Moral appraisals affect doing/allowing judgments

Cognition 108 (2):353-380 (2008)

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Abstract
An extensive body of research suggests that the distinction between doing and allowing plays a critical role in shaping moral appraisals. Here, we report evidence from a pair of experiments suggesting that the converse is also true: moral appraisals affect doing/allowing judgments. Specifically, morally bad behavior is more likely to be construed as actively ‘doing’ than as passively ‘allowing’. This finding adds to a growing list of folk concepts influenced by moral appraisal, including causation and intentional action. We therefore suggest that the present finding favors the view that moral appraisal plays a pervasive role in shaping diverse cognitive representations across multiple domains.
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DOI 10.1016/j.cognition.2008.02.005
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Graded Causation and Defaults.Joseph Y. Halpern & Christopher Hitchcock - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):413-457.

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