Moral Judgments and Emotions: Exploring the Role of ‘Inevitability of death’ and ‘Instrumentality of harm’

Evgeniya HristovaNew Bulgarian University
Veselina KadrevaNew Bulgarian University
Maurice GrinbergNew Bulgarian University

Abstract

In the current study, strictly controlled moral dilemmas are used to study intuitions in moral judgments concerning situations in which one human life has to be sacrificed in order to save more human lives. The influence of two factors (inevitability of death and instrumentality of harm) is explored. Both of them are found to influence moral judgments. To study the emotional processing in judgments, response times and skin-conductance reactions are analyzed. It is found that responses to dilemmas involving incidental harm produce longer response times and are accompanied by higher arousal (as indexed by the skin conductance reactions). Reported results imply that when instrumentality of harm is considered, judgment is influenced by emotional reactions.

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Moral Judgments and Emotions: Exploring the Role of ‘Inevitability of death’ and ‘Instrumentality of harm’ (313 KB)



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