Moral Reasoning as Probability Reasoning

Yiyun SHOU, Fei SONG

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)Researchpeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies found that the likelihood of subjects to choose a deontological judgment (e.g., allowing harm) or a consequentialist judgment (e.g., doing harm) varied across different moral dilemmas. The present paper explored if the variation can be explained by the differentiation of the perceived outcome probabilities. We generated moral dilemmas that were similar to the classical trolley and footbridge dilemmas, and investigated the extent to which subjects were sensitive to the outcome probabilities. Results indicated that the majority of subjects, including both those who initially chose a deontological decision and those who initially chose a consequentialist decision could be sensitive to outcome probabilities. The likelihood of being sensitive to the probabilities was invariant across different dilemmas. The variation of the choice behaviors across
different dilemmas might be associated with the variation of the estimated outcome probabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
EditorsD. C. NOELLE, R. DALE, A. S. WARLAUMONT, J. YOSHIMI, T. MATLOCK, C. D. JENNINGS, P. P. MAGLIO
Place of PublicationAustin, TX
PublisherCognitive Science Society, Inc.
Pages2176-2181
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780991196722
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Pasadena, United States
Duration: 22 Jul 201525 Jul 2015
https://cogsci.mindmodeling.org/2015/

Conference

ConferenceThe 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPasadena
Period22/07/1525/07/15
Internet address

Keywords

  • probability judgment
  • moral reasoning
  • moral dilemma

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