Cognitive Enhancement and Motivation Enhancement: An Empirical Comparison of Intuitive Judgments

American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 6 (1):18-20 (2015)
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Abstract

In an empirical study, we compared how lay people judge motivation enhancement as opposed to cognitive enhancement. We found alienation is not seen as a danger associated with either form of enhancement. Cognitive enhancement is seen as more morally wrong than motivation enhancement, and users of cognitive enhancement tend to be judged as less deserving of praise and success than users of motivation enhancement. These more negative judgments of cognitive enhancement may be driven by differences in perceived fairness rather than differences in effort exerted by the user, although lay people generally see effort as necessary to deservingness of praise and success.

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Thomas Douglas
University of Oxford