Historically, cognitivists considered moral choices to be determined by analytic processes. Recent theories, however, have emphasized the role of intuitive processes in determining moral choices. We propose that the engagement of analytic and intuitive processes is contingent on the type of tradeoff being considered. Specifically, when a tradeoff necessarily violates a moral principle no matter what choice is made, as in tragic tradeoffs, its resolution should result in greater moral conflict and less confidence in choice than when the tradeoff offers (...) a moral escape route, as in taboo tradeoffs. We manipulated tradeoff type in between subjects design and confirmed the prediction that tragic tradeoffs prompt more conflict and less confidence than taboo tradeoffs. The findings further revealed that moral conflict mediated the effect of tradeoff type on confidence. The study sheds light on the manner in which human minds resolve moral problems involving social agents. (shrink)
It is human nature to wonder how things might have turned out differently--either for the better or for the worse. For the past two decades psychologists have been intrigued by this phenomenon, which they call counterfactual thinking. Specifically, researchers have sought to answer the "big" questions: Why do people have such a strong propensity to generate counterfactuals, and what functions does counterfactual thinking serve? What are the determinants of counterfactual thinking, and what are its adaptive and psychological consequences? This important (...) work brings together a collection of thought-provoking papers by social and cognitive psychologists who have made important theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of this topic. The essays in this volume contain novel theoretical insights, and, in many cases descriptions of previously unpublished empirical studies. The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking provides an excellent overview of this fascinating topic for researchers, as well as advanced undergraduates and graduates in psychology--particularly those with an interest in social cognition, social judgment, decision judgment, decision making, thinking and reasoning. (shrink)
The significance of counterfactual thinking in the causal judgement process has been emphasized for nearly two decades, yet no previous research has directly compared the relative effect of thinking counterfactually versus factually on causal judgement. Three experiments examined this comparison by manipulating the task frame used to focus participants' thinking about a target event. Prior to making judgements about causality, preventability, blame, and control, participants were directed to think about a target actor either in counterfactual terms (what the actor could (...) have done to change the outcome) or in factual terms (what the actor had done that led to the outcome). In each experiment, the effect of counterfactual thinking did not differ reliably from the effect of factual thinking on causal judgement. Implications for research on causal judgement and mental representation are discussed. (shrink)
In The Rational Imagination, Byrne proposes a mental models account of why causal and counterfactual thinking often focus on different antecedents. This review critically examines the two central propositions of her account, finding both only weakly defensible. Byrne's account is contrasted with judgment dissociation theory, which offers a functional explanation for differences in the focus of causal and counterfactual thinking.
Stanley Milgram's work on obedience to authority is social psychology's most influential contribution to theorizing about Holocaust perpetration. The gist of Milgram's claims is that Holocaust perpetrators were just following orders out of a sense of obligation to their superiors. Milgram, however, never undertook a scholarly analysis of how his obedience experiments related to the Holocaust. The author first discusses the major theoretical limitations of Milgram's position and then examines the implications of Milgram's experimental manipulations for Holocaust theorizing, contrasting a (...) specific case of Holocaust perpetration by Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police. It is concluded that Milgram's empirical findings, in fact, do not support his position - one that essentially constitutes an obedience alibi. The article ends with a discussion of some of the social dangers of the obedience alibi. (shrink)
Theories of blame posit that observers consider causality, controllability, and foreseeability when assigning blame to actors. The present study examined which of these factors, either on their own or in interaction, predicted blame assigned to actors in a case of harm caused by negligence. The findings revealed that only causal impact ratings predicted blame. The findings also revealed a novel form of asymmetric discounting: the causal impact of a negligent actor was used to discount blame assigned to an innocent actor, (...) but the causal impact of the innocent actor was not used to discount the blame assigned to the negligent actor. (shrink)
Consistent with Barbey & Sloman (B&S), it is proposed that performance on Bayesian inference tasks is well explained by nested sets theory (NST). However, contrary to those authors' view, it is proposed that NST does better by dispelling with dual-systems assumptions. This article examines why, and sketches out a series of NST's core principles, which were not previously defined.
The rationality debate centers on the meaning of deviations of decision makers' responses from the predictions/prescriptions of normative models. But for the debate to have significance, the meaning and functions of normative analysis must be clear. Presently, they are not, and the debate's persistence owes much to conceptual blur. An attempt is made here to clarify the concept of normative analysis.
This research examined whether youth's forecasted risk taking is best predicted by a compensatory (namely, subjective expected utility) or non-compensatory (e.g., single-factor) model. Ninety youth assessed the importance of perceived benefits, importance of perceived drawbacks, subjective probability of benefits, and subjective probability of drawbacks for 16 risky behaviors clustered evenly into recreational and health/safety domains. In both domains, there was strong support for a noncompensatory model in which only the perceived importance of the benefits of engaging in a risky behavior (...) predicted youths' forecasted engagement in risky behavior. The study overcomes earlier methodological weaknesses by fully decomposing participants' assessments into importance and probability aspects for both benefits and drawbacks. As such, the findings provide clear evidence in support of a boundedrationality perspective on youth decision making regarding risk taking. (shrink)
Research suggests political identity has strong influence over individuals’ attitudes and beliefs, which in turn can affect their behavior. Likewise, firsthand experience with an issue can also affect attitudes and beliefs. A large survey of Americans was analyzed to investigate the effects of both political identity and personal impact on individuals’ reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Results show that political identity and personal impact influenced the American public’s attitudes about and response to COVID-19. Consistent with prior research, political identity exerted (...) a strong influence on self-reports of emotional distress, threat perception, discomfort with exposure, support for restrictions, and perception of under/overreaction by individuals and institutions. The difference between Democrats and Republican responses were consistent with their normative value differences and with the contemporary partisan messaging. Personal impact exerted a comparatively weaker influence on reported emotional distress and threat perception. Both factors had a weak influence on appraisal of individual and government responses. The dominating influence of political identity carried over into the bivariate relations among these self-reported attitudes and responses. In particular, the appraisal of government response divided along party lines, tied to opposing views of whether there has been over- or under-reaction to the pandemic. The dominance of political identity has important implications for crisis management and reflects the influence of normative value differences between the parties, partisan messaging on the pandemic, and polarization in American politics. (shrink)
Almost thirty years ago, in an attempt to undermine what he termed "the principle of alternate possibilities" (the thesis that people are morally responsible for what they have done only if they could have done otherwise), Harry Frankfurt offered an ingenious thought-experiment that has played a major role in subsequent work on moral responsibility and free will. Several philosophers, including David Widerker and Robert Kane, argued recently that this thought-experiment and others like it are fundamentally flawed. This paper develops (...) a new Frankfurt-style example that is immune to their objections. [Reprinted in Laura Waddell Ekstrom, ed., Agency and Responsibility: Essays on the Metaphysics of Freedom (Westview Press, 2001), pp. 241-54; and in John Martin Fischer, ed., Free Will, Vol. III (Routledge, 2005), pp. 330-42.]. (shrink)
This paper provides a method for characterizing space events using the framework of conceptual spaces. We focus specifically on estimating and ranking the likelihood of collisions between space objects. The objective is to design an approach for anticipatory decision support for space operators who can take preventive actions on the basis of assessments of relative risk. To make this possible our approach draws on the fusion of both hard and soft data within a single decision support framework. Contextual data is (...) also taken into account, for example data about space weather effects, by drawing on the Space Domain Ontologies, a large system of ontologies designed to support all aspects of space situational awareness. The framework is coupled with a mathematical programming scheme that frames a mathematically optimal approach for decision support, providing a quantitative basis for ranking potential for collision across multiple satellite pairs. The goal is to provide the broadest possible information foundation for critical assessments of collision likelihood. (shrink)
We report the results of two studies that examine folk metaethical judgments about the objectivity of morality. We found that participants attributed almost as much objectivity to ethical statements as they did to statements of physical fact and significantly more objectivity to ethical statements than to statements about preferences or tastes. In both studies, younger participants attributed less objectivity to ethical statements than older participants. Females were observed to attribute slightly less objectivity to ethical statements than males, and we found (...) important interactions between attributions of objectivity and other factors, such as how strong participants’ moral opinions were and how much disagreement about the issue they perceived to exist within society. We believe our results have significant implications for debates about the nature of folk morality and about the nature of morality in general. (shrink)
The quantum theory of de Broglie and Bohm solves the measurement problem, but the hypothetical corpuscles play no role in the argument. The solution ﬁnds a more natural home in the Everett interpretation.
We examined Confucian moral philosophy, primarily the Analects, to determine how Confucian ethics could help managers regulate their own behavior (self-regulation) to maintain an ethical standard of practice. We found that some Confucian virtues relevant to self-regulation are common to Western concepts of management ethics such as benevolence, righteousness, wisdom, and trustworthiness. Some are relatively unique, such as ritual propriety and filial piety. We identify seven Confucian principles and discuss how they apply to achieving ethical self-regulation in management. In addition, (...) we examined some of the unique Confucian practices to achieve self-regulation including ritual and music. We balanced the framework by exploring the potential problems in applying Confucian principles to develop ethical self-regulation including whistle blowing. Confucian moral philosophy offers an indigenous Chinese theoretical framework for developing ethical self-regulation in managers. This is relevant for managers and those who relate to managers in Confucian-oriented societies, such as China, Korea, Japan, and Singapore. We recommend further research to examine if the application of the Confucian practices outlined here actually work in regulating the ethical behavior of managers in modern organizations. (shrink)
Article retraction in research is rising, yet retracted articles continue to be cited at a disturbing rate. This paper presents an analysis of recent retraction patterns, with a unique emphasis on the role author self-cites play, to assist the scientific community in creating counter-strategies. This was accomplished by examining the following: A categorization of retracted articles more complete than previously published work. The relationship between citation counts and after-retraction self-cites from the authors of the work, and the distribution of self-cites (...) across our retraction categories. The distribution of retractions written by both the author and the editor across our retraction categories. The trends for seven of our nine defined retraction categories over a 6-year period. The average journal impact factor by category, and the relationship between impact factor, author self-cites, and overall citations. Our findings indicate new reasons for retractions have emerged in recent years, and more editors are penning retractions. The rates of increase for retraction varies by category, and there is statistically significant difference of average impact factor between many categories. 18 % of authors self-cite retracted work post retraction with only 10 % of those authors also citing the retraction notice. Further, there is a positive correlation between self-cites and after retraction citations. (shrink)
This paper introduces a four-stage ethical learning model that we posit will augment the evaluation of the effectiveness of business ethics education. Using the Ignatian (Jesuit, Catholic) methodologies of self-reflection and discernment, comments by 195 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an American university regarding the relationship between ethical attitudes and business conduct are examined before and after completing a business ethics course. Results suggest that ethics education can 1) raise students’ ethical awareness, and 2) shift ethical attitudes in either (...) positive or negative directions, thus supporting the existence of levels of ethical understanding that our learning model proposes. Methodological challenges for current and future evaluation of the effectiveness of ethics education, including enhancement of the generalizability of findings across international borders, are considered. Several implications for linking business ethics education with the conduct and climate of business practice are also discussed. (shrink)
The maltreatment of animals, usually companion animals, may occur in homes where there is domestic violence, yet we have limited information about the prevalence of such maltreatment. We surveyed the largest shelters for women who are battered in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Shelters were selected if they provided overnight facilities and programs or services for children. Ninety-six percent of the shelters responded. Analysis revealed that it is common for shelters to serve women and children who talk about (...) companion animal abuse. However, only a minority of respondents indicated that they systematically ask about companion animal maltreatment in their intake interview. We discuss the implications of these results for domestic violence programs, animal welfare organizations, and programs serving children of women who are battered by their partners. (shrink)