Judgment and Decision Making 14:555-564 (2019)

Juan Pablo Bermúdez
Universidad Externado De Colombia
Alejandro Rosas
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
In the sacrificial moral dilemma task, participants have to morally judge an action that saves several lives at the cost of killing one person. According to the dual process corrective model of moral judgment suggested by Greene and collaborators (2001; 2004; 2008), cognitive control is necessary to override the intuitive, deontological force of the norm against killing and endorse the utilitarian perspective. However, a conflict model has been proposed more recently to account for part of the evidence in favor of dual process models in moral and social decision making. In this model, conflict, moral responses and reaction times arise from the interplay between individually variable motivational factors and objective parameters intrinsic to the choices offered. To further explore this model in the moral dilemma task, we confronted three different samples with a set of dilemmas representing an objective gradient of utilitarian pull, and collected data on moral judgment and on conflict in a 4-point scale. Collapsing all cases along the gradient, participants in each sample felt less conflicted on average when they gave extreme responses (1 or 4 in the UR scale). They felt less conflicted on average when responding to either the low- or the high-pull cases. The correlation between utilitarian responses and conflict was positive in the low-pull and negative in the high-pull cases. This pattern of data suggests that moral responses to sacrificial dilemmas are driven by decision conflict, which in turn depends on the interplay between an objective gradient of utilitarian pull and the moral motivations which regulate individual responsiveness to this gradient.
Keywords conflict  decision conflict  deontology  dual-process  moral dilemmas  utilitarianism
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References found in this work BETA

Dual-Process Theories of Higher Cognition Advancing the Debate.Jonathan Evans & Keith E. Stanovich - 2013 - Perspectives on Psychological Science 8 (3):223-241.

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Moral Intuition, Strength, and Metacognition.Dario Cecchini - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-25.

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