Judgment and Decision Making 11 (4):326-331 (2016)

Ori Friedman
University of Waterloo
We investigated whether the personal importance of objects influences utilitarian decision-making in which damaging property is necessary to produce an overall positive outcome. In Experiment 1, participants judged saving five objects by destroying a sixth object to be less acceptable when the action required destroying the sixth object directly (rather than as a side-effect) and the objects were personally important (rather than unimportant). In Experiment 2, we demonstrated that utilitarian judgments were not influenced by the objects’ monetary worth. Together these findings suggest that personal importance underlies people’s sensitivity to damaging property as a means for utilitarian gains.
Keywords personal importance  value  decision-making  ownership
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,159
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

Universal Moral Grammar: Theory, Evidence, and the Future.John Mikhail - 1912 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):143 –152.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Utilitarian Morality and the Personal Point of View.David O. Brink - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (8):417-438.
Neural Mechanisms of Decision-Making and the Personal Level.Nicholas Shea - 2013 - In K. W. M. Fulford, M. Davies, G. Graham, J. Sadler, G. Stanghellini & T. Thornton (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Oxford University Press. pp. 1063-1082.
Towards a Dialogue Between Utilitarianism and Medicine.Y. Michael Barilan - 2004 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 7 (2):163-173.


Added to PP index

Total views
5 ( #1,177,517 of 2,454,812 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,241 of 2,454,812 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes