To what extent do moral judgments depend on conscious reasoning from explicitly understood principles? We address this question by investigating one particular moral principle, the principle of the double effect. Using web-based technology, we collected a large data set on individuals' responses to a series of moral dilemmas, asking when harm to innocent others is permissible. Each moral dilemma presented a choice between action and inaction, both resulting in lives saved and lives lost. Results showed that: (1) patterns of moral (...) judgments were consistent with the principle of double effect and showed little variation across differences in gender, age, educational level, ethnicity, religion or national affiliation (within the limited range of our sample population) and (2) a majority of subjects failed to provide justifications that could account for their judgments. These results indicate that the principle of the double effect may be operative in our moral judgments but not open to conscious introspection. We discuss these results in light of current psychological theories of moral cognition, emphasizing the need to consider the unconscious appraisal system that mentally represents the causal and intentional properties of human action. (shrink)
: To what extent do moral judgments depend on conscious reasoning from explicitly understood principles? We address this question by investigating one particular moral principle, the principle of the double effect. Using web-based technology, we collected a large data set on individuals’ responses to a series of moral dilemmas, asking when harm to innocent others is permissible. Each moral dilemma presented a choice between action and inaction, both resulting in lives saved and lives lost. Results showed that: patterns of moral (...) judgments were consistent with the principle of double effect and showed little variation across differences in gender, age, educational level, ethnicity, religion or national affiliation and a majority of subjects failed to provide justifications that could account for their judgments. These results indicate that the principle of the double effect may be operative in our moral judgments but not open to conscious introspection. We discuss these results in light of current psychological theories of moral cognition, emphasizing the need to consider the unconscious appraisal system that mentally represents the causal and intentional properties of human action. (shrink)
Dissociation during trauma lacks an adequate definition. Using data obtained from interviews with 36 posttraumatic individuals conducted according to the phenomenological approach, this paper seeks to improve our understanding of this phenomenon. In particular, it suggesting a trade off model depicting the balance between the sense of agency and the sense of ownership : a reciprocal relationship appears to exist between these two, and in order to enable control of the body during trauma the sense of ownership must decrease. (...) When the relationship between the sense of agency and sense of ownership changes disproportionately to the constraints of the traumatic event, the dissociative mechanism becomes dysfunctional. By contrast, when the relations alter in accordance with the surrounding conditions, the dissociative mechanism functions properly. (shrink)
Erdelyi does us all a great service by his customarily incisive discussion of the various ways in which our field tends to neglect, confuse, and misunderstand numerous critical issues in attempting to differentiate conscious from unconscious perception and memory. Although no single commentary could hope to comprehensively assess these issues, I will address Erdelyi’s three main points: How the dissociation paradigm can be used to validly infer unconscious perception; The implications of below-chance effects; and The role of time. I (...) suggest that significant progress on construct validity issues is possible; below-chance effects are part of a more general bidirectional phenomenon, very likely unconscious, and do not threaten absolute subliminality; and practice/learning effects pose potential difficulties for time-based dissociation paradigms. (shrink)
The paper makes three points about the role of double dissociation in cognitive neuropsychology. First, arguments from double dissociation to separate modules work by inference to the best, not the only possible, explanation. Second, in the development of computational cognitive neuropsychology, the contribution of connectionist cognitive science has been to broaden the range of potential explanations of double dissociation. As a result, the competition between explanations, and the characteristic features of the assessment of theories against the criteria (...) of probability and explanatory value, are more visible. Third, cognitive neuropsychology is a division of cognitive psychology but the practice of cognitive neuropsychology proceeds on assumptions that go beyond the subject matter of cognitive psychology. Given such assumptions, neuroscientific findings about lesion location may enhance the value of double dissociation in shifting the balance of support between cognitive theories. (shrink)
A key question for cognitive theories of reasoning is whether logical reasoning is inherently a sentential linguistic process or a process requiring spatial manipulation and search. We addressed this question in an event-related fMRI study of syllogistic reasoning, using sentences with and without semantic content. Our findings indicate involvement of two dissociable networks in deductive reasoning. During content-based reasoning a left hemisphere temporal system was recruited. By contrast, a formally identical reasoning task, which lacked semantic content, activated a parietal system. (...) The two systems share common components in bilateral basal ganglia nuclei, right cerebellum, bilateral fusiform gyri, and left prefrontal cortex. We conclude that syllogistic reasoning is implemented in two distinct systems whose engagement is primarily a function of the presence or absence of semantic content. Furthermore, when a logical argument results in a belief–logic conflict, the nature of the reasoning process is changed by recruitment of the right prefrontal cortex. (shrink)
It is a common assumption in contemporary cognitive neuroscience that discovering a putative realized kind to be dissociably realized (i.e., to be realized in each instance by two or more distinct realizers) mandates splitting that kind. Here I explore some limits on this inference using two deceptively similar examples: the dissociation of declarative and procedural memory and Ramachandran's argument that the self is an illusion.
This study tested the prediction that dissociative tendencies modulate the impact of a hypnotic induction on cognitive control in different subtypes of highly suggestible individuals. Low suggestible , low dissociative highly suggestible , and high dissociative highly suggestible participants completed the Stroop color-naming task in control and hypnosis conditions. The magnitude of conflict adaptation was used as a measure of cognitive control. LS and LDHS participants displayed marginally superior up-regulation of cognitive control following a hypnotic induction, whereas HDHS participants’ performance (...) declined. These findings indicate that dissociative tendencies modulate the influence of a hypnotic induction on cognitive control in high hypnotic suggestibility and suggest that HS individuals are comprised of distinct subtypes with dissimilar cognitive profiles. (shrink)
Current thinking suggests that dissociation could be a significant comorbid diagnosis in a proportion of schizophrenic patients with a history of trauma. This potentially may explain the term “schizophrenia” in its original definition by Bleuler, as influenced by his clinical experience and personal view. Additionally, recent findings suggest a partial overlap between dissociative symptoms and the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, which could be explained by inhibitory deficits. In this context, the process of dissociation could serve as an important (...) conceptual framework for understanding schizophrenia, which is supported by current neuroimaging studies and research of corollary discharges. These data indicate that the original conception of “split mind” may be relevant in an updated context. Finally, recent data suggest that the phenomenal aspects of dissociation and conscious disintegration could be related to underlying disruptions of connectivity patterns and neural integration. (shrink)
Although patient data have traditionally implicated the left prefrontal cortex in hypothesis generation, recent lesion data implicate right PFC in hypothesis generation tasks that involve set shifts. To test the involvement of the right prefrontal cortex in a hypothesis generation task involving set shifts, we scanned 13 normal subjects with fMRI as they completed Match Problems and a baseline task. In Match Problems subjects determined the number of possible solutions for each trial. Successful solutions are indicative of set shifts. In (...) the baseline condition subjects evaluated the accuracy of hypothetical solutions to match problems. A comparison of Match Problems versus baseline trials revealed activation in right ventral lateral PFC and left dorsal lateral PFC. A further comparison of successfully versus unsuccessfully completed Match Problems revealed activation in right ventral lateral PFC, left middle frontal gyrus and left frontal pole, thus identifying the former as a critical component of the neural mechanisms of set-shift transformation. By contrast, activation in right dorsal lateral PFC covaried as a function of the number of solutions generated in Match Problems, possibly due to increased working memory demands to maintain multiple solutions ‘on-line’, conflict resolution, or progress monitoring. These results go beyond the patient data by identifying the ventral lateral aspect of right PFC as being a critical component of the neural systems underlying lateral transformations, and demonstrate a dissociation between right VLPFC and DLPFC in hypotheses generation and maintenance. (shrink)
This paper aims at combining different theoretical and methodological approaches for the analysis of discourse, focusing in particular on argumentative structures. At a first level an attempt is made to include argumentation in critical discourse analysis in order to extend the analysis of interaction between “structures of discourse” and “structures of ideologies” (T. A. van Dijk, R. Wodak and M. Meyer (eds.), Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. Sage, London, 1995) to higher levels of language description. At a second level the (...) study will integrate the qualitative approaches of critical discourse analysis and argumentation theory with the quantitative tools of corpus linguistics, so that the analysis can be carried out on a representative amount of texts and in a more systematic way. Even though corpus linguistics tends to be focused on meanings localized at the level of words, while argumentative structures stretch out through longer units of text, an integration can be attempted by circumscribing the enquiry to those aspects of argumentation which are signalled by indicators, and are therefore electronically retrievable. In particular, this paper investigates the use of dissociation and presupposition in a corpus of newspaper articles published in the run up to the war on Iraq. Both structures respond to retrievability criteria while being powerful instruments to convey ideologically oriented messages. (shrink)
In her more recent work, Chantal Mouffe enters into what she calls a 'dialogue' with Carl Schmitt on the political. So far, interpretations of this dialogue suggest that Mouffe attempts to revise Schmitt's friend/enemy-distinction and carve out a theory of agonistic pluralism. An interpretation on these grounds, this article argues, reduces the dialogue to its analytical dimension and cannot comfortably be upheld. Mouffe indeed appropriates Schmitt's friend/enemy-distinction, but she also gets inspired by the metatheoretical facet of his intellectual heritage with (...) the result that her theory becomes organically interwoven with a polemical dimension. Rather than aiming at a post-structuralist defanging of Schmitt's conception of the political, Mouffe recontextualizes and applies it to the current academic discourse, for this allows decontesting her radical pluralist cause by establishing a we/them opposition along a political/post-political divide. (shrink)
The condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is metaphysically strange. Can there really be several distinct persons operating in a single body? Our view is that DID sufferers are single persons with a severe mental disorder. In this paper we compare the phenomenology of dissociation between personality states in DID with certain delusional disorders. We argue both that the burden of proof must lie with those who defend the metaphysically extravagant Multiple Persons view (...) and that there is little theoretical motivation to yield to that view in light of the fact that the core symptoms of DID bear remarkable similarity to the symptoms of these other disorders where no such extravagance is ever seriously entertained. (shrink)
We review different analytic approaches to narratives by those with psychopathological conditions, and we suggest that the interpretation of such narratives are complicated by a variety of phenomenological and hermeneutical considerations. We summarize an empirical study of narrative distance in narratives by non-pathological subjects, and discuss how the results can be interpreted in two different ways with regard to the issue of dissociation.
The present study examined whether a dissociation among formats for rational numbers can be obtained in tasks that require comparing a number to a non-symbolic quantity. In Experiment 1, college students saw a discrete or else continuous image followed by a rational number, and had to decide which was numerically larger. In Experiment 2, participants saw the same displays but had to make a judgment about the type of ratio represented by the number. The magnitude task was performed more (...) quickly using decimals, whereas the relation task was performed more accurately with fractions. The pattern observed for percentages was very similar to that for decimals. A dissociation between magnitude comparison and relational processing with rational numbers can be obtained when a symbolic number must be compared to a non-symbolic display. (shrink)
Many theorists, in their search for a better explanation of the dynamics of structure and agency, have expressed the need for a theory in which reflexivity and habitus are reconciled. In this article, we argue that a dissociative theory of mind can provide the essential framework in which habitual routines and reflexivity function in parallel. This is explored using the examples of athletic training and hypnosis, where the interplay between conscious and unconscious mechanisms is displayed. In both settings, there is (...) evidence to show that conscious reflexiveness and intersubjective and unconscious automatic processes are necessary to reach the desired outcome. We conclude that a dissociative theory of mind can shed new light on the relationship between habitus and reflexivity. (shrink)
Dijkerman & de Haan (D&dH) argue that body image and body schema form parts of different and dissociable somatosensory streams. We agree in general, but believe that more emphasis should be placed on interactions between these two streams. We illustrate this point with evidence from the rubber-hand illusion (RHI) – an illusion of body image, which depends critically upon body schema.
A number of ways of taxonomizing human learning have been proposed. We examine the evidence for one such proposal, namely, that there exist independent explicit and implicit learning systems. This combines two further distinctions, (1) between learning that takes place with versus without concurrent awareness, and (2) between learning that involves the encoding of instances (or fragments) versus the induction of abstract rules or hypotheses. Implicit learning is assumed to involve unconscious rule learning. We examine the evidence for implicit learning (...) derived from subliminal learning, conditioning, artificial grammar learning, instrumental learning, and reaction times in sequence learning. We conclude that unconscious learning has not been satisfactorily established in any of these areas. The assumption that learning in some of these tasks (e.g., artificial grammar learning) is predominantly based on rule abstraction is questionable. When subjects cannot report the rules that govern stimulus selection, this is often because their knowledge consists of instances or fragments of the training stimuli rather than rules. In contrast to the distinction between conscious and unconscious learning, the distinction between instance and rule learning is a sound and meaningful way of taxonomizing human learning. We discuss various computational models of these two forms of learning. (shrink)
Visual illusions provide important evidence for the co-existence of unconscious and conscious representations. Objects surrounded by other figures are consciously perceived as different in size, while the visuo-motor system supposedly uses an unconscious representation of the discs’ true size for grip size scaling. Recent evidence suggests other factors than represented size, e.g., surrounding rings conceived as obstacles, affect grip size. Use of the diagonal illusion avoids visual obstacles in the path of the reaching hand. Results support the dual representation theory. (...) Grip size scaling follows actual size independent of illusory effects, which clearly bias conscious perception in direct comparisons of lengths and in finger-thumb span indications of perceived length. (shrink)
A number of ways of taxonomizing human learning have been proposed. We examine the evidence for one such proposal, namely, that there exist independent explicit and implicit learning systems. This combines two further distinctions, between learning that takes place with versus without concurrent awareness, and between learning that involves the encoding of instances versus the induction of abstract rules or hypotheses. Implicit learning is assumed to involve unconscious rule learning. We examine the evidence for implicit learning derived from subliminal learning, (...) conditioning, artificial grammar learning, instrumental learning, and reaction times in sequence learning. We conclude that unconscious learning has not been satisfactorily established in any of these areas. The assumption that learning in some of these tasks is predominantly based on rule abstraction is questionable. When subjects cannot report the “implicitly learned” rules that govern stimulus selection, this is often because their knowledge consists of instances or fragments of the training stimuli rather than rules. In contrast to the distinction between conscious and unconscious learning, the distinction between instance and rule learning is a sound and meaningful way of taxonomizing human learning. We discuss various computational models of these two forms of learning. (shrink)
The present study was designed to explore the relationship between self-reported dissociative experiences and performance in tasks eliciting right-hemisphere processing load. Thirty-four participants performed a vigilance task in two conditions: with task-irrelevant negative-arousing pictures and task-irrelevant neutral pictures. Dissociation was assessed with the Dissociative Experience Scale. Consistent with theories positing right-hemisphere deregulation in high non-clinical dissociators, dissociative experiences correlated with greater vigilance decrement only in the negative picture condition. As both the vigilance task and negative picture processing are right (...) lateralized, this result provides support for a right-hemisphere dysfunction in high dissociators, at least in negative conditions. (shrink)
Common sense suggests that visual consciousness is essential to skilled motor action, but Andy Clark—inspired by Milner and Goodale's dual visual systems theory—has appealed to a wide range of experimental dissociations to argue that such an assumption is false. Critics of Clark's argument contend that the content driving motor action is actually within subjects' experience, just not easily discovered. In this article, I argue that even if such content exists, it cannot be guiding motor action, since a review of current (...) visual neuroscience indicates that the visual brain areas producing conscious representations are distinct from those driving motor action. (shrink)