Individual Differences in Moral Behaviour: A Role for Response to Risk and Uncertainty?

Neuroethics 6 (1):97-103 (2013)
Authors
Jakob Hohwy
Monash University
Stephen Miller
Marist College
Abstract
Investigation of neural and cognitive processes underlying individual variation in moral preferences is underway, with notable similarities emerging between moral- and risk-based decision-making. Here we specifically assessed moral distributive justice preferences and non-moral financial gambling preferences in the same individuals, and report an association between these seemingly disparate forms of decision-making. Moreover, we find this association between distributive justice and risky decision-making exists primarily when the latter is assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task. These findings are consistent with neuroimaging studies of brain function during moral and risky decision-making. This research also constitutes the first replication of a novel experimental measure of distributive justice decision-making, for which individual variation in performance was found. Further examination of decision-making processes across different contexts may lead to an improved understanding of the factors affecting moral behaviour
Keywords Decision making  Morality  Distributive justice  Risk  Uncertainty  Individual differences
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DOI 10.1007/s12152-012-9158-4
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