Identification, situational constraint, and social cognition : studies in the attribution of moral responsibility

In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press (2007)
In three experiments we studied lay observers’ attributions of responsibility for an antisocial act (homicide). We systematically varied both the degree to which the action was coerced by external circumstances and the degree to which the actor endorsed and accepted ownership of the act, a psychological state that philosophers have termed ‘identification’. Our findings with respect to identification were highly consistent. The more an actor was identified with an action, the more likely observers were to assign responsibility to the actor, even when the action was performed under constraints so powerful that no other behavioral option was available. Our findings indicate that social cognition involving assignment of responsibility for an action is a more complex process than previous research has indicated. It would appear that laypersons’ judgments of moral responsibility may, in some circumstances, accord with philosophical views in which freedom and determinism are regarded to be compatible.
Keywords Social cognition  Attribution  Responsibility  Identification
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive L. Woolfolk Robert, Identification, situational constraint, and social cognition : studies in the attribution of moral responsibility
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (2003). Identification and Responsibility. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (4):349-376.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

100 ( #45,284 of 1,941,076 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #94,640 of 1,941,076 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.