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Sample records for moral judgment task

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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)

  6. 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)

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. Moral Motivation, Moral Judgment, and Antisocial Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Jeff; Bock, Tonia; Narvaez, Darcia

    2013-01-01

    The link between judgment and action is weak throughout psychology, including moral psychology. That is, people often do not act in accordance with their reasoning. Might moral judgment development be better viewed as a capacity that inhibits "immoral" behavior? One model that helps account for the moral judgment-action gap is Rest's…

  10. A subjective utilitarian theory of moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Dale J; Ahn, Minwoo

    2016-10-01

    Current theories hypothesize that moral judgments are difficult because rational and emotional decision processes compete. We present a fundamentally different theory of moral judgment: the Subjective Utilitarian Theory of moral judgment. The Subjective Utilitarian Theory posits that people try to identify and save the competing item with the greatest "personal value." Moral judgments become difficult only when the competing items have similar personal values. In Experiment 1, we estimate the personal values of 104 items. In Experiments 2-5, we show that the distributional overlaps of the estimated personal values account for over 90% of the variance in reaction times (RTs) and response choices in a moral judgment task. Our model fundamentally restructures our understanding of moral judgments from a competition between decision processes to a competition between similarly valued items. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. 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

  12. Moral judgment in episodic amnesia.

    PubMed

    Craver, Carl F; Keven, Nazim; Kwan, Donna; Kurczek, Jake; Duff, Melissa C; Rosenbaum, R Shayna

    2016-08-01

    To investigate the role of episodic thought about the past and future in moral judgment, we administered a well-established moral judgment battery to individuals with hippocampal damage and deficits in episodic thought (insert Greene et al. 2001). Healthy controls select deontological answers in high-conflict moral scenarios more frequently when they vividly imagine themselves in the scenarios than when they imagine scenarios abstractly, at some personal remove. If this bias is mediated by episodic thought, individuals with deficits in episodic thought should not exhibit this effect. We report that individuals with deficits in episodic memory and future thought make moral judgments and exhibit the biasing effect of vivid, personal imaginings on moral judgment. These results strongly suggest that the biasing effect of vivid personal imagining on moral judgment is not due to episodic thought about the past and future. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. Development of Children's Prosocial Moral Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisenberg-Berg, Nancy

    1979-01-01

    Examined the development of reasoning about prosocial moral dilemmas in 125 elementary and high school students. Also attempted to determine the relationship of structure of prosocial moral judgment to story solution. (JMB)

  16. Moral Judgment and Concern About Nuclear War.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Ijzendoorn, Marinus H.

    1987-01-01

    Reports on two studies relating moral development to concern about nuclear war and to antinuclear activism. Two Dutch samples tested the following hypothesis: the higher the level of moral judgment, the more concern there is about nuclear arms. (LHW)

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Jason L

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. Moral Judgment: Intention and Consequence Reconsidered.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goble, Carla B.; McCullers, John C.

    Purposes of this study were to reexamine Piaget's conception of the roles of intention and consequence as bases for moral judgments, and to assess the implications of this effort for Kohlberg's concept of homogeneity of moral reasoning stages. The study examined the effects of manipulation of the severity of consequences in moral dilemmas on the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, Diane T.; Serafica, Felicisima C.

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

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

    PubMed

    Bartels, Daniel M

    2008-08-01

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

  8. Moral judgment and parental identification among children.

    PubMed

    Fry, P S

    1975-07-01

    The relationship of moral judgment and parental identification was studied in 50 boys and 50 girls, all of whom were white, lower-middle-class children, aged 9 1/2 to 11 1/2 years. Two hypotheses were proposed: (1) that within each sex group, children with a higher-level parental identification attain a higher stage of moral judgment than children with a lower level of parental identification; and (2) that there are no sex differences in the stage of moral judgment attained by Ss from similar socioeconomic backgrounds. Ss were screened for socioeconomic status and age. Moral judgment was defined in terms of Piaget's "two moralities" of the child and measured by a structured interview that consisted of five subtests taken from Piaget. Parental identification was measured by means of a semantic space and differential technique, and Ss were grouped on the basis of low, medium and high levels of paternal and maternal identification. Results indicate that there are no significant sex differences in moral judgment. Within each sex group there is a clear positive relationship between high-level identification and a higher stage of moral judgment.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Moral Development in Context: Associations of Neighborhood and Maternal Discipline With Preschoolers' Moral Judgments.

    PubMed

    Ball, Courtney L; Smetana, Judith G; Sturge-Apple, Melissa L; Suor, Jennifer H; Skibo, Michael A

    2017-07-06

    Associations among moral judgments, neighborhood risk, and maternal discipline were examined in 118 socioeconomically diverse preschoolers (Mage = 41.84 months, SD = 1.42). Children rated the severity and punishment deserved for 6 prototypical moral transgressions entailing physical and psychological harm and unfairness. They also evaluated 3 criteria for assessing maturity in moral judgments: whether acts were considered wrong regardless of rules and wrong independent of authority, as well as whether moral rules were considered unacceptable to alter (collectively called criterion judgments). Mothers reported on their socioeconomic status, neighborhood characteristics and risk, and consistency of discipline; harsh maternal discipline was observed during a mother-child clean-up task. Structural equation modeling indicated that greater neighborhood risk was associated with less mature criterion judgments and ratings that transgressions were less serious and less deserving of punishment, particularly for children who were disciplined less harshly. Although harsh maternal discipline was associated with children's ratings of moral transgressions as more serious and deserving of punishment, this effect for severity judgments was more pronounced when mothers were inconsistent versus consistent in applying harsh discipline. Preschoolers who received consistent harsh discipline had less sophisticated moral criterion judgments than their less consistently or harshly disciplined peers. Results demonstrate the importance of social contexts in preschoolers' developing moral judgments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. The Developmental Relationship Among Moral Judgment, Moral Conduct, and a Rationale for Appropriate Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brockman, John; And Others

    Piaget's and Kohlberg's interview and scoring methods for assessing moral judgment in children were empirically compared. Based on cognitive development and social learning theories, six hypotheses were tested on 139 elementary school children. After being interviewed, the children participated in a moral conduct task. Multiple linear regressions…

  15. Moral Judgments and Basal Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jantz, Richard K.

    1976-01-01

    Contains a brief review of the research on moral themes in basal reading series and their influence on children and summarizes an investigation which explored the frequency of moral decisions in stories in basal readers and identified those characters who posed the moral questions and those who solved moral dilemmas. (Author/RB)

  16. The Attribution Cube and Judgments of Morality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Thomas E.

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

  17. 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…

  18. The Attribution Cube and Judgments of Morality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Thomas E.

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

  19. Antecedents of Shift in Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tracy, James J.; Cross, Herbert J.

    1973-01-01

    Seventh-grade boys were assessed for moral judgment with the Kohlberg interview technique; role taking, stage misture, intelligence, socioeconomic status, and social desirability were also assessed. Half were assigned to moral reasoning one stage above initial stage. Subjects at the preconventional level shifted upward more than subjects at the…

  20. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephens, Beth; And Others

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-02

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

  3. The Development of Toddlers' Moral and Conventional Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smetana, Judith G.; Braeges, Judith L.

    1990-01-01

    Examines the development of toddlers' moral and conventional judgments and effects of language development on such judgments. Rudimentary distinctions between familiar moral, social and conventional transgressions are made during the child's third year. (Author/BB)

  4. Moral Judgment Maturity of Process and Reactive Schizophrenics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herron, William G.; And Others

    1983-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. The Moral Judgments of Preschool Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gruen, Gerald E.; And Others

    1979-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Differences in moral judgment between nursing students and qualified nurses.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong-Soon; Park, Jin-Hee; Han, Sung-Suk

    2007-05-01

    This longitudinal study examined how nursing students' moral judgment changes after they become qualified nurses working in a hospital environment. The sample used was a group of 80 nursing students attending a university in Suwon, Korea, between 2001 and 2003. By using a Korean version of the Judgment About Nursing Decisions questionnaire, an instrument used in nursing care research, moral judgment scores based on Ketefian's six nursing dilemmas were determined. The results were as follows: (1) the qualified nurses had significantly higher idealistic moral judgment scores than the nursing students; (2) the qualified nurses showed significantly higher realistic moral judgment scores than the nursing students; and (3) when comparing idealistic and realistic moral judgment scores, both the qualified nurses and the nursing students had higher scores for idealistic moral judgment. Further study is recommended to examine changes in moral judgment.

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

    PubMed

    Rosas, Alejandro; Koenigs, Michael

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Gender and Dilemma Differences in Real-Life Moral Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wark, Gillian R.; Krebs, Dennis L.

    1996-01-01

    Investigated the effects of gender, gender role, and type of moral dilemma on moral maturity and orientation of university students. Found that females were more consistent than males in moral stage; males were more consistent in moral orientation. Findings suggest that a more interactional model of moral judgment than the models of L. Kohlberg…

  13. Integration of Intention and Outcome for Moral Judgment in Frontotemporal Dementia: Brain Structural Signatures.

    PubMed

    Baez, Sandra; Kanske, Philipp; Matallana, Diana; Montañes, Patricia; Reyes, Pablo; Slachevsky, Andrea; Matus, Cristian; Vigliecca, Nora Silvana; Torralva, Teresa; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2016-01-01

    Moral judgment has been proposed to rely on a distributed brain network. This function is impaired in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), a condition involving damage to some regions of this network. However, no studies have investigated moral judgment in bvFTD via structural neuroimaging. We compared the performance of 21 bvFTD patients and 19 controls on a moral judgment task involving scenarios that discriminate between the contributions of intentions and outcomes. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess (a) the atrophy pattern in bvFTD patients, (b) associations between gray matter (GM) volume and moral judgments, and (c) structural differences between bvFTD subgroups (patients with relatively preserved moral judgment and patients with severer moral judgment impairments). Patients judged attempted harm as more permissible and accidental harm as less permissible than controls. The groups' performance on accidental harm was associated with GM volume in the precuneus. In controls, it was al- so associated with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). Also, both groups' performance on attempted harm was associated with GM volume in the temporoparietal junction. Patients exhibiting worse performance displayed smaller GM volumes in the precuneus and temporal pole. Results suggest that moral judgment abnormalities in bvFTD are associated with impaired integration of intentions and outcomes, which depends on an extended brain network. In bvFTD, moral judgment seems to critically depend on areas beyond the VMPFC. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2017-01-01

    What is the relationship between the language people use to describe an event and their moral judgments? We test the hypothesis that moral judgment and causative verbs rely on the same underlying mental model of people's actions. Experiment 1a finds that participants choose different verbs to describe the major variants of a moral dilemma, the…

  15. 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…

  16. Moral Judgment and the Cognitive-Developmental Approach to Socialization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faherty, John K.

    This paper discusses developmental theories of morality exemplified by the writings of Piaget and Kohlberg which emphasize cognitive processes in moral judgment. Aspects of Piaget's and Kohlberg's theories are summarized, with particular attention to the stage concept and the role of intention in moral judgment. Relevant criticisms of the…

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Marsh, Abigail A; Cardinale, Elise M

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Moral Judgment as a Function of Peer Group Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maitland, Karen A.; Goldman, Jacquelin R.

    1974-01-01

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

  4. Moral Judgment as a Function of Peer Group Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maitland, Karen A.; Goldman, Jacquelin R.

    1974-01-01

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

  5. Enhancing Young Children's Moral Judgments: The Piagetian Connection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benninga, Jacques S.; Meredith, Ruth

    The first part of the paper presents a description of Piaget's theory of moral judgment and makes a case for the relationship between the theory and the phenomenological approach to self concept development. It is proposed that both the development of self concept and moral judgment are greatly influenced by the examples of and interaction with…

  6. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Moral judgment in retarded and nonretarded school age children.

    PubMed

    Gargiulo, R M; Sulick, J A

    1978-05-01

    The moral judgment of 135 normal, educable retarded, and trainable retarded boys and girls (ages 6-10, 11-13, and 14-16) was individually assessed to determine the significance of chronological age and IQ on moral development. The results indicated significant differences in mean normal judgment between the groups and each age level. The findings were interpreted as substantiating Piaget's stage theory of moral development and suggesting that within the retarded population, level of intellectual ability is also significantly related to moral judgment.

  11. Improving Accuracy in a Clinical Judgmental Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strasburger, Erich L.; Jackson, Douglas N.

    1977-01-01

    This study was designed to identify kinds of information leading to increased accuracy of clinical judgments. Results confirm the feasibility of increasing accuracy in meaningful clinical judgment tasks through practice and of studying clinical judgment by using construct-oriented personality scales to which targets bear a substantive…

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Intentionality and Field Dependence in Children's Moral Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howes, M.; Morgan, Vicky

    1983-01-01

    In a study of moral judgment, some children grasped the concept of behavioral intention but did not use it consistently (mediational deficiency); others had the concept but failed to use it at all (production deficiency); and still others did not have the concept (moral realism). Field dependence varied with moral stage. (Author/MJL)

  15. The Sociology of Moral Judgment: Social and Ethnic Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cortese, Anthony J.

    Social and ethnic differences in moral judgment are examined, and a critique of the cognitive-developmental model is presented in this paper. In opposition to Piaget and Kohlberg, the thesis advanced is that morality and moral development are culturally and socially determined constructs. While Piaget postulated the presence of qualitatively…

  16. 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."…

  17. 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…

  18. 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."…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1999-01-01

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

  20. The Development of Intent-Based Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toner, Ignatius J.; Potts, Richard

    1981-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toner, Ignatius J.; Potts, Richard

    1981-01-01

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

  4. Clinical judgment, moral anxiety, and the limits of psychiatry.

    PubMed

    Murray, Bradley

    2017-04-11

    It is common for clinicians working in psychiatry and related clinical disciplines to be called on to make diagnostic clinical judgments concerning moral anxiety, which is a kind of anxiety that is closely bound up with decisions individuals face as moral agents. To make such a judgment, it is necessary to make a moral judgment. Although it has been common to acknowledge that there are ways in which moral and clinical judgment interact, this type of interaction has remained unacknowledged. This raises questions as to the nature and limits of psychiatry-particularly concerning the extent to which psychiatric discourse ought to incorporate moral discourse, and the role of the clinician as an expert in identifying problematic anxiety.

  5. Experiencing Physical Pain Leads to More Sympathetic Moral Judgments

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Govrin, Aner

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toner, Ignatius J.; Potts, C. Richard

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toner, Ignatius J.; Potts, C. Richard

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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. Influence of Adult Prohibition Style on Moral Judgments of Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenspan, Stephen; Simeonsson, Rune J.

    1978-01-01

    Examines the effects of act- and outcome-oriented adult prohibitions on the moral judgments of seven- and nine-year-old children. Moral dilemmas portraying children in hospital settings were presented to children of ages six to nine years. (Author/SS)

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawrence, Jeanette A.

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

  1. Order of information presentation and children's moral judgments.

    PubMed

    Feldman, N S; Klosson, E C; Parsons, J E; Rholes, W S; Ruble, D N

    1976-06-01

    It was hypothesized that age differences in use of intent information in children's moral judgments might be due to a recency effect in the judgments of younger children. A study was conducted to examine the effect of order of stimulus presentation on children's moral judgments. The information was presented to children, ages 4-5 and 8-9 years old, through stories with either normal information order, intent-consequence, or reversed order, consequence-intent. It was found that order has a significant impact on children's moral judgments. In addition, memory data were gathered which indicated that the pattern of forgetting was parallel to the pattern of information preference for the younger subjects. The findings suggested that younger subjects' relative neglect of intent in the normal order of information was based, in part, on their failure to remember the material correctly rather than on differential weighting of the 2 cues.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Impaired theory of mind for moral judgment in high-functioning autism.

    PubMed

    Moran, Joseph M; Young, Liane L; Saxe, Rebecca; Lee, Su Mei; O'Young, Daniel; Mavros, Penelope L; Gabrieli, John D

    2011-02-15

    High-functioning autism (ASD) is characterized by real-life difficulties in social interaction; however, these individuals often succeed on laboratory tests that require an understanding of another person's beliefs and intentions. This paradox suggests a theory of mind (ToM) deficit in adults with ASD that has yet to be demonstrated in an experimental task eliciting ToM judgments. We tested whether ASD adults would show atypical moral judgments when they need to consider both the intentions (based on ToM) and outcomes of a person's actions. In experiment 1, ASD and neurotypical (NT) participants performed a ToM task designed to test false belief understanding. In experiment 2, the same ASD participants and a new group of NT participants judged the moral permissibility of actions, in a 2 (intention: neutral/negative) × 2 (outcome: neutral/negative) design. Though there was no difference between groups on the false belief task, there was a selective difference in the moral judgment task for judgments of accidental harms, but not neutral acts, attempted harms, or intentional harms. Unlike the NT group, which judged accidental harms less morally wrong than attempted harms, the ASD group did not reliably judge accidental and attempted harms as morally different. In judging accidental harms, ASD participants appeared to show an underreliance on information about a person's innocent intention and, as a direct result, an overreliance on the action's negative outcome. These findings reveal impairments in integrating mental state information (e.g., beliefs, intentions) for moral judgment.

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

    PubMed

    Hao, Jian; Liu, Yanchun; Li, Jiafeng

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Landy, Justin F; Goodwin, Geoffrey P

    2015-07-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-29

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Equipping Youth with Mature Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gibbs, John C.

    2003-01-01

    To enhance the ability of youth to help peers and themselves, the author proposes specific training in mature social decision-making to help youth overcome immature moral development and egocentric thinking. The EQUIP program emphasizes the positive moral potential of anti-social adolescents, as well as the limitations of antisocial youth:…

  14. 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

  15. The Theory of Dyadic Morality: Reinventing Moral Judgment by Redefining Harm.

    PubMed

    Schein, Chelsea; Gray, Kurt

    2017-05-01

    The nature of harm-and therefore moral judgment-may be misunderstood. Rather than an objective matter of reason, we argue that harm should be redefined as an intuitively perceived continuum. This redefinition provides a new understanding of moral content and mechanism-the constructionist Theory of Dyadic Morality (TDM). TDM suggests that acts are condemned proportional to three elements: norm violations, negative affect, and-importantly-perceived harm. This harm is dyadic, involving an intentional agent causing damage to a vulnerable patient (A→P). TDM predicts causal links both from harm to immorality (dyadic comparison) and from immorality to harm (dyadic completion). Together, these two processes make the "dyadic loop," explaining moral acquisition and polarization. TDM argues against intuitive harmless wrongs and modular "foundations," but embraces moral pluralism through varieties of values and the flexibility of perceived harm. Dyadic morality impacts understandings of moral character, moral emotion, and political/cultural differences, and provides research guidelines for moral psychology.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cushman, Fiery

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oakes, Ruth; Quina, Katherine

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. The Relation between Moral Judgment and Behavior: A Social-Cognitive and Decision-Making Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saltzstein, D. Herbert

    1994-01-01

    Underlines two major differences between moral judgments and moral behavior. For behavior, the moral situation is construed from an observer's perspective after the event and typically involves conflicts between moral and other kinds of pressures. For judgment, the situation is interpreted from the self's perspective in advance and often involves…

  4. Functional alteration in frontolimbic systems relevant to moral judgment in cocaine-dependent subjects.

    PubMed

    Verdejo-Garcia, Antonio; Contreras-Rodríguez, Oren; Fonseca, Francina; Cuenca, Aida; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Rodriguez, Joan; Pardo-Lozano, Ricardo; Blanco-Hinojo, Laura; de Sola Llopis, Susana; Farré, Magí; Torrens, Marta; Pujol, Jesús; de la Torre, Rafael

    2014-03-01

    Cocaine addiction is characterized by persistent decision-making deficits, which are linked to structural and functional abnormalities in frontolimbic systems. Moral judgment is as a special instance of decision making, in which both cognitive and emotional signals must be adequately integrated to decide how to resolve moral dilemmas. Here, we employed a moral dilemmas functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task to explore possible alterations of frontolimbic systems in cocaine-dependent subjects. We also explored if these alterations relate to more basic deficits in functional connectivity within these systems during spontaneous resting-state activation. Ten cocaine-dependent subjects and 14 non-drug-using controls participated in the study. Cocaine-dependent subjects were carefully selected to discard potentially confounding co-morbidities, and they underwent a uniform supervised abstinence period of 10 days. Both groups were scanned, and fMRI maps were generated to identify (1) brain response to moral dilemmas; and (2) the strength of functional connectivity within frontolimbic systems during resting-state. During the moral dilemmas task, cocaine-dependent subjects showed reduced activation involving frontolimbic structures as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), left insula and brain stem. Connectivity analyses showed that cocaine users had less resting-state functional connectivity between ACC, thalamus, insula and brain stem. These results demonstrate that cocaine-dependent subjects have functional alterations in the frontolimbic systems that support moral judgment and social decision making. © 2012 The Authors, Addiction Biology © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  5. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Decoding moral judgments from neural representations of intentions.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-02

    Intentional harms are typically judged to be morally worse than accidental harms. Distinguishing between intentional harms and accidents depends on the capacity for mental state reasoning (i.e., reasoning about beliefs and intentions), which is supported by a group of brain regions including the right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ). Prior research has found that interfering with activity in RTPJ can impair mental state reasoning for moral judgment and that high-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders make moral judgments based less on intent information than neurotypical participants. Three experiments, using multivoxel pattern analysis, find that (i) in neurotypical adults, the RTPJ shows reliable and distinct spatial patterns of responses across voxels for intentional vs. accidental harms, and (ii) individual differences in this neural pattern predict differences in participants' moral judgments. These effects are specific to RTPJ. By contrast, (iii) this distinction was absent in adults with autism spectrum disorders. We conclude that multivoxel pattern analysis can detect features of mental state representations (e.g., intent), and that the corresponding neural patterns are behaviorally and clinically relevant.

  7. Decoding moral judgments from neural representations of intentions

    PubMed Central

    Koster-Hale, Jorie; Saxe, Rebecca; Dungan, James; Young, Liane L.

    2013-01-01

    Intentional harms are typically judged to be morally worse than accidental harms. Distinguishing between intentional harms and accidents depends on the capacity for mental state reasoning (i.e., reasoning about beliefs and intentions), which is supported by a group of brain regions including the right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ). Prior research has found that interfering with activity in RTPJ can impair mental state reasoning for moral judgment and that high-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders make moral judgments based less on intent information than neurotypical participants. Three experiments, using multivoxel pattern analysis, find that (i) in neurotypical adults, the RTPJ shows reliable and distinct spatial patterns of responses across voxels for intentional vs. accidental harms, and (ii) individual differences in this neural pattern predict differences in participants’ moral judgments. These effects are specific to RTPJ. By contrast, (iii) this distinction was absent in adults with autism spectrum disorders. We conclude that multivoxel pattern analysis can detect features of mental state representations (e.g., intent), and that the corresponding neural patterns are behaviorally and clinically relevant. PMID:23479657

  8. Serotonin Transporter Genotype (5-HTTLPR) Predicts Utilitarian Moral Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Abigail A.; Crowe, Samantha L.; Yu, Henry H.; Gorodetsky, Elena K.; Goldman, David; Blair, R. J. R.

    2011-01-01

    Background The psychological and neurobiological processes underlying moral judgment have been the focus of extensive recent research. Here we show that serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) genotype predicts responses to moral dilemmas featuring foreseen harm to an innocent. Methodology/Principal Findings Participants in this study judged the acceptability of actions that would unintentionally or intentionally harm an innocent victim in order to save others' lives. An analysis of variance revealed a genotype × scenario interaction, F(2, 63) = 4.52, p = .02. Results showed that, relative to long allele homozygotes (LL), carriers of the short (S) allele showed particular reluctance to endorse utilitarian actions resulting in foreseen harm to an innocent individual. LL genotype participants rated perpetrating unintentional harm as more acceptable (M = 4.98, SEM = 0.20) than did SL genotype participants (M = 4.65, SEM = 0.20) or SS genotype participants (M = 4.29, SEM = 0.30). No group differences in moral judgments were observed in response to scenarios featuring intentional harm. Conclusions/Significance The results indicate that inherited variants in a genetic polymorphism that influences serotonin neurotransmission influence utilitarian moral judgments as well. This finding is interpreted in light of evidence that the S allele is associated with elevated emotional responsiveness. PMID:21998637

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Information-Acquisition Processes in Moral Judgments of Blame.

    PubMed

    Guglielmo, Steve; Malle, Bertram F

    2017-07-01

    When people make moral judgments, what information do they look for? Despite its theoretical and practical implications, this question has largely been neglected by prior literature. The recent Path Model of Blame predicts a canonical order in which people acquire information when judging blame. Upon discovering a negative event, perceivers consider information about causality, then intentionality, then (if the event is intentional) reasons or (if the event is unintentional) preventability. Three studies, using two novel paradigms, assessed and found support for these predictions: In constrained (Study 1) and open-ended (Study 2) information-acquisition contexts, participants were most likely, and fastest, to seek information in the canonical order, even when under time pressure (Study 3). These findings indicate that blame relies on a set of information components that are processed in a systematic order. Implications for moral judgment models are discussed, as are potential roles of emotion and motivated reasoning in information acquisition.

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

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jing; Zhu, Liqi; Gummerum, Michaela

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24603775

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

    PubMed

    Nichols, Shaun; Folds-Bennett, Trisha

    2003-12-01

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

  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. Moral judgment competence of nursing students in the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Bužgová, Radka; Sikorová, Lucie

    2013-10-01

    The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the level of moral judgment competence in students of nursing at the University of Ostrava Faculty of Medicine, and whether it is influenced by the field of study, type of study, current year of study and age. The design of the study was cross-sectional. The survey sample comprised 662 full-time and part-time students of General Nursing and Midwifery. To measure ethical competence, Lind's Moral Judgment Test (MJT, 1995) was used. The nursing students showed low C-index scores (the mean C-index was 14.24 ± 9.56). The C-index was significantly influenced only by the type of study and age (p<0.05). Part-time students and those over 30 years of age had the lowest C-index scores. On average, the students preferred stages 5 and 6 of moral judgment, that is the post-conventional level. Due to the nursing students' lower C-index scores, methods developing ethical argumentation should be introduced into nursing ethics courses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Comparing moral judgments of patients with frontotemporal dementia and frontal stroke.

    PubMed

    Baez, Sandra; Couto, Blas; Torralva, Teresa; Sposato, Luciano A; Huepe, David; Montañes, Patricia; Reyes, Pablo; Matallana, Diana; Vigliecca, Nora S; Slachevsky, Andrea; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2014-09-01

    Several clinical reports have stated that patients with prefrontal lesions or patients with the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia share social cognition impairments. Moral reasoning is impaired in both conditions but there have been few investigations that directly compare this domain in the 2 groups. This work compared the moral judgments of these patient groups using a task designed to disentangle the contributions of intentions and outcomes in moral judgment. For both disorders, patients judged scenarios where the protagonists believed that they would cause harm but did not as being more permissible than the control group. Moreover, patients with frontotemporal dementia judged harmful outcomes in the absence of harmful intentions as less permissible than the control participants. There were no differences between the 2 conditions. Both disorders involved impairments in integrating intention and outcome information for moral judgment. This study was the first, to our knowledge, to directly compare a social cognition domain in 2 frontal pathologies with different etiology. Our results highlighted the importance of comparing patients with vascular lesions and patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

  20. Pushing Moral Buttons: The Interaction between Personal Force and Intention in Moral Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Joshua D.; Cushman, Fiery A.; Stewart, Lisa E.; Lowenberg, Kelly; Nystrom, Leigh E.; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2009-01-01

    In some cases people judge it morally acceptable to sacrifice one person's life in order to save several other lives, while in other similar cases they make the opposite judgment. Researchers have identified two general factors that may explain this phenomenon at the stimulus level: (1) the agent's intention (i.e. whether the harmful event is…

  1. 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,…

  2. 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,…

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kappes, Andreas; Rho, Yeojin; Van Bavel, Jay J.

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Developing Digital Privacy: Children's Moral Judgments Concerning Mobile GPS Devices.

    PubMed

    Gelman, Susan A; Martinez, Megan; Davidson, Natalie S; Noles, Nicholaus S

    2017-05-07

    New technology poses new moral problems for children to consider. We examined whether children deem object tracking with a mobile GPS device to be a property right. In three experiments, 329 children (4-10 years) and adults were asked whether it is acceptable to track the location of either one's own or another person's possessions using a mobile GPS device. Young children, like adults, viewed object tracking as relatively more acceptable for owners than nonowners. However, whereas adults expressed negative evaluations of someone tracking another person's possessions, young children expressed positive evaluations of this behavior. These divergent moral judgments of digital tracking at different ages have profound implications for how concepts of digital privacy develop and for the digital security of children. © 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

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

    PubMed

    Tasimi, Arber; Gelman, Susan A

    2016-12-21

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

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

    PubMed

    Chatzopoulos, Dimitrios; Mouratidou, Katerina; Karamavrou, Sofia

    2008-02-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. Normative Value Conceptions of Modern Parents, Teachers, and Educators (Analysis of Moral Value Judgments)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shelina, S. L.; Mitina, O. V.

    2015-01-01

    The article presents the results of an analysis of the moral value judgments of adults (parents, teachers, educators) that directly concern the socialization process of the young generation in the modern metropolis. This paper follows the model study by Jean Piaget that investigated the moral value judgments of children. A comparative analysis of…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. The Relation of Moral Judgment to Authoritarianism, Sexism, Ethnocentrism, and Concern about Nuclear War.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    IJzendoorn, Marinus H. van

    1990-01-01

    Correlates 46 Dutch high school students' attitudes toward nuclear war, sexism, ethnocentrism, and authoritarianism with their moral judgment level. Finds political attitudes related to moral judgment level. Qualitative data was obtained from interviews with 19 of the 46 students further develops the relationships. (CH)

  20. 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…

  1. The Effect of Three Experimental Conditions on the Moral Judgments of 9th-Grade Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finn, Edward J.; Doyle, Robert E.

    1983-01-01

    Measured the effect of confidentiality, parental influence, and peer influence on the moral judgment of ninth-grade students (N=274). Participants completed the Defining Issues Test and were told results would be either confidential or shared with parents or peers. Results suggest the moral judgment of ninth graders is not stable. (JAC)

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Following My Head and My Heart: Integrating Preschoolers' Empathy, Theory of Mind, and Moral Judgments.

    PubMed

    Ball, Courtney L; Smetana, Judith G; Sturge-Apple, Melissa L

    2017-03-01

    Associations among hypothetical, prototypic moral, and conventional judgments; theory of mind (ToM); empathy; and personal distress were examined in 108 socioeconomically diverse preschoolers (Mage  = 42.94 months, SD = 1.42). Repeated measures analysis of covariance with empathy, false beliefs, and their interaction as covariates indicated that empathy was significantly associated with judgments of greater moral but not conventional transgression severity, particularly for psychological harm, and with deserved punishment for unfairness. False beliefs were associated with (combined) moral criterion judgments of rule and authority independence and inalterability. Empathy also was positively associated with criterion judgments but only for children low in ToM. Personal distress was unrelated to judgments. Results demonstrate the importance of both affective and cognitive processes in preschoolers' moral judgments. © 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wainryb, Cecilia

    1993-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. © The Author(s) 2016.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    The neural mechanisms underlying moral judgment have been extensively studied in healthy adults. How these mechanisms evolve from adolescence to adulthood has received less attention. Brain regions that have been consistently implicated in moral judgment in adults, including the superior temporal cortex and prefrontal cortex, undergo extensive developmental changes from adolescence to adulthood. Thus, their role in moral judgment may also change over time. In the present study, 51 healthy male participants age 13–53 were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they viewed pictures that did or did not depict situations considered by most individuals to represent moral violations, and rated their degree of moral violation severity. Consistent with predictions, a regression analysis revealed a positive correlation between age and hemodynamic activity in the temporo-parietal junction when participants made decisions regarding moral severity. This region is known to contribute to mentalizing processes during moral judgment in adults and suggests that adolescents use these types of inferences less during moral judgment than do adults. A positive correlation with age was also present in the posterior cingulate. Overall, the results suggest that the brain regions utilized in moral judgment change over development. PMID:22267967

  10. 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…

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Verrinder, Joy M; Phillips, Clive J C

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Utilitarian Moral Judgment Exclusively Coheres with Inference from Is to Ought

    PubMed Central

    Elqayam, Shira; Wilkinson, Meredith R.; Thompson, Valerie A.; Over, David E.; Evans, Jonathan St. B. T.

    2017-01-01

    Faced with moral choice, people either judge according to pre-existing obligations (deontological judgment), or by taking into account the consequences of their actions (utilitarian judgment). We propose that the latter coheres with a more general cognitive mechanism – deontic introduction, the tendency to infer normative (‘deontic’) conclusions from descriptive premises (is-ought inference). Participants were presented with vignettes that allowed either deontological or utilitarian choice, and asked to draw a range of deontic conclusions, as well as judge the overall moral rightness of each choice separately. We predicted and found a selective defeasibility pattern, in which manipulations that suppressed deontic introduction also suppressed utilitarian moral judgment, but had little effect on deontological moral judgment. Thus, deontic introduction coheres with utilitarian moral judgment almost exclusively. We suggest a family of norm-generating informal inferences, in which normative conclusions are drawn from descriptive (although value-laden) premises. This family includes deontic introduction and utilitarian moral judgment as well as other informal inferences. We conclude with a call for greater integration of research in moral judgment and research into deontic reasoning and informal inference. PMID:28690572

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Geipel, Janet; Hadjichristidis, Constantinos; Surian, Luca

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Serotonin selectively influences moral judgment and behavior through effects on harm aversion

    PubMed Central

    Crockett, Molly J.; Clark, Luke; Hauser, Marc D.; Robbins, Trevor W.

    2010-01-01

    Aversive emotional reactions to real or imagined social harms infuse moral judgment and motivate prosocial behavior. Here, we show that the neurotransmitter serotonin directly alters both moral judgment and behavior through increasing subjects’ aversion to personally harming others. We enhanced serotonin in healthy volunteers with citalopram (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and contrasted its effects with both a pharmacological control treatment and a placebo on tests of moral judgment and behavior. We measured the drugs' effects on moral judgment in a set of moral 'dilemmas' pitting utilitarian outcomes (e.g., saving five lives) against highly aversive harmful actions (e.g., killing an innocent person). Enhancing serotonin made subjects more likely to judge harmful actions as forbidden, but only in cases where harms were emotionally salient. This harm-avoidant bias after citalopram was also evident in behavior during the ultimatum game, in which subjects decide to accept or reject fair or unfair monetary offers from another player. Rejecting unfair offers enforces a fairness norm but also harms the other player financially. Enhancing serotonin made subjects less likely to reject unfair offers. Furthermore, the prosocial effects of citalopram varied as a function of trait empathy. Individuals high in trait empathy showed stronger effects of citalopram on moral judgment and behavior than individuals low in trait empathy. Together, these findings provide unique evidence that serotonin could promote prosocial behavior by enhancing harm aversion, a prosocial sentiment that directly affects both moral judgment and moral behavior. PMID:20876101

  17. Serotonin selectively influences moral judgment and behavior through effects on harm aversion.

    PubMed

    Crockett, Molly J; Clark, Luke; Hauser, Marc D; Robbins, Trevor W

    2010-10-05

    Aversive emotional reactions to real or imagined social harms infuse moral judgment and motivate prosocial behavior. Here, we show that the neurotransmitter serotonin directly alters both moral judgment and behavior through increasing subjects' aversion to personally harming others. We enhanced serotonin in healthy volunteers with citalopram (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and contrasted its effects with both a pharmacological control treatment and a placebo on tests of moral judgment and behavior. We measured the drugs' effects on moral judgment in a set of moral 'dilemmas' pitting utilitarian outcomes (e.g., saving five lives) against highly aversive harmful actions (e.g., killing an innocent person). Enhancing serotonin made subjects more likely to judge harmful actions as forbidden, but only in cases where harms were emotionally salient. This harm-avoidant bias after citalopram was also evident in behavior during the ultimatum game, in which subjects decide to accept or reject fair or unfair monetary offers from another player. Rejecting unfair offers enforces a fairness norm but also harms the other player financially. Enhancing serotonin made subjects less likely to reject unfair offers. Furthermore, the prosocial effects of citalopram varied as a function of trait empathy. Individuals high in trait empathy showed stronger effects of citalopram on moral judgment and behavior than individuals low in trait empathy. Together, these findings provide unique evidence that serotonin could promote prosocial behavior by enhancing harm aversion, a prosocial sentiment that directly affects both moral judgment and moral behavior.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

  19. Similar Task Features Shape Judgment and Categorization Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Similar Task Features Shape Judgment and Categorization Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. The effects of 53 hours of sleep deprivation on moral judgment.

    PubMed

    Killgore, William D S; Killgore, Desiree B; Day, Lisa M; Li, Christopher; Kamimori, Gary H; Balkin, Thomas J

    2007-03-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies suggest a prominent role for the medial prefrontal cortex in the formation of moral judgments. Activity in this region has also been shown to decline significantly during sleep loss. We therefore examined the effects of 2 nights of sleep deprivation on several aspects of moral judgment. Participants made judgments about the "appropriateness" of various courses of action in response to 3 types of moral dilemmas at rested baseline and again following 53 hours of continuous wakefulness. In-residence sleep laboratory at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Twenty-six healthy adults (21 men, 5 women). N/A. Compared to baseline, sleep deprivation resulted in significantly longer response latencies (suggesting greater difficulty deciding upon a course of action) only for Moral Personal (i.e., emotionally evocative) dilemmas, whereas response times to Moral Impersonal (less emotionally evocative) and Non Moral dilemmas did not change significantly with sleep loss. The effect of sleep deprivation on the willingness to agree with solutions that violate personally held moral beliefs was moderated by the level of emotional intelligence, as measured by the Bar-On EQ-i. Persons high in emotional intelligence were less susceptible to changes in moral judgments as a function of sleep loss. These findings suggest that sleep deprivation impairs the ability to integrate emotion and cognition to guide moral judgments, although susceptibility to the effects of sleep loss on this ability is moderated by the level of emotional intelligence.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-14

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

  3. Neural Correlates of Moral Sensitivity and Moral Judgment Associated with Brain Circuitries of Selfhood: A Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Han, Hyemin

    2017-01-01

    The present study meta-analyzed 45 experiments with 959 subjects and 463 activation foci reported in 43 published articles that investigated the neural mechanism of moral functions by comparing neural activity between the moral task conditions and non-moral task conditions with the Activation Likelihood Estimation method. The present study…

  4. Relationship between ethical ideology and moral judgment: Academic nurse educators' perception.

    PubMed

    Abou Hashish, Ebtsam Aly; Ali Awad, Nadia Hassan

    2017-01-01

    Ascertaining the relationship between ethical ideology, moral judgment, and ethical decision among academic nurse educators at work appears to be a challenge particularly in situations when they are faced with a need to solve an ethical problem and make a moral decision. This study aims to investigate the relationship between ethical ideology, moral judgment, and ethical decision as perceived by academic nurse educators. A descriptive correlational research design was conducted at Faculty of Nursing, Alexandria University. All academic nurse educators were included in the study (N = 220). Ethical Position Questionnaire and Questionnaire of Moral Judgment and Ethical Decisions were proved reliable to measure study variables. Ethical considerations: Approval was obtained from Ethics Committee at Faculty of Nursing, Alexandria University. Privacy and confidentiality of data were maintained and assured by obtaining subjects' informed consent. This study reveals a significant positive moderate correlation between idealism construct of ethical ideology and moral judgment in terms of recognition of the behavior as an ethical issue and the magnitude of emotional consequences of the ethical situation (p < 0.001; p = 0.031) respectively. Also, there is a positive significant moderate correlation between relativism construct of ethical ideology and overall moral judgment (p = 0.010). Approximately 3.5% of the explained variance of overall moral judgment is predicted by idealism together with relativism. The findings suggest that variations in ethical position and ideology are associated with moral judgment and ethical decision. Organizations of academic nursing education should provide a supportive work environment to help their academic staff to develop their self-awareness and knowledge of their ethical position and promoting their ethical ideologies and, in turn, enhance their moral judgment as well as develop ethical reasoning and decision-making capability of nursing

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Gasser, Luciano; Malti, Tina; Buholzer, Alois

    2013-03-01

    We investigated relations between children's moral judgments and moral emotions following disability-based exclusion and inclusive education, age, and contact intensity. Nine- and 12-year-old Swiss children (N=351) from inclusive and noninclusive classrooms provided moral judgments and moral emotion attributions following six vignettes about social exclusion of children with disabilities. Children also reported on their level of sympathy towards children with disabilities and their contact intensity with children with disabilities. Overall, children condemned disability-based exclusion, attributed few positive emotions to excluder targets, and expressed high sympathy for children with disabilities, independent of age and educational setting. However, younger children from inclusive classrooms exhibited more moral judgments and moral emotions than younger children from noninclusive classrooms. Moreover, children who expressed high sympathy towards children with disabilities were more likely to report frequent contact with children with disabilities. The findings extend existing research on social exclusion by examining disability-based exclusion and are discussed with respect to developmental research on social and moral judgments and emotions following children's inclusion and exclusion decisions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Bigman, Yochanan E; Tamir, Maya

    2016-12-01

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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Between Kohlberg and Gilligan: Levels of Moral Judgment among Elementary School Principals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vitton, Charles J.; Wasonga, Teresa A.

    2009-01-01

    This research investigated levels of moral judgment among public elementary school principals as measured by the Defining Issues Test Version 2 for occupationally relevant and other moral dilemmas. The participants scored lower (38.7) than the predicted average P score (postconventional thinking) for individuals who have attained graduate level…

  14. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Edward D.; Hambright, Jerold E.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Edward D.; Hambright, Jerold E.

    1984-01-01

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

  17. The Comparative Effects of Adults and Peer Group Influence on Children's Moral Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siegal, M.; Boyes, M. C.

    1980-01-01

    In this review, little support is found for Piaget's claim that with increasing peer group interaction adult authority becomes less legitimate to the child. It is suggested that the adult exerts increasing influence with age on children's moral judgment and, therefore, emphasis on peer-centered moral education may be misdirected. (Author/SJL)

  18. A Comparison of Piaget's and Kohlberg's Theories and Tests for Moral Judgment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rorvik, Harald

    1981-01-01

    Piaget's test for moral judgment is more influenced by the personal relationship to others than is Kohlberg's. Kohlberg's test seems to a larger extent to measure the subjects' norms and emotional reactions connected to internalization of norms. Moral behavior is more closely related to Kohlberg's measure. (Author/CM)

  19. 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…

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    participants rated the probability of effect and magnitude of consequences as somewhat greater in the case of a court martial, they iv DRDC Toronto TR 2008...were evident in the refugees dilemma. However, in this case , the difference between the ratings of the magnitude of consequences occurring should...authority, through 2) personal interest/ egoism and exchange, 3) interpersonal harmony, 4) laws and duty to the social order, 5) the morality of social

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Testosterone administration modulates moral judgments depending on second-to-fourth digit ratio.

    PubMed

    Montoya, Estrella R; Terburg, David; Bos, Peter A; Will, Geert-Jan; Buskens, Vincent; Raub, Werner; van Honk, Jack

    2013-08-01

    Moral judgment involves the interplay of emotions and social cognitions. The male sex-hormone testosterone might play a role in moral reasoning as males are more utilitarian than females in their moral decisions, and high salivary testosterone levels also are associated with utilitarian moral decisions. However, there is no direct evidence for a role of testosterone in moral reasoning. Recent testosterone administration studies show effects on cognitive empathy and social cooperation, which depend on right-hand's second-to-fourth (2D:4D) digit ratio, a proxy for prenatal sex-hormone (testosterone-versus-estradiol) priming. Here, in a placebo-controlled within-subjects design using 20 young females we show that 2D:4D predicts 44% of the variance in the effects of testosterone administration on moral judgment. Subjects who show an increase in utilitarian judgments following testosterone administration have significantly higher than average 2D:4D (relatively high prenatal estradiol priming), while subjects showing more deontological judgments following testosterone administration have near-significantly lower 2D:4D (relatively high prenatal testosterone priming). We argue that prenatally-organized differences in aromatase, i.e. conversion from testosterone to estradiol in the brain, might underlie these effects. Our findings suggest that early neurodevelopmental effects of sex steroids play a crucial role in the activational effects of hormones on moral reasoning later in life. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Moral Judgment as a Predictor of Clinical Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheehan, T. Joseph

    Over a 4-year period moral reasoning and performance data were studied on 350 resident pediatricians, internists, and practitioners of family medicine from seven different institutions. Clinical performance was measured by faculty ratings, and integrity (moral reasoning) was measured by Kohlberg's Standard of Moral Judgement Interview and Rest's…

  10. 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.

  11. [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. © 2011 médecine/sciences – Inserm / SRMS.

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

    PubMed

    Jambon, Marc; Smetana, Judith G

    2017-02-13

    This article examined links between 4- and 6-year-olds' (n = 101; Mage  = 5.12 years, SD = 0.67; 53% male) ability to distinguish moral and conventional transgressions along different criteria and teacher ratings of proactive and reactive aggression. Latent difference score modeling revealed that moral transgressions were judged more unacceptable and wrong independent of rules and authority than conventional violations, but significant variability in moral-conventional distinctions was also observed. Proactive aggression was associated with less-and reactive aggression was associated with greater-differentiation in moral and conventional concepts. Proactive aggression was not associated with deficits in moral knowledge when other common assessments of early moral understanding were employed, highlighting the importance of using theoretically informed measures of moral judgments and aggression. © 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cushman, Fiery

    2008-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cooley, Shelby; Elenbaas, Laura; Killen, Melanie

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Toward a Choice-Based Judgment Bias Task for Horses.

    PubMed

    Hintze, Sara; Roth, Emma; Bachmann, Iris; Würbel, Hanno

    2017-01-01

    Judgment bias tasks for nonhuman animals are promising tools to assess emotional valence as a measure of animal welfare. In view of establishing a valid judgment bias task for horses, the present study aimed to evaluate 2 versions (go/no-go and active choice) of an auditory judgment bias task for horses in terms of acquisition learning and discrimination of ambiguous cues. Five mares and 5 stallions were randomly assigned to the 2 designs and trained for 10 trials per day to acquire different operant responses to a low-frequency tone and a high-frequency tone, respectively. Following acquisition learning, horses were tested on 4 days with 3 ambiguous-tone trials interspersed between the 10 high-tone and low-tone trials. All 5 go/no-go horses but only one active-choice horse successfully learned their task, indicating that it is more difficult to train horses on an active choice task than on a go/no-go task. During testing, however, go/no-go horses did not differentiate between the 3 different ambiguous cues, thereby making the validity of the test results questionable in terms of emotional valence.

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Proios, Miltiadis; Doganis, George

    2006-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-26

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. The relationship between alexithymia, empathy and moral judgment in patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Gleichgerrcht, E; Tomashitis, B; Sinay, V

    2015-09-01

    Converging research in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has shown increased rates of alexithymia and disturbances in social cognition, including empathy and theory of mind. Moral judgment is one of the most complex spheres of human cognition, relying on intricate neural circuits related to many other affective, social, cognitive and behavioral processes. Relapsing-remitting MS patients (n = 38) and age-, gender- and education-matched controls (n = 38) completed a measure of alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale), a measure of empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index) and a series of moral dilemmas, for which measures of moral permissibility, emotional reactivity and moral relativity (the perception of how one's moral attitudes compare to the attitudes of the rest of the people) were derived. Relative to controls, patients exhibited decreased levels of other-oriented empathy [empathic concern (P < 0.01) and fantasy (P < 0.01)], increased levels of self-oriented personal distress (P < 0.01), as well as higher rates of alexithymia (P < 0.001). Moral permissibility was significantly reduced in patients with MS (P = 0.038), who also showed higher levels of emotional reactivity (P < 0.01). Additionally, a significantly higher number of patients than controls considered that respondents would deliver similar judgments to the same moral scenarios (P < 0.001). Understanding such complex interactions between individual dispositions and moral cognition has the potential to contribute to the development of better assessment and intervention strategies for MS patients, enhancing quality of life by achieving better social participation. © 2015 EAN.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derryberry, W. Pitt; Thoma, Stephen J.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nichols, Shaun; Folds-Bennett, Trisha

    2003-01-01

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

  20. The influence of intention, outcome and question-wording on children's and adults' moral judgments.

    PubMed

    Nobes, Gavin; Panagiotaki, Georgia; Bartholomew, Kimberley J

    2016-12-01

    The influence of intention and outcome information on moral judgments was investigated by telling children aged 4-8yearsandadults (N=169) stories involving accidental harms (positive intention, negative outcome) or attempted harms (negative intention, positive outcome) from two studies (Helwig, Zelazo, & Wilson, 2001; Zelazo, Helwig, & Lau, 1996). When the original acceptability (wrongness) question was asked, the original findings were closely replicated: children's and adults' acceptability judgments were based almost exclusively on outcome, and children's punishment judgments were also primarily outcome-based. However, when this question was rephrased, 4-5-year-olds' judgments were approximately equally influenced by intention and outcome, and from 5-6years they were based considerably more on intention than outcome. These findings indicate that, for methodological reasons, children's (and adults') ability to make intention-based judgment has often been substantially underestimated. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larson, Sandra; Kurdek, Lawrence A.

    1979-01-01

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

  2. 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. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Muccioli, Michela; Làdavas, Elisabetta

    2007-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aridag, Nermin Ciftci; Yuksel, Asuman

    2010-01-01

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

  8. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nokelainen, Petri; Tirri, Kirsi

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, D. R.; And Others

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, D. R.; And Others

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nokelainen, Petri; Tirri, Kirsi

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Deconfounding Distance Effects in Judgments of Moral Obligation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagel, Jonas; Waldmann, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. Deconfounding Distance Effects in Judgments of Moral Obligation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagel, Jonas; Waldmann, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Influence of Structured Group Experience on Moral Judgments of Preschoolers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moran, James D., III; O'Brien, Gayle

    This study examines the influence of social experiences received in a group-care setting on the development of moral reasoning in young children. Thirty-five children approximately 4 years old, participated in the study. Twenty of the subjects attended day care or nursery school; the remaining 15 did not attend any group-care programs. Each child…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montemayor, Raymond

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of research has focused on so-called 'utilitarian' judgments in moral dilemmas in which participants have to choose whether to sacrifice one person in order to save the lives of a greater number. However, the relation between such 'utilitarian' judgments and genuine utilitarian impartial concern for the greater good remains unclear. Across four studies, we investigated the relationship between 'utilitarian' judgment in such sacrificial dilemmas and a range of traits, attitudes, judgments and behaviors that either reflect or reject an impartial concern for the greater good of all. In Study 1, we found that rates of 'utilitarian' judgment were associated with a broadly immoral outlook concerning clear ethical transgressions in a business context, as well as with sub-clinical psychopathy. In Study 2, we found that 'utilitarian' judgment was associated with greater endorsement of rational egoism, less donation of money to a charity, and less identification with the whole of humanity, a core feature of classical utilitarianism. In Studies 3 and 4, we found no association between 'utilitarian' judgments in sacrificial dilemmas and characteristic utilitarian judgments relating to assistance to distant people in need, self-sacrifice and impartiality, even when the utilitarian justification for these judgments was made explicit and unequivocal. This lack of association remained even when we controlled for the antisocial element in 'utilitarian' judgment. Taken together, these results suggest that there is very little relation between sacrificial judgments in the hypothetical dilemmas that dominate current research, and a genuine utilitarian approach to ethics. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, 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. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Brenick, Alaina; Killen, Melanie

    2014-01-01

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

  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. © 2014 The British Psychological Society.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. 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.

  10. Implicit moral evaluations: A multinomial modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Cameron, C Daryl; Payne, B Keith; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter; Scheffer, Julian A; Inzlicht, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Implicit moral evaluations-i.e., immediate, unintentional assessments of the wrongness of actions or persons-play a central role in supporting moral behavior in everyday life. Yet little research has employed methods that rigorously measure individual differences in implicit moral evaluations. In five experiments, we develop a new sequential priming measure-the Moral Categorization Task-and a multinomial model that decomposes judgment on this task into multiple component processes. These include implicit moral evaluations of moral transgression primes (Unintentional Judgment), accurate moral judgments about target actions (Intentional Judgment), and a directional tendency to judge actions as morally wrong (Response Bias). Speeded response deadlines reduced Intentional Judgment but not Unintentional Judgment (Experiment 1). Unintentional Judgment was stronger toward moral transgression primes than non-moral negative primes (Experiments 2-4). Intentional Judgment was associated with increased error-related negativity, a neurophysiological indicator of behavioral control (Experiment 4). Finally, people who voted for an anti-gay marriage amendment had stronger Unintentional Judgment toward gay marriage primes (Experiment 5). Across Experiments 1-4, implicit moral evaluations converged with moral personality: Unintentional Judgment about wrong primes, but not negative primes, was negatively associated with psychopathic tendencies and positively associated with moral identity and guilt proneness. Theoretical and practical applications of formal modeling for moral psychology are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Post-conventional moral reasoning is associated with increased ventral striatal activity at rest and during task.

    PubMed

    Fang, Zhuo; Jung, Wi Hoon; Korczykowski, Marc; Luo, Lijuan; Prehn, Kristin; Xu, Sihua; Detre, John A; Kable, Joseph W; Robertson, Diana C; Rao, Hengyi

    2017-08-02

    People vary considerably in moral reasoning. According to Kohlberg's theory, individuals who reach the highest level of post-conventional moral reasoning judge moral issues based on deeper principles and shared ideals rather than self-interest or adherence to laws and rules. Recent research has suggested the involvement of the brain's frontostriatal reward system in moral judgments and prosocial behaviors. However, it remains unknown whether moral reasoning level is associated with differences in reward system function. Here, we combined arterial spin labeling perfusion and blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging and measured frontostriatal reward system activity both at rest and during a sequential risky decision making task in a sample of 64 participants at different levels of moral reasoning. Compared to individuals at the pre-conventional and conventional level of moral reasoning, post-conventional individuals showed increased resting cerebral blood flow in the ventral striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Cerebral blood flow in these brain regions correlated with the degree of post-conventional thinking across groups. Post-conventional individuals also showed greater task-induced activation in the ventral striatum during risky decision making. These findings suggest that high-level post-conventional moral reasoning is associated with increased activity in the brain's frontostriatal system, regardless of task-dependent or task-independent states.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Conflict Background Triggered Congruency Sequence Effects in Graphic Judgment Task

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Liang; Wang, Yonghui

    2013-01-01

    Congruency sequence effects refer to the reduction of congruency effects when following an incongruent trial than following a congruent trial. The conflict monitoring account, one of the most influential contributions to this effect, assumes that the sequential modulations are evoked by response conflict. The present study aimed at exploring the congruency sequence effects in the absence of response conflict. We found congruency sequence effects occurred in graphic judgment task, in which the conflict stimuli acted as irrelevant information. The findings reveal that processing task-irrelevant conflict stimulus features could also induce sequential modulations of interference. The results do not support the interpretation of conflict monitoring and favor a feature integration account that the congruency sequence effects are attributed to the repetitions of stimulus and response features. PMID:23372766

  16. Conflict background triggered congruency sequence effects in graphic judgment task.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Liang; Wang, Yonghui

    2013-01-01

    Congruency sequence effects refer to the reduction of congruency effects when following an incongruent trial than following a congruent trial. The conflict monitoring account, one of the most influential contributions to this effect, assumes that the sequential modulations are evoked by response conflict. The present study aimed at exploring the congruency sequence effects in the absence of response conflict. We found congruency sequence effects occurred in graphic judgment task, in which the conflict stimuli acted as irrelevant information. The findings reveal that processing task-irrelevant conflict stimulus features could also induce sequential modulations of interference. The results do not support the interpretation of conflict monitoring and favor a feature integration account that the congruency sequence effects are attributed to the repetitions of stimulus and response features.

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

    PubMed

    Parkinson, Mary; Byrne, Ruth M J

    2017-01-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Laakasuo, Michael; Sundvall, Jukka; Drosinou, Marianna

    2017-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Effect of the Survival Judgment Task on Memory Performance in Subclinically Depressed People

    PubMed Central

    Nouchi, Rui; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2012-01-01

    Many reports have described that a survival judgment task that requires participants to judge words according to their relevance to a survival situation can engender better recall than that obtained in other judgment tasks such as semantic or self-judgment tasks. We investigated whether memory enhancement related to the survival judgment task is elicited or not in subclinically depressed participants. Based on the BDI score, participants were classified as either depressed or non-depressed participants. Then 20 depressed participants and 24 non-depressed participants performed a survival judgment task and an autobiographical recall task. Results showed memory enhancement related to the survival judgment task in both depressed and non-depressed participants, but showed lower memory enhancement related to the survival judgment task in depressed participants than in non-depressed participants. These results suggest that the survival judgment task benefit is a robust phenomenon. Moreover, that benefit was reduced by depressed emotion. The combination hypothesis better explains the mechanism of memory enhancement related to the survival judgment task than the functional, emotional, and arousal or congruency hypothesis does. PMID:22529830

  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. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The neurocognitive development of moral and conventional judgments was examined. Event-related potentials were recorded while 24 adolescents (13 years) and 30 young adults (20 years) read scenarios with 1 of 3 endings: moral violations, conventional violations, or neutral acts. Participants judged whether the act was acceptable or unacceptable when a rule was assumed or removed. Across age, reaction times were faster for moral than conventional violations when a rule was assumed. Adolescents had larger N2 amplitudes than adults for moral and neutral, but not conventional, acts. N2 amplitudes were larger when a rule was removed than assumed for moral, but not conventional, violations. These findings suggest that the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying moral and conventional judgments continue to develop beyond early adolescence. © 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. [The Recognition of Emotions, Empathy and Moral Judgment in the National Mental Health Survey in Colombia, 2015].

    PubMed

    Matallana, Diana; Gómez-Restrepo, Carlos; Ramirez, Paulina; Martínez, Nathalie Tamayo; Rondon, Martin

    2016-12-01

    Social cognition refers to the mental processes involved in social interactions. Different aspects, such as the perception of others, self-knowledge, motivation and the cultural context, can modulate empathy responses and moral judgments regarding the actions of others. The National Mental Health Survey (ENSM for its acronym in Spanish) explored aspects of social cognition such as the perception of emotions, empathy and moral judgment in situations in which another person experiences pain. To describe the overall findings of the ENSM in relation to the emotional perception and empathic responses to situations where pain is inflicted on others in an intentional or accidental manner. A total of 3863 people aged 18-96 years old completed the social cognition module. They were asked to identify the emotions expressed in the images of several faces. A modified version of the awareness of social inference test (TASIT) was used. Additionally, the cognitive, affective, and moral elements of empathy were assessed with a modified version of the empathy for pain task (EPT), which uses a sequence of images in which someone is being hurt. Happiness was identified by 91.5% of those interviewed; neutral or emotionless faces were identified by 65%; 55% of respondents correctly identified surprise. Only 19.7%, 21.8% and 27.4% could identify negative emotions like fear, disgust and sadness, respectively. When the data were analysed by age, poverty status, and different regions of the country, the results tend to vary. As regards empathy, 73.7% correctly identified intentional actions, and accidental actions were identified by 56.6%. According to the moral judgment of some respondents, even in situations where the pain was caused by accident, there must be some kind of punishment (20.7% deserved a low punishment and 26.8% a moderate one). Noteworthy findings include the high recognition of happiness by the respondents, in contrast to the apparent difficulty in recognising sadness

  12. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kaspar, Kai; Krapp, Vanessa; König, Peter

    2015-05-21

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  20. Moral Evaluations of Organ Transplantation Influence Judgments of Death and Causation.

    PubMed

    Nair-Collins, Michael; Gerend, Mary A

    Two experiments investigated whether moral evaluations of organ transplantation influence judgments of death and causation. Participants' beliefs about whether an unconscious organ donor was dead and whether organ removal caused death in a hypothetical vignette varied depending on the moral valence of the vignette. Those who were randomly assigned to the good condition (vs. bad) were more likely to believe that the donor was dead prior to organ removal and that organ removal did not cause death. Furthermore, attitudes toward euthanasia and organ donation independently predicted judgments of death and causation, regardless of experimental condition. The results are discussed in light of the framework of motivated reasoning, in which motivation influences the selection of cognitive processes and representations applied to a given domain, as well as Knobe's person-as-moralist model, in which many basic concepts are appropriately imbued with moral features. On either explanatory framework, these data cast doubt on the psychological legitimacy of the mainstream justification for vital organ procurement from heart-beating donors, which holds that neurological criteria for death are scientifically justified, independently of concerns about organ transplantation. These data suggest that, rather than concluding that organ removal is permissible because the donor is dead, people may believe that the donor is dead because they believe organ removal to be permissible.

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

    PubMed

    Posada, Roberto; Wainryb, Cecilia

    2008-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Alkhatib, Omar J

    2016-12-02

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Yumi; Ohashi, Yukari

    2016-01-01

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

  6. ERP correlates of social conformity in a line judgment task

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Previous research showed that individuals have a natural tendency to conform to others. This study investigated the temporal characteristics of neural processing involved in social conformity by recording participants’ brain potentials in performing a line judgment task. After making his initial choice, a participant was presented with the choices of four same-sex group members, which could be congruent or highly or moderately incongruent with the participant’s own choice. The participant was then immediately given a second opportunity to respond to the same stimulus. Results Participants were more likely to conform to the group members by changing their initial choices when these choices were in conflict with the group’s choices, and this behavioral adjustment occurred more often as the level of incongruence increased. Electrophysiologically, group choices that were incongruent with the participant’s choice elicited more negative-going medial frontal negativity (MFN), a component associated with processing expectancy violation, than those that were congruent with the participant’s choice, and the size of this effect increased as the level of incongruence increased. Moreover, at both levels of incongruence, the MFN responses were more negative-going for incongruent trials in which participants subsequently performed behavioral adjustment than for trials in which they stuck to their initial choices. Furthermore, over individual participants, participants who were more likely to conform to others (i.e., changing their initial choices) exhibited stronger MFN effect than individuals who were more independent. Conclusions These findings suggest that incongruence with group choices or opinions can elicit brain responses that are similar to those elicited by violation of non-social expectancy in outcome evaluation and performance monitoring, and these brain signals are utilized in the following behavioral adjustment. The present research complements

  7. ERP correlates of social conformity in a line judgment task.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jing; Wu, Yin; Tong, Guangyu; Guan, Xiaoming; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2012-05-03

    Previous research showed that individuals have a natural tendency to conform to others. This study investigated the temporal characteristics of neural processing involved in social conformity by recording participants' brain potentials in performing a line judgment task. After making his initial choice, a participant was presented with the choices of four same-sex group members, which could be congruent or highly or moderately incongruent with the participant's own choice. The participant was then immediately given a second opportunity to respond to the same stimulus. Participants were more likely to conform to the group members by changing their initial choices when these choices were in conflict with the group's choices, and this behavioral adjustment occurred more often as the level of incongruence increased. Electrophysiologically, group choices that were incongruent with the participant's choice elicited more negative-going medial frontal negativity (MFN), a component associated with processing expectancy violation, than those that were congruent with the participant's choice, and the size of this effect increased as the level of incongruence increased. Moreover, at both levels of incongruence, the MFN responses were more negative-going for incongruent trials in which participants subsequently performed behavioral adjustment than for trials in which they stuck to their initial choices. Furthermore, over individual participants, participants who were more likely to conform to others (i.e., changing their initial choices) exhibited stronger MFN effect than individuals who were more independent. These findings suggest that incongruence with group choices or opinions can elicit brain responses that are similar to those elicited by violation of non-social expectancy in outcome evaluation and performance monitoring, and these brain signals are utilized in the following behavioral adjustment. The present research complements recent brain imaging studies by showing

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sim, Tick Ngee; Tan, Melinda Meizhen

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sim, Tick Ngee; Tan, Melinda Meizhen

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Barbey, Aron K; Grafman, Jordan

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Plaisier, Xanthe S; Konijn, Elly A

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  16. ‘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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Narvaez, Darcia; Gleason, Tracy

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Qianguo; Li, Aijuan; Zhu, Yi

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Xiao, Qianguo; Li, Aijuan; Zhu, Yi

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Duration perception of visual and auditory oddball stimuli: does judgment task modulate the temporal oddball effect?

    PubMed

    Birngruber, Teresa; Schröter, Hannes; Ulrich, Rolf

    2014-04-01

    The duration of rare stimuli (oddballs) presented within a stream of homogenous standards tends to be overestimated. This temporal oddball effect (OE) has been attributed to perceptual processes. The OE is usually assessed with a comparative judgment task. It has been argued, however, that this task is prone to decision biases. The present experiments employed comparative and equality judgments, since it has been suggested that equality judgments are less vulnerable to such biases. Experiments 1a and 1b used visual stimuli, and Experiment 2 auditory stimuli. The results provide no strong evidence for decision biases influencing the OE. In addition, computational modeling clearly suggests that the equality judgment is not particularly suited to distinguish between perceptual and decisional effects. Taken together, the pattern of the present results is most consistent with a perceptual origin of the OE.

  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).

  2. Moral Development at Home and at School: Division of Moral Tasks between Parents and Teachers in Secondary School.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veugelers, Wiel; de Kat, Ewoud

    Values education has recently been high on the political agenda in many countries, including the Netherlands. Using a theoretical framework based on traditions in several academic areas, this study examined attitudes of Dutch parents, teachers, and secondary school students regarding moral education goals and the division of moral tasks between…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hommers, Wilfried; Lee, Wha-Yong

    2010-01-01

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

  4. The Relationship of Moral and Cognitive Development in Two Cultures and the Implications for Science Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kishta, Mohammed A.; Mays, Eileen M.

    Sixty subjects were identified from two grade levels (second and fifth), in elementary schools in Iowa and in Jordan. Cognitive and moral judgment tasks were administered to each subject. The cognitive tasks measured conservation, class inclusion, multiplicative classification, and spatial perception. The moral judgment tasks presented situations…

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

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Rodrigo; Viciana, Hugo; Gomila, Antoni

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Preschoolers' social and moral judgments of third-party helpers and hinderers align with infants' social evaluations.

    PubMed

    Van de Vondervoort, Julia W; Hamlin, J Kiley

    2017-12-01

    Two experiments explored preschoolers' social preferences and moral judgments of prosocial and antisocial others. In Experiment 1, 3- to 5-year-olds (N=74) observed helping and hindering scenarios previously used to explore sociomoral evaluation in preverbal infants. Whereas 3-year-olds in Experiment 1 did not reliably distinguish between the helper and hinderer when reporting social preferences or moral judgments, both 4- and 5-year-olds preferred the helper, judged the helper to be "nicer" than the hinderer, selectively allocated punishment to the hinderer, and were able to justify their punishment allocations. A simplified procedure and the addition of comprehension questions in Experiment 2 (N=24) improved 3-year-olds' performance, suggestive that their performance in Experiment 1 was likely due to processing or memory difficulties rather than an inability to engage in explicit social and moral evaluation. These studies reveal that young children readily interpret helping and hindering scenarios as socially and morally relevant. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Clinical judgment research on economic topics: Role of congruence of tasks in clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Huttin, Christine C

    2017-01-01

    This paper discusses what can ensure the performance of judgment studies with an information design that integrates economics of medical systems, in the context of digitalization of healthcare. It is part of a series of 5 methodological papers on statistical procedures and problems to implement judgment research designs and decision models, especially to address cost of care, and ways to measure conversation on cost of care between physicians and patients, with unstructured data such as economic narratives to complement billing and financial information (e.g. cost cognitive cues in conjoint or reversed conjoint designs). The paper discusses how congruence of tasks can increase the reliability of data. It uses some results of two Meta reviews of judgment studies in different fields of applications: psychology, business, medical sciences and education. It compares tests for congruence in judgment studies and efficiency tests in econometric studies.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Recent behavioral evidence indicates a key role for intent in moral judgments of harmful acts (e.g. assault) but not impure acts (e.g. incest). We tested whether the neural responses in regions for mental state reasoning, including the right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ), are greater when people evaluate harmful vs impure violations. In addition, using multivoxel pattern analysis, we investigated whether the voxel-wise pattern in these regions distinguishes intentional from accidental actions, for either kind of violation. The RTPJ was preferentially recruited in response to harmful vs impure acts. Moreover, although its response was equally high for intentional and accidental acts, the voxel-wise pattern in the RTPJ distinguished intentional from accidental acts in the harm domain but not the purity domain. Finally, we found that the degree to which the RTPJ discriminated between intentional and accidental acts predicted the impact of intent information on moral judgments but again only in the harm domain. These findings reveal intent to be a uniquely critical factor for moral evaluations of harmful vs impure acts and shed light on the neural computations for mental state reasoning. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Limiting the Domain Account of Early Moral Judgment by Challenging Its Critique of Piaget.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fowler, R. Clark

    1998-01-01

    Domain theorists' findings in Piaget's work in children's moral development do not contradict Piaget because they are predicted by objective responsibility; research has not established that children distinguish between moral and conventional events. Claims that Piaget underestimated early morality are based on research that neglects children's…

  16. 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.

  17. "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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. "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.

  1. 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. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. 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

  3. Guilt as a Motivator for Moral Judgment: An Autobiographical Memory Study

    PubMed Central

    Knez, Igor; Nordhall, Ola

    2017-01-01

    The aim was to investigate the phenomenology of self-defining moral memory and its relations to self-conscious feelings of guilt and willingness to do wrong (moral intention) in social and economic moral situations. We found that people use guilt as a moral motivator for their moral intention. The reparative function of guilt varied, however, with type of situation; that is, participants felt guiltier and were less willing to do wrong in economic compared to social moral situations. The self-defining moral memory was shown to be relatively more easy to access (accessibility), logically structured (coherence), vivid, seen from the first-person perspective (visual perspective), real (sensory detail); but was relatively less positive (valence), emotionally intense, chronologically clear (time perspective), in agreement with the present self (distancing), and shared. Finally, it was indicated that the more guilt people felt the more hidden/denied (less accessible), but more real (more sensory details), the self-defining moral memory. PMID:28539906

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piburn, Michael D.

    1977-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Collaer, Marcia L; Hill, Erica M

    2006-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Involvement of the Left Supramarginal Gyrus in Manipulation Judgment Tasks: Contributions to Theories of Tool Use.

    PubMed

    Lesourd, Mathieu; Osiurak, François; Navarro, Jordan; Reynaud, Emanuelle

    2017-09-01

    Two theories of tool use, namely the gesture engram and the technical reasoning theories, make distinct predictions about the involvement of the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL) in manipulation judgement tasks. The objective here is to test these alternative predictions based on previous studies on manipulation judgment tasks using transcranial magnetic stimulations (TMS) targeting the left supramarginal gyrus (SMG). We review recent TMS studies on manipulation judgement tasks and confront these data with predictions made by both tool use theories. The left SMG is a highly intertwined region, organized following several functionally distinct areas and TMS may have disrupted a cortical network involved in the ability to use tools rather than only one functional area supporting manipulation knowledge. Moreover, manipulation judgement tasks may be impaired following virtual lesions outside the IPL. These data are more in line with the technical reasoning hypothesis, which assumes that the left IPL does not store manipulation knowledge per se. (JINS, 2017, 23, 685-691).

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Persistent bias in expert judgments about free will and moral responsibility: a test of the expertise defense.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Eric; Cokely, Edward T; Feltz, Adam

    2011-12-01

    Many philosophers appeal to intuitions to support some philosophical views. However, there is reason to be concerned about this practice as scientific evidence has documented systematic bias in philosophically relevant intuitions as a function of seemingly irrelevant features (e.g., personality). One popular defense used to insulate philosophers from these concerns holds that philosophical expertise eliminates the influence of these extraneous factors. Here, we test this assumption. We present data suggesting that verifiable philosophical expertise in the free will debate-as measured by a reliable and validated test of expert knowledge-does not eliminate the influence of one important extraneous feature (i.e., the heritable personality trait extraversion) on judgments concerning freedom and moral responsibility. These results suggest that, in at least some important cases, the expertise defense fails. Implications for the practice of philosophy, experimental philosophy, and applied ethics are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. The effect of speaking task on perceptual judgment of the severity of dysphonic voice.

    PubMed

    Zraick, Richard I; Wendel, Kristen; Smith-Olinde, Laura

    2005-12-01

    This study investigated the effect of speaking task on auditory-perceptual judgment of the severity of dysphonia. Three speech-language pathologists experienced in evaluating of disordered voices rated 29 recorded speakers, each of whom produced speech elicited via the same three tasks: sustained vowel /a/, oral reading of a standard passage, and connected speech describing a standard picture. Stimuli were played in sound field, and raters used direct magnitude estimation with a visual analog scale. A repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed a statistically significant (P < .05) effect of speaking task, with post hoc analyses that indicate a statistically significant difference between ratings for the sustained vowel versus connected speech elicited via picture description (P < .05). No statistically significant difference in ratings was found between oral reading and picture description or between oral reading and the sustained vowel. The ANOVA also revealed a statistically significant difference among raters (P < 0.001), but no statistically significant task by rater interaction. Possible reasons for an effect of speaking task are discussed. Also, the implications of one task for determination of dysphonic severity are discussed, as is the possibility of a task effect when determining other clinically useful vocal parameters.

  18. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Vannuscorps, Gilles; Pillon, Agnesa; Andres, Michael

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vannuscorps, Gilles; Pillon, Agnesa; Andres, Michael

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Yuki; Yamani, Yusuke

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Horry, Ruth; Brewer, Neil

    2016-12-01

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

  3. The Effects of Recency and Story Content on Children's Moral Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moran, James D., III; McCullers, John C.

    To investigate the effects of recency and specific story content on the development of moral reasoning, 16 stories were read to children at ages 4, 7, and 11 years and to college freshmen (a total of 24 participants per age level). Stories contained either positive or negative intention and either positive or negative consequences in one of four…

  4. The Effects of Recency and Story Content on Children's Moral Judgments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moran, James D. III; McCullers, John C.

    1984-01-01

    Investigates the effects of recency and specific story content on the development of moral reasoning in four-, seven-, and 11- year-old children and college freshmen. Analyses confirmed that in general younger children judged on consequence, except on stories containing intentional injury to a person, whereas older children utilized intention.…

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. 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,…

  8. Life Experience and Mode of Coping: Relation to Moral Judgment in Adulthood.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lonky, Edward; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Explores Gibbs's (1977, 1979) hypothesis that mature levels of moral reasoning are related to affirmative coping with human needs while conventional reasoning is related to abortive coping. In one study of 28 women and another of 70 adults, an interview questionnaire was used to assess ability to deal with Fromm's existential needs. (Author/CB)

  9. Measurement of Moral Judgment: Using Stimulus Pairs to Estimate Inter-stage Distances.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Arthur P.

    Sullivan's Ethical Reasoning Scale contains three dilemmas with response pairs representing Kohlberg's stages of moral development. In Kohlberg's first three stages, goodness is equated with lack of punishment, usefulness, and approval, respectively. Good is seen as conformity to rule and ruler in stage four, and stage five comprises…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Contextual and perceptual brain processes underlying moral cognition: a quantitative meta-analysis of moral reasoning and moral emotions.

    PubMed

    Sevinc, Gunes; Spreng, R Nathan

    2014-01-01

    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. 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 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 moral input is affected by task demands. The results provide novel

  18. 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

  19. “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 Central

    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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-01

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

  2. 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.…

  3. On What Ground Do We Mentalize? Characteristics of Current Tasks and Sources of Information that Contribute to Mentalizing Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Achim, Amelie M.; Guitton, Matthieu; Jackson, Philip L.; Boutin, Andree; Monetta, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Mentalizing is an aspect of social cognition that is garnering increased interest. Although a wide variety of experimental tasks are available to measure mentalizing abilities in adults, the most widely used tasks typically focus on specific aspects of mentalizing, and mentalizing judgments are performed based on a limited set of information about…

  4. On what ground do we mentalize? Characteristics of current tasks and sources of information that contribute to mentalizing judgments.

    PubMed

    Achim, Amélie M; Guitton, Matthieu; Jackson, Philip L; Boutin, Andrée; Monetta, Laura

    2013-03-01

    Mentalizing is an aspect of social cognition that is garnering increased interest. Although a wide variety of experimental tasks are available to measure mentalizing abilities in adults, the most widely used tasks typically focus on specific aspects of mentalizing, and mentalizing judgments are performed based on a limited set of information about the agent and the context. Here, we present the Eight Sources of Information Framework (8-SIF), a model that describes the sources of information that can contribute to mentalizing judgments both in real life and in the context of mentalizing tasks. This model is then used to systematically review and analyze the most classical mentalizing tasks, with a particular focus on the sources of information provided as a basis for mentalizing judgments in these tasks. Next, mentalizing tasks with improved ecological validity are also examined, highlighting the greater richness and diversity of the sources of information provided in such tasks relative to the most classical tasks. We believe that the 8-SIF is an important first step to increase awareness of the sources of information that can contribute to mentalizing judgments and to favor investigations of the potential impact of these sources of information on mentalizing performance in different populations. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  5. 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.…

  6. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Young Children's Moral Judgments, Justifications, and Emotion Attributions in Peer Relationship Contexts.

    PubMed

    Smetana, Judith G; Ball, Courtney L

    2017-06-06

    Children (n = 160, 4- to 9-year-olds; Mage  = 6.23 years, SD = 1.46) judged, justified, attributed emotions, and rated intent for hypothetical physical harm, psychological harm, and resource distribution transgressions against close friends, acquaintances, disliked peers, or bullies. Transgressions against bullies were judged more acceptable than against friends and disliked peers and less deserving of punishment than against acquaintances and disliked peers. Transgressions against friends were judged least intended and resulting in more negative emotions for transgressors; actors transgressing against disliked peers, as compared to bullies or acquaintances, were happy victimizers. Across relationships, children viewed moral transgressions as wrong independent of rules and authority, based primarily on welfare and fairness justifications. Peer context colors but does not fundamentally change moral evaluations. © 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  9. The role of previous contraception education and moral judgment in contraceptive use.

    PubMed

    Bader, Valerie; Kelly, Patricia J; Cheng, An-Lin; Witt, Jackie

    2014-01-01

    The knowledge and attitudes that lead to nonuse of contraception are not well understood. The goal of this study was to determine whether an association exists between contraceptive use and specific knowledge and attitudinal factors. We conducted a secondary analysis of data from a nationally representative telephone survey of 897 unmarried women aged 18 to 29 years to examine the relationship between contraceptive use and comprehensive sex education, attitude toward pregnancy prevention, perceived infertility, distrust toward the health care system or contraception, and moral attitude toward contraception. Both ever having made a visit to a physician or clinic for women's health care and ever having used any method of contraception to prevent pregnancy were significantly impacted by more comprehensive sex education and less likelihood to view contraception as morally wrong. Consistent with other research, we found no association between the desire to avoid pregnancy and contraceptive use. We found an association between health system distrust and contraceptive use, but health system distrust did not predict contraceptive use. Our findings show that contraceptive use among a sample of young women is influenced by previous contraceptive education and moral attitudes toward contraception. Clinicians should be cognizant of these realities, which may need to be addressed in both clinical and nonclinical venues. © 2014 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Fuller, Steve

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

  14. 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. © 2008 Association for Psychological Science.

  15. Judgments about moral responsibility and determinism in patients with behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia: still compatibilists.

    PubMed

    Cova, Florian; Bertoux, Maxime; Bourgeois-Gironde, Sacha; Dubois, Bruno

    2012-06-01

    Do laypeople think that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism? Recently, philosophers and psychologists trying to answer this question have found contradictory results: while some experiments reveal people to have compatibilist intuitions, others suggest that people could in fact be incompatibilist. To account for this contradictory answers, Nichols and Knobe (2007) have advanced a 'performance error model' according to which people are genuine incompatibilist that are sometimes biased to give compatibilist answers by emotional reactions. To test for this hypothesis, we investigated intuitions about determinism and moral responsibility in patients suffering from behavioural frontotemporal dementia. Patients suffering from bvFTD have impoverished emotional reaction. Thus, the 'performance error model' should predict that bvFTD patients will give less compatibilist answers. However, we found that bvFTD patients give answers quite similar to subjects in control group and were mostly compatibilist. Thus, we conclude that the 'performance error model' should be abandoned in favour of other available model that best fit our data. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Djalal, Farah Mutiasari; 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.

  17. 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

  18. College students' awareness of irrational judgments on gambling tasks: a dual-process account.

    PubMed

    Amsel, Eric; Close, Jason; Sadler, Eric; Klaczynski, Paul A

    2009-05-01

    In 2 studies, the authors examined college students' awareness of irrational judgments on gambling tasks. Participants could express a preference between 2 gambles with equivalent ratios (1:10 vs. 10:100) for Study 1 or no preference for Study 2. Participants also rated their certainty that each response option (i.e., 1:10, 10:100, no preference) was rational (analytically based processing) or irrational (experientially based processing of the ratio information). Only a minority of participants in each study was certain that the only analytically based, rational response was no preference. Those participants who were unaware of the analytically based rational response engaged in more formal and informal gambling activities in comparison with others. The authors interpreted the results as evidence of the importance of regulating dual analytical and experiential processes on gambling-related decision making and behavior.

  19. 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.

  20. A Comparison of Four Measures of Moral Reasoning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilmoth, Gregory H.; McFarland, Sam G.

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

  1. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veugelers, Wiel; de Kat, Ewoud

    2003-01-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  8. Moral dilemmas film task: A study of spontaneous narratives by individuals with autism spectrum conditions.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Jennifer L; Lombardo, Michael V; Wheelwright, Sally; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2009-06-01

    People with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have difficulties with mentalizing, empathy, and narrative comprehension. A new test of social and narrative cognition, the Moral Dilemmas Film Task, was developed to probe individuals' spontaneous understanding of naturalistic film scenes. Twenty-eight individuals with ASC and 28 neurotypical controls, matched for age, sex, and IQ, watched four short emotionally charged film clips each depicting a moral dilemma, and were asked to write about what they had seen. Individuals with ASC produced significantly shorter film-based narratives and showed a smaller bias for mental states over objects in their narratives than controls. A significant correlation was found between verbal IQ and the level of mentalizing in film narratives for the ASC group, but not the control group, while the reverse pattern was found with a measure of self-reported cognitive and affective empathy. These results suggest that to the extent that both groups succeed in viewing moral dilemmas in terms of mental content, they do so in different ways, with individuals with ASC using verbal scaffolding to increase their ability to draw meaning from social scenes. The well-established empathy deficit in ASC extends to spontaneous interpretation of moral dilemmas. This new film task has the potential to assay different aspects of how the social world is represented differently in ASC, including during moral comprehension.

  9. Potential performance theory (PPT): a general theory of task performance applied to morality.

    PubMed

    Trafimow, David; Rice, Stephen

    2008-04-01

    People can use a variety of different strategies to perform tasks and these strategies all have two characteristics in common. First, they can be evaluated in comparison with either an absolute or a relative standard. Second, they can be used at varying levels of consistency. In the present article, the authors develop a general theory of task performance called potential performance theory (PPT) that distinguishes between observed scores and true scores that are corrected for inconsistency (i.e., potential scores). In addition, they argue that any kind of improvement to task performance, whatever it may be, works by influencing either task strategies, which comprise all nonrandom components that are relevant to the task, or the consistency with which strategies are used. In the current study, PPT is used to demonstrate how task strategies and the consistencies with which they are used impact actual performance in the domain of morality. These conclusions are extended to other domains of task performance.

  10. 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

  11. Are moral philosophers moral experts?

    PubMed

    Gesang, Bernward

    2010-05-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. The effect of clinical experience, judgment task difficulty and time pressure on nurses' confidence calibration in a high fidelity clinical simulation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huiqin; Thompson, Carl; Bland, Martin

    2012-10-03

    Misplaced or poorly calibrated confidence in healthcare professionals' judgments compromises the quality of health care. Using higher fidelity clinical simulations to elicit clinicians' confidence 'calibration' (i.e. overconfidence or underconfidence) in more realistic settings is a promising but underutilized tactic. In this study we examine nurses' calibration of confidence with judgment accuracy for critical event risk assessment judgments in a high fidelity simulated clinical environment. The study also explores the effects of clinical experience, task difficulty and time pressure on the relationship between confidence and accuracy. 63 student and 34 experienced nurses made dichotomous risk assessments on 25 scenarios simulated in a high fidelity clinical environment. Each nurse also assigned a score (0-100) reflecting the level of confidence in their judgments. Scenarios were derived from real patient cases and classified as easy or difficult judgment tasks. Nurses made half of their judgments under time pressure. Confidence calibration statistics were calculated and calibration curves generated. Nurse students were underconfident (mean over/underconfidence score -1.05) and experienced nurses overconfident (mean over/underconfidence score 6.56), P = 0.01. No significant differences in calibration and resolution were found between the two groups (P = 0.80 and P = 0.51, respectively). There was a significant interaction between time pressure and task difficulty on confidence (P = 0.008); time pressure increased confidence in easy cases but reduced confidence in difficult cases. Time pressure had no effect on confidence or accuracy. Judgment task difficulty impacted significantly on nurses' judgmental accuracy and confidence. A 'hard-easy' effect was observed: nurses were overconfident in difficult judgments and underconfident in easy judgments. Nurses were poorly calibrated when making risk assessment judgments in a high fidelity simulated setting. Nurses with

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-09-01

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

  16. Mapping nociceptive stimuli in a peripersonal frame of reference: evidence from a temporal order judgment task.

    PubMed

    De Paepe, Annick L; Crombez, Geert; Spence, Charles; Legrain, Valéry

    2014-04-01

    The ability to localize nociceptive stimuli on the body surface is essential for an organism to respond appropriately to potential physical threats. This ability not only requires a representation of the space of the observer׳s body, but also of the external space with respect to their body. Therefore, localizing nociceptive stimuli requires coordinating multiple senses into an integrated frame of reference. The peripersonal frame of reference allows for the coding of the position of somatosensory stimuli on the body surface and the position of stimuli occurring close to the body (e.g., visual stimuli). Intensively studied for touch, this topic has been largely ignored when it comes to nociception. Here, we investigated, using a temporal order judgment task, whether the spatial perception of nociceptive stimuli is coordinated with that of proximal visual stimuli into an integrated representation of peripersonal space. Participants judged which of two nociceptive stimuli, one presented to either hand, had been presented first. Each pair of nociceptive stimuli was preceded by lateralized visual cues presented either unilaterally or bilaterally, and either close to, or far from, the participant׳s body. The perception of nociceptive stimuli was biased in favor of the stimulus delivered on the hand adjacent to the unilateral visual cue, especially when the cue was presented near the participant׳s hand. These results therefore suggest that a peripersonal frame of reference is used to map the position of nociceptive stimuli in multisensory space. We propose that peripersonal space constitutes a kind of margin of safety around the body to alert an organism to possible threats. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Blair, R J R

    2017-04-07

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

  20. Visuospatial performance on an internet line judgment task and potential hormonal markers: sex, sexual orientation, and 2D:4D.

    PubMed

    Collaer, Marcia L; Reimers, Stian; Manning, John T

    2007-04-01

    We investigated whether performance on a visuospatial line judgment task, the Judgment of Line Angle and Position-15 test (JLAP-15), showed evidence of sensitivity to early sex steroid exposure by examining how it related to sex, as well as to sexual orientation and 2D:4D digit ratios. Participants were drawn from a large Internet study with over 250,000 participants. In the main sample (ages 12-58 years), males outperformed females on the JLAP-15, showing a moderate effect size for sex. In agreement with a prenatal sex hormone hypothesis, line judgment accuracy in adults related to 2D:4D and sexual orientation, both of which are postulated to be influenced by early steroids. In both sexes, better visuospatial performance was associated with lower (more male-typical) digit ratios. For men, heterosexual participants outperformed homosexual/bisexual participants on the JLAP-15 and, for women, homosexual/bisexual participants outperformed heterosexual participants. In children aged 8-10 years, presumed to be a largely prepubertal group, boys also outperformed girls. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that visuospatial ability is influenced by early sex steroids, although they do not rule out alternative explanations or additional influences. More broadly, such results support a prenatal sex hormone hypothesis that degree of androgen exposure may influence the neural circuitry underlying cognition (visuospatial ability) and sexual orientation as well as aspects of somatic (digit ratio) development.

  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. 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…

  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. Obsessive-compulsive tendencies are related to indecisiveness and reliance on feedback in a neutral color judgment task.

    PubMed

    Sarig, Shelly; Dar, Reuven; Liberman, Nira

    2012-03-01

    The present study was designed to test whether OC tendencies are associated with indecisiveness and increased need for objective feedback in vague decision situations. This hypothesis was tested using a neutral color judgment task that places minimal demands on working memory. Sixty-one participants completed several measures of OC symptoms and tendencies. Indecisiveness was tested on a novel computerized task in which participants can move along a continuum marked by two colors at the extreme ends and are instructed to choose the color they judge to be the exact mid-point on the continuum. OC scores were positively correlated with indecisiveness on the task, as assessed by the amount of time it took participants to complete the task and the extent of their search through the color continuum. This association was most pronounced when feedback for performance was not routinely provided. Requests for feedback were also positively correlated with OC scores. OC scores were not associated with actual performance on the task (accuracy levels) or with confidence ratings. The study relies on non-clinical participants and the extent to which these results would extend to OCD patients in unknown. Some effects may be confounded by the fixed order in which the task phases were administered. The findings support the hypothesis that OC tendencies are associated with general indecisiveness and reliance on external feedback. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The Modification of Age-Specific Expectations of Piaget's Theory of Development of Intentionality in Moral Judgments of Four- to Seven-Year Old Children in Relation to Use of Puppets in a Social (Imitative) Learning Paradigm.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reeves, John M.; Michael, William B.

    The purpose of this investigation was to ascertain whether the age specific expectations of Piaget's theory (1965) regarding the development of moral judgment in children from four to seven years of age were modifiable through use of a certain adaptation of Bandura and McDonald's imitative learning paradigm which had utilized adult models. In this…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. 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

  10. Social Understanding in Israeli-Jewish, Israeli-Palestinian, Palestinian, and Jordanian 5-year-old Children: Moral Judgments and Stereotypes

    PubMed Central

    Brenick, Alaina; Killen, Melanie; Lee-Kim, Jennie; Fox, Nathan; Leavitt, Lewis; Raviv, Amiram; Masalha, Shafiq; Murra, Farid; Smadi, Yahia

    2015-01-01

    An empirical investigation was conducted of young Palestinian, Jordanian, Israeli-Palestinian, and Israeli-Jewish children’s (N = 433; M = 5.7 years of age) cultural stereotypes and their evaluations of peer intergroup exclusion based upon a number of different factors, including being from a different country and speaking a different language. Children in this study live in a geographical region that has a history of cultural and religious tension, violence, and extreme intergroup conflict. Our findings revealed that the negative consequences of living with intergroup tension are related to the use of stereotypes. At the same time, the results for moral judgments and evaluations about excluding peers provided positive results about the young children’s inclusive views regarding peer interactions. PMID:25741172

  11. 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.

  12. The effect of clinical experience, judgment task difficulty and time pressure on nurses’ confidence calibration in a high fidelity clinical simulation

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Misplaced or poorly calibrated confidence in healthcare professionals’ judgments compromises the quality of health care. Using higher fidelity clinical simulations to elicit clinicians’ confidence 'calibration' (i.e. overconfidence or underconfidence) in more realistic settings is a promising but underutilized tactic. In this study we examine nurses’ calibration of confidence with judgment accuracy for critical event risk assessment judgments in a high fidelity simulated clinical environment. The study also explores the effects of clinical experience, task difficulty and time pressure on the relationship between confidence and accuracy. Methods 63 student and 34 experienced nurses made dichotomous risk assessments on 25 scenarios simulated in a high fidelity clinical environment. Each nurse also assigned a score (0–100) reflecting the level of confidence in their judgments. Scenarios were derived from real patient cases and classified as easy or difficult judgment tasks. Nurses made half of their judgments under time pressure. Confidence calibration statistics were calculated and calibration curves generated. Results Nurse students were underconfident (mean over/underconfidence score −1.05) and experienced nurses overconfident (mean over/underconfidence score 6.56), P = 0.01. No significant differences in calibration and resolution were found between the two groups (P = 0.80 and P = 0.51, respectively). There was a significant interaction between time pressure and task difficulty on confidence (P = 0.008); time pressure increased confidence in easy cases but reduced confidence in difficult cases. Time pressure had no effect on confidence or accuracy. Judgment task difficulty impacted significantly on nurses’ judgmental accuracy and confidence. A 'hard-easy' effect was observed: nurses were overconfident in difficult judgments and underconfident in easy judgments. Conclusion Nurses were poorly calibrated when making risk

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Vatakis, Argiro; Spence, Charles

    2006-01-23

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Dale J.

    2010-01-01

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

  20. The Effects of Task-Induced Involvement Load on Word Learning and Confidence Judgments Mediated by Knowledge and Regulation of Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teng, Feng

    2017-01-01

    The relationships between knowledge and regulation of cognition and how they interact to mediate the effects of task-induced involvement load on word learning and confidence judgments were investigated. The participants were 77 undergraduate English majors. They were required to complete a checklist on metacognition. Subsequently, they were…

  1. Abnormal moral reasoning in complete and partial callosotomy patients.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

    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. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Persecutory delusions and the self-serving bias. Evidence from a contingency judgment task.

    PubMed

    Kaney, S; Bentall, R P

    1992-12-01

    The self-serving attributional bias was studied in matched groups of patients with persecutory delusions, patients with major affective disorder, and normal controls, (N = 14 in each group). On a preprogrammed computer task, subjects mainly won points in one condition and mainly lost points in the other. Subjects were asked to estimate the degree of control they thought they had over winning or losing in the two conditions. In comparison with the normal subjects and the psychiatric controls, the deluded subjects showed a greater self-serving bias, as evidenced by their perceived greater control over outcomes in the win condition. These findings are interpreted as consistent with the hypothesis that persecutory delusions function as a defense against low self-esteem.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Mind Perception Is the Essence of Morality.

    PubMed

    Gray, Kurt; Young, Liane; Waytz, Adam

    2012-04-01

    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.

  6. Combining Excellence and Ethics: Implications for Moral Education for the Gifted

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tirri, Kirsi

    2011-01-01

    In this article the current empirical research on morality and giftedness is reviewed with an emphasis on moral sensitivity. The component of moral judgment has been the most studied aspect in morality. Although high-ability students have been shown to be superior in moral judgment when compared to average-ability students, morality includes other…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. The Cognitive Developmental Approach to "Epistemology" and Its Relation to Logical and Moral Stages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Broughton, John

    This paper presents a cross-sectional investigation of adolescents' and young adults' reflective epistemological development. Three groups of 8 subjects (4 male and female) ages 10, 14, and 18 were given Piagetian tasks, the Kohlberg moral judgment questionnaire, and an epistemology interview covering such concepts as knowledge, thought, feeling,…

  10. 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)

  11. 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)

  12. Children's Understanding of Morals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Lee C.

    Research efforts in the area of moral development of the child, as based on Piaget's theory, are discussed. Some of the important processes Piaget uses to explain cognitive growth are presented first, followed by his theory of how the individual's capacity for moral judgment evolves. The research discussed tests Piaget's chief underlying…

  13. The neural correlates of biomechanical constraints in hand laterality judgment task performed from other person's perspective: A near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Meng, Shuang; Oi, Misato; Saito, Godai; Saito, Hirofumi

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies, mainly using a first-person perspective (1PP), have shown that the judgments of the hand laterality judgment (HLJ) task are dependent on biomechanical constraints (BC). Specifically, differing reaction times (RT) for hand pictures rotated medially or laterally around the mid sagittal plane are attributed to the BC effect on motor imagery. In contrast, we investigated whether the HLJ task is also subject to BC when performed from a third-person perspective (3PP) as well as 1PP using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure the brain activity of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in right-handed participants assigned to 1PP or 3PP groups. The 1PP group judged whether a presented hand was their own left or right hand, and the 3PP group whether it was the other's left or right hand. Using their HLJ task error rates, the 1PP and 3PP groups were subdivided into an Error Group (EG) and No Error Group (NEG). For the 1PP group, both EG and NEG showed a significant Hand Laterality × Orientation interaction for RT, indicating the BC effect on motor imagery. For the 3PP group, however, neither EG nor NEG showed the interaction, even though EG showed a significantly longer RT than NEG. These results suggest that the 3PP EG appropriately followed the 3PP task instruction, while the NEG might have taken 1PP. However, the 3PP EG NIRS profile of left PFC showed a significant Hand Laterality × Orientation interaction, while the 1PP EG did not. More noteworthy is that the left PFC activation of EG showed an interaction between the 1PP and 3PP groups when the left hand was presented. Furthermore, in the NEG, the PFC activation was not influenced by the BC in either the 1PP or 3PP condition. These results indicate that BC interferes with the HLJ task performed from the 1PP and 3PP.

  14. Ethical safety of deep brain stimulation: A study on moral decision-making in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Fumagalli, Manuela; Marceglia, Sara; Cogiamanian, Filippo; Ardolino, Gianluca; Picascia, Marta; Barbieri, Sergio; Pravettoni, Gabriella; Pacchetti, Claudio; Priori, Alberto

    2015-07-01

    The possibility that deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson's disease (PD) alters patients' decisions and actions, even temporarily, raises important clinical, ethical and legal questions. Abnormal moral decision-making can lead to ethical rules violations. Previous experiments demonstrated the subthalamic (STN) activation during moral decision-making. Here we aim to study whether STN DBS can affect moral decision-making in PD patients. Eleven patients with PD and bilateral STN DBS implant performed a computerized moral task in ON and OFF stimulation conditions. A control group of PD patients without DBS implant performed the same experimental protocol. All patients underwent motor, cognitive and psychological assessments. STN stimulation was not able to modify neither reaction times nor responses to moral task both when we compared the ON and the OFF state in the same patient (reaction times, p = .416) and when we compared DBS patients with those treated only with the best medical treatment (reaction times: p = .408, responses: p = .776). Moral judgment is the result of a complex process, requiring cognitive executive functions, problem-solving, anticipations of consequences of an action, conflict processing, emotional evaluation of context and of possible outcomes, and involving different brain areas and neural circuits. Our data show that STN DBS leaves unaffected moral decisions thus implying relevant clinical and ethical implications for DBS consequences on patients' behavior, on decision-making and on judgment ability. In conclusion, the technique can be considered safe on moral behavior. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Cohen, Dale J

    2010-11-01

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

  16. Sex Equity: A Moral Development Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Styer, Sandra

    1988-01-01

    Presents a moral development approach to achieving sex equity. Uses discussion of carefully developed Kohlberg-type moral dilemmas relating to sex equity to elicit moral judgments from children at a number of developmental stages. States that schools can help promote equity through the implementation of carefully designed moral education programs.…

  17. 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)

  18. Scale Effects in Moral Relevance Assessment.

    PubMed

    Nagel, Jonas; Rybak, Andrej

    2017-03-01

    Research on moral judgment often employs bipolar rating scales to assess whether the difference between two contrasted options is judged to be morally relevant. We give an account of how different numbers of response options provided on such scales (odd vs. even) change the meaning of the test question by communicating different implicit presuppositions. We demonstrate experimentally that these changes can qualitatively affect the moral relevance judgments that subjects express in response to a given judgment problem. Several alternative explanations in terms of trivial measurement distortion are tested and refuted, and we present suggestive evidence as to what kind of factors might be prone to scale effects. The findings underscore that expressed moral judgments are constructed ad hoc and do not necessarily reflect the content of underlying stable moral commitments. We discuss implications for theories and methodology in moral psychology and in judgment and decision-making research more generally.

  19. Potential Performance Theory (PPT): A General Theory of Task Performance Applied to Morality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trafimow, David; Rice, Stephen

    2008-01-01

    People can use a variety of different strategies to perform tasks and these strategies all have two characteristics in common. First, they can be evaluated in comparison with either an absolute or a relative standard. Second, they can be used at varying levels of consistency. In the present article, the authors develop a general theory of task…

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. Characteristics of current tasks that contribute to mentalizing judgments: does the engagement of the participants in the social interaction matter? Comment on Achim et al. (2013).

    PubMed

    Champagne-Lavau, Maud; Moreau, Noémie

    2013-12-01

    In a recent article, Achim et al. (2013) discussed the different sources of information that contribute to mentalizing judgments in current theory-of-mind (ToM) tasks. The authors rightly emphasized the dynamic aspect of real-life social interaction, suggesting that taking account of the ongoing changes occurring during social interaction would make ToM tasks more ecological. They proposed a framework (i.e., the Eight Sources of Information Framework) that specifies the 8 sources of information we get from the environment and/or from our memories to attribute mental states to others. Nevertheless, we believe that a central aspect of ToM is missing in this framework: the engagement (or not) of the participant in the social interaction during ToM assessment. Indeed, this framework fails to consider how the participant who takes part in the ToM task manages this information, depending on the fact that he or she is involved in the interaction or not and how the information concerning the agent may impact the participant attribution of mental states. We reviewed several arguments and results from the ToM literature suggesting that merely observing a social interaction is not equivalent to participating in an interaction in terms of cognitive processes involved in the attribution of mental states to others.

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

    PubMed

    Jordan, Alexander H; Monin, Benoît

    2008-08-01

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

  4. Emotion and Morality in Psychopathy and Paraphilias

    PubMed Central

    Harenski, Carla L.; Kiehl, Kent A.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the role of emotion in moral judgment has been an active area of investigation and debate. Here we comment on this topic by examining the interaction between emotion and moral judgment in certain psychopathological groups that are characterized by abnormalities in emotion processing, such as psychopaths and sexual offenders with paraphilic disorders. PMID:24899928

  5. Formal Moral Education and Individual Moral Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friend, Gary Gene

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, S

    2005-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Fengler, Ineke; Nava, Elena; Röder, Brigitte

    2015-01-01

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

  13. The Accidental Transgressor: Morally Relevant Theory of Mind

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    To test young children’s false belief theory of mind in a morally relevant context, two experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, children (N = 162) at 3.5, 5.5, and 7.5 years of age were administered 3 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. PMID:21377148

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-27

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Moral Education and the Emotions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rich, John Martin

    1980-01-01

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

  19. Moral Distress Model Reconstructed Using Grounded Theory.

    PubMed

    Ko, Hsun-Kuei; Chin, Chi-Chun; Hsu, Min-Tao

    2016-12-29

    The problems of nurse burnout and manpower shortage relate to moral distress. Thus, having a good understanding of moral distress is critical to developing strategies that effectively improve the clinical ethical climate and improve nursing retention in Taiwan. The aim of this study was to reconstruct the model of moral distress using the grounded theory. Twenty-five staff nurses at work units who attend to the needs of adult, pediatric, acute, and critical disease or end-of-life-care patients were recruited as participants using theoretical sampling from three teaching hospitals in Taiwan. Data were collected using intensive, 2- to 3-hour interviews with each participant. Audio recordings of the interviews were made and then converted into transcripts. The data were analyzed using the grounded theory. In the clinical setting, the perspective that nurses take toward clinical moral events reflects their moral values, which trigger moral cognition, provocation, and appraisal. The moral barriers that form when moral events that occur in clinical settings contradict personal moral values may later develop into moral distress. In handling moral barriers in the clinical environment, nurses make moral judgments and determine what is morally correct. Influenced by moral efficacy, the consequence may either be a moral action or an expression of personal emotion. Wasting National Health Insurance resources and Chinese culture are key sources of moral distress for nurses in Taiwan. The role of self-confidence in promoting moral efficacy and the role of heterodox skills in promoting moral actions represent findings that are unique to this study. The moral distress model was used in this study to facilitate the development of future nursing theories. On the basis of our findings, we suggested that nursing students be encouraged to use case studies to establish proper moral values, improve moral cognition and judgment capabilities, and promote moral actions to better handle the

  20. 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)

  1. 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…

  2. 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)

  3. Can Education Be Separated from Moral Development?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gage, Gwendolyn Rowe

    This presentation: (1) outlines three educational approaches to moral development; (2) explains Piaget's stages of moral judgment; (3) reviews Piaget's ideas about the development of children's concepts of justice; and (4) discusses comments by contemporary educators concerning moral education and its implications. Outlined in Part I are character…

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Educational Leaders as Moral Leaders: The Value of Virtue.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Growe, Roslin

    This essay examines the nature of morality and professional judgment from the perspective of executive and administrative decision making. The central focus includes matters on moral development as related to the professional training of administrators. A conceptual framework of moral development in making moral decisions begins with an…

  8. DETESTABLE OR MARVELOUS? -- NEUROANATOMICAL CORRELATES OF CHARACTER JUDGMENTS

    PubMed Central

    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 go awry: patients with bilateral damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and patients with bilateral damage to hippocampus (HC). We predicted that vmPFC patients, who have impaired emotion processing, would exhibit reduced moral updating, and we also investigated how moral updating might be affected by severe declarative memory impairment in HC patients. The vmPFC, HC, and brain-damaged comparison (BDC) participants made moral judgments about unfamiliar persons before and after exposure to social scenarios depicting the persons engaged in morally good, bad, or neutral behaviors. In line with our prediction, the vmPFC group showed the least amount of change in moral judgments, and interestingly, the HC group showed the most amount of change. These results suggest that the vmPFC and hippocampus play critical but complementary roles in updating moral character judgments about others: the vmPFC may attribute emotional salience to moral information, whereas the hippocampus may provide necessary contextual information from which to make appropriate character judgments. PMID:20211193

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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 (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Enabling people, not completing tasks: patient perspectives on relationships and staff morale in mental health wards in England.

    PubMed

    Mistry, Himanshu; Levack, William M M; Johnson, Sonia

    2015-12-02

    Mental health inpatient wards are stressful places to work and concerns have been raised regarding quality of patient care and staff wellbeing on these wards. Recent research has suggested that robust support systems and conditions that allow staff to exercise professional autonomy in their clinical work result in better staff morale. Staff value having a voice in their organisations, and say that they would like more interaction with patients and processes to reduce violent incidents on wards. There has been little research into patients' views on staff morale and on how it may impact on their care. This study aimed to explore staff morale and staff-patient relationships from a patient perspective. A qualitative investigation was conducted using purposive sampling to select seven inpatient wards in England representing various subspecialties. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with three patients on each ward. A thematic approach to analysis was used, supported by NVivo 10 software. Patients valued staff who worked together as a cohesive team, treated them as individuals, practised in a collaborative way and used enabling approaches to support their recovery. Participating patients described observing staff closely and feeling concerned at times about their well-being and the impact on them of stress and adverse incidents. They tended to perceive ward staff and patients as closely and reciprocally linked, with staff morale having a significant impact on patient well-being and vice versa. Some participants also described modifying their own behaviour because of concerns about staff well-being. Administrative duties, staff shortages and detrimental effects of violent incidents on the ward were seen as compromising staff members' ability to be involved with patients' lives and care. Patient views about the factors impacting on staff morale on inpatient wards are similar to those of staff in qualitative studies. Their accounts suggest that staff and patient

  12. [The contribution of neuroscience to the understanding of moral behavior].

    PubMed

    Slachevsky, Andrea; Silva, Jaime R; Prenafeta, María Luisa; Novoa, Fernando

    2009-03-01

    The neuro-scientific study of moral actions and judgments is particularly relevant to medicine, especially when assessing behavior disorders secondary to brain diseases. In this paper, moral behavior is reviewed from an evolutionary and neuro-scientific perspective. We discuss the role of emotions in moral decisions, the role of brain development in moral development and the cerebral basis of moral behavior. Empirical evidence shows a relationship between brain and moral development: changes in cerebral architecture are related to changes in moral decision complexity. Moral development takes a long time, achieving its maturity during adulthood. It is suggested that moral cognition depends on cerebral regions and neural networks related to emotional and cognitive processing (i.e. prefrontal and temporal cortex) and that moral judgments are complex affective and cognitive phenomena. This paper concludes with the suggestion that a satisfactory clinical/legal evaluation of a patient requires that the neural basis of moral behavior should be taken into account.

  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 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mullins, David; Tisak, Marie S.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marchand-Jodoin, Louise; Samson, Jean-Marc

    1982-01-01

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

  19. Maltreated and Nonmaltreated Preschoolers' Conceptions of Hypothetical and Actual Moral Transgressions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smetana, Judith G.; And Others

    1999-01-01

    Compared judgments of maltreated and nonmaltreated preschoolers regarding moral transgressions. Found that all children evaluated moral transgressions as very serious, punishable, and wrong in the absence of rules. Moral judgments and justifications differed as a function of context and type of transgression but not maltreatment status. Affective…

  20. 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.