Cognition 192 (103995) (2019)

Authors
Nick Byrd
Stevens Institute of Technology
Abstract
Conventional sacrificial moral dilemmas propose directly causing some harm to prevent greater harm. Theory suggests that accepting such actions (consistent with utilitarian philosophy) involves more reflective reasoning than rejecting such actions (consistent with deontological philosophy). However, past findings do not always replicate, confound different kinds of reflection, and employ conventional sacrificial dilemmas that treat utilitarian and deontological considerations as opposite. In two studies, we examined whether past findings would replicate when employing process dissociation to assess deontological and utilitarian inclinations independently. Findings suggested two categorically different impacts of reflection: measures of arithmetic reflection, such as the Cognitive Reflection Test, predicted only utilitarian, not deontological, response tendencies. However, measures of logical reflection, such as performance on logical syllogisms, positively predicted both utilitarian and deontological tendencies. These studies replicate some findings, clarify others, and reveal opportunity for additional nuance in dual process theorist’s claims about the link between reflection and dilemma judgments.
Keywords moral dilemmas  process dissociation  dual-process theory  cognitive reflection test  belief bias  moral psychology
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DOI 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.06.007
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References found in this work BETA

The Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Utilitarianism.J. S. Mill - 1998 [1861] - Oxford University Press UK.

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