Luo, Junlong; Li, An; Zhang, Ye; Tian, Xuehong; Zhang, Dexuan

    2013-01-01

    Disgust is argued to be an emotion that motivates the avoidance of disease-causing entities in the physical domain and unacceptable behaviors in the social-moral domain. Empirical work from behavioral, physiological and brain imaging studies suggests moral judgments are strongly modulated by disgust feelings. Yet, it remains unclear how they are related in the time course of neural processing. Examining the temporal order of disgust emotion and morality could help to clarify the role of disgust in moral judgments. In the present research, a Go/No-Go paradigm was employed to evoke lateralized readiness potentials (LRPs) to investigate the temporal order of physical disgust and moral information processing. Participants were asked to give a “yes” or “no” response regarding the physical disgust and moral wrongness of a social act. The results showed that the evaluation of moral information was processed prior to that of physical disgust information. This suggests that moral information is available earlier than physical disgust, and provides more data on the biological heterogeneity between disgust and morality in terms of the time course of neural activity. The findings implicate that physical disgust emotion may not be necessary for people to make moral judgments. They also suggest that some of our moral experience may be more fundamental (than physical disgust experience) to our survival and development, as humans spend a considerable amount of time engaging in social interaction. PMID:23724123

  15. Deliberation's blindsight: how cognitive load can improve judgments.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    Multitasking poses a major challenge in modern work environments by putting the worker under cognitive load. Performance decrements often occur when people are under high cognitive load because they switch to less demanding--and often less accurate--cognitive strategies. Although cognitive load disturbs performance over a wide range of tasks, it may also carry benefits. In the experiments reported here, we showed that judgment performance can increase under cognitive load. Participants solved a multiple-cue judgment task in which high performance could be achieved by using a similarity-based judgment strategy but not by using a more demanding rule-based judgment strategy. Accordingly, cognitive load induced a shift to a similarity-based judgment strategy, which consequently led to more accurate judgments. By contrast, shifting to a similarity-based strategy harmed judgments in a task best solved by using a rule-based strategy. These results show how important it is to consider the cognitive strategies people rely on to understand how people perform in demanding work environments.

  16. 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

  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. The moral pop-out effect: enhanced perceptual awareness of morally relevant stimuli.

    PubMed

    Gantman, Ana P; Van Bavel, Jay J

    2014-07-01

    People perceive religious and moral iconography in ambiguous objects, ranging from grilled cheese to bird feces. In the current research, we examined whether moral concerns can shape awareness of perceptually ambiguous stimuli. In three experiments, we presented masked moral and non-moral words around the threshold for conscious awareness as part of a lexical decision task. Participants correctly identified moral words more frequently than non-moral words-a phenomenon we term the moral pop-out effect. The moral pop-out effect was only evident when stimuli were presented at durations that made them perceptually ambiguous, but not when the stimuli were presented too quickly to perceive or slowly enough to easily perceive. The moral pop-out effect was not moderated by exposure to harm and cannot be explained by differences in arousal, valence, or extremity. Although most models of moral psychology assume the initial perception of moral stimuli, our research suggests that moral beliefs and values may shape perceptual awareness.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Moral Realism Revisited: On Achievable Morality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ternasky, P. Lance

    1992-01-01

    The article discusses moral education in public schools. It proposes a realist model of moral realism derived from the work of Richard Boyd and Peter Railton, arguing that it offers relief from skepticism faced by moral educators and a foundation for teachable, achievable morality. (SM)

  2. Concurrent Dynamics of Category Learning and Metacognitive Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Žauhar, Valnea; Bajšanski, Igor; Domijan, Dražen

    2016-01-01

    In two experiments, we examined the correspondence between the dynamics of metacognitive judgments and classification accuracy when participants were asked to learn category structures of different levels of complexity, i.e., to learn tasks of types I, II, and III according to Shepard et al. (1961). The stimuli were simple geometrical figures varying in the following three dimensions: color, shape, and size. In Experiment 1, we found moderate positive correlations between confidence and accuracy in task type II and weaker correlation in task type I and III. Moreover, the trend analysis in the backward learning curves revealed that there is a non-linear trend in accuracy for all three task types, but the same trend was observed in confidence for the task type I and II but not for task type III. In Experiment 2, we found that the feeling-of-warmth judgments (FOWs) showed moderate positive correlation with accuracy in all task types. Trend analysis revealed a similar non-linear component in accuracy and metacognitive judgments in task type II and III but not in task type I. Our results suggest that FOWs are a more sensitive measure of the progress of learning than confidence because FOWs capture global knowledge about the category structure, while confidence judgments are given at the level of an individual exemplar. PMID:27729891

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. Fluency and response speed in recognition judgments.

    PubMed

    Poldrack, R A; Logan, G D

    1997-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that perceptual fluency can contribute to recognition judgments. In this study, we examined whether fluency in recognition is based upon the speed of preceding operations, as suggested by studies of perceptual fluency. Subjects studied items in both lexical decision and naming tasks, and were then tested on two blocks of lexical decision trials with probe recognition trials. Jacoby's process dissociation procedure was used, and results from this procedure suggested that recognition judgments in the task were based largely upon familiarity. However, the estimated discriminability available from response time distributions was significantly less than the observed recognition discriminability. Simulated memory operating characteristics confirmed this under determination of recognition by response times. The results demonstrate, contrary to previous suggestions, that fluency in recognition is not based upon speed.

  6. 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. PMID:21244187

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:26167937

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Moral Education's Modest Agenda

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Robin

    2006-01-01

    When schools react to contemporary events and focus on complex moral problems they commonly fail to make basic distinctions between the morally serious and trivial, the moral and the non-moral, and problems and dilemmas. We need to teach the distinction between moral and other values, and between what is intrinsically good, what is right in…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.…

  18. Preservice Teachers' Discriminatory Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley, Tasha; Ungerleider, Charles

    2008-01-01

    Having pursued policies of human rights and multiculturalism, Canadians regard themselves as tolerant. Yet some critics say that when it comes to Aboriginals, Canadians seem xenophobic and discriminatory. This study is the first empirical test of whether Canadian preservice teachers' judgments about the performance of Aboriginal students are…

  19. 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). PMID:27323473

  20. Things rank and gross in nature: a review and synthesis of moral disgust.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Hanah A; Anderson, Adam K

    2013-03-01

    Much like unpalatable foods, filthy restrooms, and bloody wounds, moral transgressions are often described as "disgusting." This linguistic similarity suggests that there is a link between moral disgust and more rudimentary forms of disgust associated with toxicity and disease. Critics have argued, however, that such references are purely metaphorical, or that moral disgust may be limited to transgressions that remind us of more basic disgust stimuli. Here we review the evidence that moral transgressions do genuinely evoke disgust, even when they do not reference physical disgust stimuli such as unusual sexual behaviors or the violation of purity norms. Moral transgressions presented verbally or visually and those presented as social transactions reliably elicit disgust, as assessed by implicit measures, explicit self-report, and facial behavior. Evoking physical disgust experimentally renders moral judgments more severe, and physical cleansing renders them more permissive or more stringent, depending on the object of the cleansing. Last, individual differences in the tendency to experience disgust toward physical stimuli are associated with variation in moral judgments and morally relevant sociopolitical attitudes. Taken together, these findings converge to support the conclusion that moral transgressions can in fact elicit disgust, suggesting that moral cognition may draw upon a primitive rejection response. We highlight a number of outstanding issues and conclude by describing 3 models of moral disgust, each of which aims to provide an account of the relationship between moral and physical disgust.

  1. 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…

  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. 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

    2015-09-01

    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

  5. 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

    2015-09-01

    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

  6. Emotional and Utilitarian Appraisals of Moral Dilemmas Are Encoded in Separate Areas and Integrated in Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Woodward, James; Rangel, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Morality in everyday life.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Wilhelm; Wisneski, Daniel C; Brandt, Mark J; Skitka, Linda J

    2014-09-12

    The science of morality has drawn heavily on well-controlled but artificial laboratory settings. To study everyday morality, we repeatedly assessed moral or immoral acts and experiences in a large (N = 1252) sample using ecological momentary assessment. Moral experiences were surprisingly frequent and manifold. Liberals and conservatives emphasized somewhat different moral dimensions. Religious and nonreligious participants did not differ in the likelihood or quality of committed moral and immoral acts. Being the target of moral or immoral deeds had the strongest impact on happiness, whereas committing moral or immoral deeds had the strongest impact on sense of purpose. Analyses of daily dynamics revealed evidence for both moral contagion and moral licensing. In sum, morality science may benefit from a closer look at the antecedents, dynamics, and consequences of everyday moral experience.

  8. 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.

  9. Morality in everyday life.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Wilhelm; Wisneski, Daniel C; Brandt, Mark J; Skitka, Linda J

    2014-09-12

    The science of morality has drawn heavily on well-controlled but artificial laboratory settings. To study everyday morality, we repeatedly assessed moral or immoral acts and experiences in a large (N = 1252) sample using ecological momentary assessment. Moral experiences were surprisingly frequent and manifold. Liberals and conservatives emphasized somewhat different moral dimensions. Religious and nonreligious participants did not differ in the likelihood or quality of committed moral and immoral acts. Being the target of moral or immoral deeds had the strongest impact on happiness, whereas committing moral or immoral deeds had the strongest impact on sense of purpose. Analyses of daily dynamics revealed evidence for both moral contagion and moral licensing. In sum, morality science may benefit from a closer look at the antecedents, dynamics, and consequences of everyday moral experience. PMID:25214626

  10. Sequential effects in face-attractiveness judgment.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Aki; Takahashi, Kohske; Watanabe, Katsumi

    2012-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that current-trial responses are biased toward the response of the preceding trial in perceptual decisionmaking tasks (the sequential effect-Holland and Lockhead, 1968 Perception & Psychophysics 3 409-414). The sequential effect has been widely observed in evaluation of the physical properties of stimuli as well as more complex properties. However, it is unclear whether subjective decisions (e.g., attractiveness judgments) are also susceptible to the sequential effect. Here, we examined whether the sequential effect would occur in face-attractiveness judgments. Forty-eight pictures of male and female faces were presented successively. Participants rated the attractiveness of each face on a 7-point scale. The results showed that the attractiveness rating of a given face assimilated toward the rating of the preceding trial. In a separate experiment, we provided the average attractiveness rating by others for each trial as feedback. The feedback weakened the sequential effect. These findings suggest that attractiveness judgment is also biased toward the preceding judgment, and hence the sequential effect can be extended into the domain of subjective decisionmaking. PMID:22611662

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The sexual health consultation as a moral occasion.

    PubMed

    Cook, Catherine

    2014-03-01

    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are socially constructed as more 'dirty' than other gynaecological conditions. This article analyses women's accounts of interactions with clinicians, subsequent to a diagnosis of genital herpes simplex virus or human papilloma virus. Women conceptualised consultations as a 'moral event,' different from other consultations. This moral component is highlighted drawing on Foucault's notion of 'the confessional.' Additionally, Douglas' anthropological construction of 'dirt' is used to consider why these consultations are 'confessional' experiences. Email interviews were conducted with 26 women diagnosed with a viral STI and 12 sexual health clinicians. Data were analysed thematically using a feminist, poststructuralist approach. Findings indicated that discourses of morality shape sexual health consultations. Five themes were identified in relation to the moral 'work' in clinical consultations about a viral STI diagnosis: the particular 'dirtiness' of viral STIs, clinicians as moral agents, the 'non-judgmental' clinician, women juggling truth-telling and risk and clinicians prescribing moral work. Clinicians support and educate women more effectively if they recognise subjective, moral aspects of sexual health consultations rather than assuming that effective clinical teaching is rational, scientific and non-judgmental.

  15. 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)

  16. 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…

  17. Electrophysiological difference between the representations of causal judgment and associative judgment in semantic memory.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qingfei; Liang, Xiuling; Lei, Yi; Li, Hong

    2015-05-01

    Causally related concepts like "virus" and "epidemic" and general associatively related concepts like "ring" and "emerald" are represented and accessed separately. The Evoked Response Potential (ERP) procedure was used to examine the representations of causal judgment and associative judgment in semantic memory. Participants were required to remember a task cue (causal or associative) presented at the beginning of each trial, and assess whether the relationship between subsequently presented words matched the initial task cue. The ERP data showed that an N400 effect (250-450 ms) was more negative for unrelated words than for all related words. Furthermore, the N400 effect elicited by causal relations was more positive than for associative relations in causal cue condition, whereas no significant difference was found in the associative cue condition. The centrally distributed late ERP component (650-750 ms) elicited by the causal cue condition was more positive than for the associative cue condition. These results suggested that the processing of causal judgment and associative judgment in semantic memory recruited different degrees of attentional and executive resources. PMID:25813899

  18. The balancing act: psychiatrists' experience of moral distress.

    PubMed

    Austin, Wendy J; Kagan, Leon; Rankel, Marlene; Bergum, Vangie

    2008-03-01

    Experiences of moral distress encountered in psychiatric practice were explored in a hermeneutic phenomenological study. Moral distress is the state experienced when moral choices and actions are thwarted by constraints. Psychiatrists describe struggling 'to do the right thing' for individual patients within a societal system that places unrealistic demands on psychiatric expertise. Certainty on the part of the psychiatrist is an expectation when judgments of dangerousness and/or the need for coercive treatments are made. This assumption, however, ignores the uncertainty and complexity of reality. Society entrusts psychiatrists to care for and treat those among its most vulnerable members: persons deemed to have a severely diminished capacity for autonomy due to a mental disorder. Simultaneously, psychiatrists are held accountable by society for the protection of the public. Moral distress arose for psychiatrists in their efforts to fulfill both roles. They described an 'outsider/insider' status and the ways in which they attempted to cope with moral distress.

  19. Mortality salience and morality: thinking about death makes people less utilitarian.

    PubMed

    Trémolière, Bastien; Neys, Wim De; Bonnefon, Jean-François

    2012-09-01

    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 salience would be less likely to give utilitarian responses to moral conflicts. Two experiments corroborated this hypothesis. Experiment 1 showed that utilitarian responses to non-lethal harm conflicts were less frequent when participants were reminded of their mortality. Experiment 2 showed that the detrimental effect of mortality salience on utilitarian conflict judgments was comparable to that of an extreme concurrent cognitive load. These findings raise the question of whether private judgment and public debate about controversial moral issues might be shaped by mortality salience effects, since these issues (e.g., assisted suicide) often involve matters of life and death. PMID:22698994

  20. Noradrenaline effects on social behaviour, intergroup relations, and moral decisions.

    PubMed

    Terbeck, S; Savulescu, J; Chesterman, L P; Cowen, P J

    2016-07-01

    Recent research has begun to elucidate the neural basis of higher order social concepts, such as the mechanisms involved in intergroup relations, and moral judgments. Most theories have concentrated on higher order emotions, such as guilt, shame, or empathy, as core mechanisms. Accordingly, psychopharmacological and neurobiological studies have investigated the effects of manipulating serotonin or oxytocin activity on moral and social decisions and attitudes. However, recently it has been determined that changes in more basic emotions, such as fear and anger, might also have a significant role in social and moral cognition. This article summarizes psychopharmacological and fMRI research on the role of noradrenaline in higher order social cognition suggesting that indeed noradrenergic mediated affective changes might play key - and probably causal - role in certain social attitudes and moral judgments. Social judgments may also be directly influenced by numerous neurotransmitter manipulations but these effects could be mediated by modulation of basic emotions which appear to play an essential role in the formation of social concepts and moral behaviour. PMID:27126289

  1. Moral dilemmas in females: children are more utilitarian than adults.

    PubMed

    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

  2. Moral dilemmas in females: children are more utilitarian than adults.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Age-related priming effects in social judgments.

    PubMed

    Hess, T M; McGee, K A; Woodburn, S M; Bolstad, C A

    1998-03-01

    Two experiments investigated adult age differences in the impact of previously activated (and thus easily accessible) trait-related information on judgments about people. The authors hypothesized that age-related declines in the efficiency of controlled processing mechanisms during adulthood would be associated with increased susceptibility to judgment biases associated with such information. In each study, different-aged adults made impression judgments about a target, and assimilation of these judgments to trait constructs activated in a previous, unrelated task were examined. Consistent with the authors' hypotheses, older adults were likely to form impressions that were biased toward the primed trait constructs. In contrast, younger adults exhibited greater awareness of the primed information and were more likely to correct for its perceived influence, especially when distinctive contextual cues regarding the source of the primes were available. PMID:9533195

  7. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation is critical for preference judgments.

    PubMed

    Paulus, Martin P; Frank, Lawrence R

    2003-07-18

    Preference judgment, the process of selecting a response from several alternatives based on which alternative the subject likes best, is an important aspect of daily life. The current study examined whether neural substrates that are thought to be critical for generating somatic markers are involved in preference judgments. Fifteen healthy, right-handed subjects performed a preference judgment task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The medial frontal gyrus was significantly more activated during the preference judgment trials, relative to visual discrimination trials. Other areas that were also differentially activated included the posterior parietal cortex, the anterior cingulate and the left anterior insula. These findings are consistent with the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in the representation of complex appetitive states. PMID:12876463

  8. Does mood influence the realism of confidence judgments?

    PubMed

    Allwood, Carl Martin; Granhag, Pär Anders; Jonsson, Anna-Carin

    2002-07-01

    Previous research has shown that mood affects cognition, but the extent to which mood affects meta-cognitive judgments is a relatively over-looked issue. In the current study we investigated how mood influences the degree of realism in participants' confidence judgments (based on an episodic memory task). Using music and film in combination, we successfully induced an elated mood in half of the participants, but failed to induce a sad mood in the other half. In line with previous research, the participants in both conditions were overconfident in their judgments. However, and contrary to our prediction, our data indicated that there was no difference in the realism of the confidence between the conditions. When relating this result to previous research, our conclusion is that there is no, or very little, influence of mood of moderate intensity on the realism of confidence judgments.

  9. 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,…

  10. 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…

  11. Associative processes in intuitive judgment.

    PubMed

    Morewedge, Carey K; Kahneman, Daniel

    2010-10-01

    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.

  12. Enhancing Moral Conformity and Enhancing Moral Worth.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    It is plausible that we have moral reasons to become better at conforming to our moral reasons. However, it is not always clear what means to greater moral conformity we should adopt. John Harris has recently argued that we have reason to adopt traditional, deliberative means in preference to means that alter our affective or conative states directly-that is, without engaging our deliberative faculties. One of Harris' concerns about direct means is that they would produce only a superficial kind of moral improvement. Though they might increase our moral conformity, there is some deeper kind of moral improvement that they would fail to produce, or would produce to a lesser degree than more traditional means. I consider whether this concern might be justified by appeal to the concept of moral worth. I assess three attempts to show that, even where they were equally effective at increasing one's moral conformity, direct interventions would be less conducive to moral worth than typical deliberative alternatives. Each of these attempts is inspired by Kant's views on moral worth. Each, I argue, fails.

  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. PMID:25175526

  14. 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.

  15. On the Role of Causal Intervention in Multiple-Cue Judgment: Positive and Negative Effects on Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Enkvist, Tommy; Newell, Ben; Juslin, Peter; Olsson, Henrik

    2006-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested better learning when people actively intervene rather than when they passively observe the stimuli in a judgment task. In 4 experiments, the authors investigated the hypothesis that this improvement is associated with a shift from exemplar memory to cue abstraction. In a multiple-cue judgment task with continuous…

  16. Sleep and moral awareness.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Christopher M; Gunia, Brian C; Wagner, David T

    2015-04-01

    The implications of sleep for morality are only starting to be explored. Extending the ethics literature, we contend that because bringing morality to conscious attention requires effort, a lack of sleep leads to low moral awareness. We test this prediction with three studies. A laboratory study with a manipulation of sleep across 90 participants judging a scenario for moral content indicates that a lack of sleep leads to low moral awareness. An archival study of Google Trends data across 6 years highlights a national dip in Web searches for moral topics (but not other topics) on the Monday after the Spring time change, which tends to deprive people of sleep. Finally, a diary study of 127 participants indicates that (within participants) nights with a lack of sleep are associated with low moral awareness the next day. Together, these three studies suggest that a lack of sleep leaves people less morally aware, with important implications for the recognition of morality in others.

  17. 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…

  18. Explicit and Implicit Confidence Judgments and Developmental Differences in Metamemory: An Eye-Tracking Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roderer, Thomas; Roebers, Claudia M.

    2010-01-01

    In the present study, primary school children's ability to give accurate confidence judgments (CJ) was addressed, with a special focus on uncertainty monitoring. In order to investigate the effects of memory retrieval processes on monitoring judgments, item difficulty in a vocabulary learning task (Japanese symbols) was manipulated. Moreover, as a…

  19. The Development of Children's Orientations toward Moral, Social, and Personal Orders: More than a Sequence in Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turiel, Elliot

    2008-01-01

    Lawrence Kohlberg first published details of his research on the development of moral judgments in "Vita Humana" (later titled "Human Development"). Along with a series of other articles and essays, he greatly influenced research on moral development. He was instrumental in moving the field out of the narrow confines of analyses of psychological…

  20. 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…