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  1. ‘Is It Better Not to Know Certain Things?’: Views of Women Who Have Undergone Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing on its Possible Future Applications.Hilary Bowman-Smart, Julian Savulescu, Cara Mand, Christopher Gyngell, Mark D. Pertile, Sharon Lewis & Martin B. Delatycki - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (4):231-238.
    Non-invasive prenatal testing is at the forefront of prenatal screening. Current uses for NIPT include fetal sex determination and screening for chromosomal disorders such as trisomy 21. However, NIPT may be expanded to many different future applications. There are a potential host of ethical concerns around the expanding use of NIPT, as examined by the recent Nuffield Council report on the topic. It is important to examine what NIPT might be used for before these possibilities become consumer reality. There is (...)
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  • The Effect of Deliberative Process on the Self-Sacrificial Decisions of Utilitarian Healthcare Students.Jungjoon Ihm, Minhae Cho, Seunghee Lee, Do-Hwan Kim, Seungmin Kim & Yongmin Shin - 2022 - BMC Medical Ethics 23 (1):1-10.
    BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted prosocial behavior as a professional healthcare core competency. Although medical students are expected to work in the best interests of their patients, in the pandemic context, there is a greater need for ethical attention to be paid to the way medical students deal with moral dilemmas that may conflict with their obligations.MethodsThis study was conducted in the spring semester of 2019 on 271 students majoring in health professions: medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine. All participants provided (...)
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  • What Drives Public Attitudes Towards Moral Bioenhancement and Why It Matters: An Exploratory Study.Vojin Rakić, Marko Galjak & Marina Budić - 2021 - BMC Medical Ethics 22 (1):1-14.
    The paper represents an empirical study of public attitudes towards moral bioenhancement. Moral bioenhancement implies the improvement of moral dispositions, i.e. an increase in the moral value of the actions or character of a moral agent. The views of bioethicists and scientists on this topic are present in the ongoing debate, but not the view of the public in general. In order to bridge the gap between the philosophical debate and the view of the public, we have examined attitudes towards (...)
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  • Moral Rationalism on the Brain.Joshua May - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    I draw on neurobiological evidence to defend the rationalist thesis that moral judgments are essentially dependent on reasoning, not emotions (conceived as distinct from inference). The neuroscience reveals that moral cognition arises from domain-general capacities in the brain for inferring, in particular, the consequences of an agent’s action, the agent’s intent, and the rules or norms relevant to the context. Although these capacities entangle inference and affect, blurring the reason/emotion dichotomy doesn’t preferentially support sentimentalism. The argument requires careful consideration of (...)
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  • How Stable are Moral Judgments?Paul Rehren & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-27.
    Psychologists and philosophers often work hand in hand to investigate many aspects of moral cognition. In this paper, we want to highlight one aspect that to date has been relatively neglected: the stability of moral judgment over time. After explaining why philosophers and psychologists should consider stability and then surveying previous research, we will present the results of an original three-wave longitudinal study. We asked participants to make judgments about the same acts in a series of sacrificial dilemmas three times, (...)
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  • Are the Folk Utilitarian About Animals?Guy Kahane & Lucius Caviola - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    Robert Nozick famously raised the possibility that there is a sense in which both deontology and utilitarianism are true: deontology applies to humans while utilitarianism applies to animals. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in such a hybrid views of ethics. Discussions of this Nozickian Hybrid View, and similar approaches to animal ethics, often assume that such an approach reflects the commonsense view, and best captures common moral intuitions. However, recent psychological work challenges this empirical assumption. We review (...)
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  • Humans First: Why People Value Animals Less Than Humans.Lucius Caviola, Stefan Schubert, Guy Kahane & Nadira S. Faber - 2022 - Cognition 225:105139.
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  • Extreme Time-Pressure Reveals Utilitarian Intuitions in Sacrificial Dilemmas.Alejandro Rosas & David Aguilar-Pardo - 2020 - Thinking and Reasoning 26 (4):534-551.
    The mainstream version of the dual-process model of moral cognition claims that utilitarian responses to sacrificial moral dilemmas are the outputs of controlled cognitive processes....
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  • Sacrificial Utilitarian Judgments Do Reflect Concern for the Greater Good: Clarification Via Process Dissociation and the Judgments of Philosophers.Paul Conway, Jacob Goldstein-Greenwood, David Polacek & Joshua D. Greene - 2018 - Cognition 179:241-265.
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  • Cognitive Load Selectively Interferes with Utilitarian Moral Judgment.Jonathan D. Cohen Joshua D. Greene, Sylvia A. Morelli, Kelly Lowenberg, Leigh E. Nystrom - 2008 - Cognition 107 (3):1144.
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  • Trolleys, Triage and Covid-19: The Role of Psychological Realism in Sacrificial Dilemmas.Markus Kneer & Ivar R. Hannikainen - 2021 - Cognition and Emotion 8.
    At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, frontline medical professionals at intensive care units around the world faced gruesome decisions about how to ration life-saving medical resources. These events provided a unique lens through which to understand how the public reasons about real-world dilemmas involving trade-offs between human lives. In three studies (total N = 2298), we examined people’s moral attitudes toward triage of acute coronavirus patients, and found elevated support for utilitarian triage policies. These utilitarian tendencies did not stem (...)
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  • Trolleys, Triage and Covid-19: The Role of Psychological Realism in Sacrificial Dilemmas.Markus Kneer & Ivar R. Hannikainen - 2022 - Cognition and Emotion 36 (1):137-153.
    At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, frontline medical professionals at intensive care units around the world faced gruesome decisions about how to ration life-saving medical resources. These events provided a unique lens through which to understand how the public reasons about real-world dilemmas involving trade-offs between human lives. In three studies (total N = 2298), we examined people’s moral attitudes toward the triage of acute coronavirus patients, and found elevated support for utilitarian triage policies. These utilitarian tendencies did not (...)
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  • Ethical Reasoning During a Pandemic: Results of a Five Country European Study.S. B. Johnson, F. Lucivero, B. M. Zimmermann, E. Stendahl, G. Samuel, A. Phillips & N. Hangel - 2022 - AJOB Empirical Bioethics 13 (2):67-78.
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  • Moral Decision-Making During COVID-19: Moral Judgements, Moralisation, and Everyday Behaviour.Kathryn B. Francis & Carolyn B. McNabb - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose significant health, economic, and social challenges. Given that many of these challenges have moral relevance, the present studies investigate whether the COVID-19 pandemic is influencing moral decision-making and whether moralisation of behaviours specific to the crisis predict adherence to government-recommended behaviours. Whilst we find no evidence that utilitarian endorsements have changed during the pandemic at two separate timepoints, individuals have moralised non-compliant behaviours associated with the pandemic such as failing to physically distance themselves from (...)
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  • Consequentialist Motives for Punishment Signal Trustworthiness.Nathan A. Dhaliwal, Daniel P. Skarlicki, JoAndrea Hoegg & Michael A. Daniels - 2022 - Journal of Business Ethics 176 (3):451-466.
    Upholding cooperative norms via punishment is of central importance in organizations. But what effect does punishing have on the reputation of the punisher? Although previous research shows third parties can garner reputational benefits for punishing transgressors who violate social norms, we proposed that such reputational benefits can vary based on the perceived motive for the punishment. In Studies 1 and 2, we found that individuals who endorsed a consequentialist motive for punishing were seen as more trustworthy. In Study 3, the (...)
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  • Measuring Impartial Beneficence: A Kantian Perspective on the Oxford Utilitarianism Scale.Emilian Mihailov - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-16.
    To capture genuine utilitarian tendencies, developed the Oxford Utilitarianism Scale based on two subscales, which measure the commitment to impartial beneficence and the willingness to cause harm for the greater good. In this article, I argue that the impartial beneficence subscale, which breaks ground with previous research on utilitarian moral psychology, does not distinctively measure utilitarian moral judgment. I argue that Kantian ethics captures the all-encompassing impartial concern for the well-being of all human beings. The Oxford Utilitarianism Scale draws, in (...)
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  • Doing Good by Doing Bad: How Tone at the Top and Tone at the Bottom Impact Performance-Improving Noncompliant Behavior.Corinna Ewelt-Knauer, Anja Schwering & Sandra Winkelmann - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 175 (3):609-624.
    This study investigates how tone at the top, implemented by top management, and tone at the bottom, in an employee’s immediate work environment, determine noncompliance. We focus on the disallowed actions of employees that improve their own and, in turn, the company’s performance, referred to as performance-improving noncompliant behavior. We conduct a survey of German sales employees to investigate specifically how, on the one hand, corporate rules and performance pressure, both implemented by top management, and, on the other hand, others’ (...)
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  • Consequentialist Motives for Punishment Signal Trustworthiness.Nathan A. Dhaliwal, Daniel P. Skarlicki, JoAndrea Hoegg & Michael A. Daniels - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 176 (3):1-16.
    Upholding cooperative norms via punishment is of central importance in organizations. But what effect does punishing have on the reputation of the punisher? Although previous research shows third parties can garner reputational benefits for punishing transgressors who violate social norms, we proposed that such reputational benefits can vary based on the perceived motive for the punishment. In Studies 1 and 2, we found that individuals who endorsed a consequentialist motive for punishing were seen as more trustworthy. In Study 3, the (...)
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  • Hunger Bias or Gut Instinct? Responses to Judgments of Harm Depending on Visceral State Versus Intuitive Decision-Making.Helen Brown, Michael J. Proulx & Danaë Stanton Fraser - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  • Impartiality and Infectious Disease: Prioritizing Individuals Versus the Collective in Antibiotic Prescription.Bernadine Dao, Thomas Douglas, Alberto Giubilini, Julian Savulescu, Michael Selgelid & Nadira S. Faber - 2019 - AJOB Empirical Bioethics 10 (1):63-69.
    Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health disaster driven largely by antibiotic use in human health care. Doctors considering whether to prescribe antibiotics face an ethical conflict between upholding individual patient health and advancing public health aims. Existing literature mainly examines whether patients awaiting consultations desire or expect to receive antibiotic prescriptions, but does not report views of the wider public regarding conditions under which doctors should prescribe antibiotics. It also does not explore the ethical significance of public views (...)
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  • Can Induced Reflection Affect Moral Decision-Making?Daniel Spears, Yasmina Okan, Irene Hinojosa-Aguayo, José César Perales, María Ruz & Felisa González - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (1):28-46.
    Evidence about whether reflective thinking may be induced and whether it affects utilitarian choices is inconclusive. Research suggests that answering items correctly in the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) before responding to dilemmas may lead to more utilitarian decisions. However, it is unclear to what extent this effect is driven by the inhibition of intuitive wrong responses (reflection) versus the requirement to engage in deliberative processing. To clarify this issue, participants completed either the CRT or the Berlin Numeracy Test (BNT) – (...)
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  • Beyond Moral Dilemmas: The Role of Reasoning in Five Categories of Utilitarian Judgment.François Jaquet & Florian Cova - 2021 - Cognition 209:104572.
    Over the past two decades, the study of moral reasoning has been heavily influenced by Joshua Greene’s dual-process model of moral judgment, according to which deontological judgments are typically supported by intuitive, automatic processes while utilitarian judgments are typically supported by reflective, conscious processes. However, most of the evidence gathered in support of this model comes from the study of people’s judgments about sacrificial dilemmas, such as Trolley Problems. To which extent does this model generalize to other debates in which (...)
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  • Worth Living or Worth Dying? The Views of the General Public About Allowing Disabled Children to Die.Claudia Brick, Guy Kahane, Dominic Wilkinson, Lucius Caviola & Julian Savulescu - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (1):7-15.
    BackgroundDecisions about withdrawal of life support for infants have given rise to legal battles between physicians and parents creating intense media attention. It is unclear how we should evaluate when life is no longer worth living for an infant. Public attitudes towards treatment withdrawal and the role of parents in situations of disagreement have not previously been assessed.MethodsAn online survey was conducted with a sample of the UK public to assess public views about the benefit of life in hypothetical cases (...)
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  • Your Health Vs. My Liberty: Philosophical Beliefs Dominated Reflection and Identifiable Victim Effects When Predicting Public Health Recommendation Compliance During the COVID-19 Pandemic.Nick Byrd & Michał Białek - 2021 - Cognition 104649.
    In response to crises, people sometimes prioritize fewer specific identifiable victims over many unspecified statistical victims. How other factors can explain this bias remains unclear. So two experiments investigated how complying with public health recommendations during the COVID19 pandemic depended on victim portrayal, reflection, and philosophical beliefs (Total N = 998). Only one experiment found that messaging about individual victims increased compliance compared to messaging about statistical victims—i.e., "flatten the curve" graphs—an effect that was undetected after controlling for other factors. (...)
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  • Switching Tracks? Towards a Multidimensional Model of Utilitarian Psychology.Jim A. C. Everett & Guy Kahane - 2020 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences.
    Sacrificial moral dilemmas are widely used to investigate when, how, and why people make judgments that are consistent with utilitarianism. But to what extent can responses to sacrificial dilemmas shed light on utilitarian decision making? We consider two key questions: First, how meaningful is the relationship between responses to sacrificial dilemmas and what is distinctive of a utilitarian approach to morality? Second, to what extent do findings about sacrificial dilemmas generalise to other moral contexts where there is tension between utilitarianism (...)
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  • Not All Who Ponder Count Costs: Arithmetic Reflection Predicts Utilitarian Tendencies, but Logical Reflection Predicts Both Deontological and Utilitarian Tendencies.Nick Byrd & Paul Conway - 2019 - Cognition 192 (103995).
    Conventional sacrificial moral dilemmas propose directly causing some harm to prevent greater harm. Theory suggests that accepting such actions (consistent with utilitarian philosophy) involves more reflective reasoning than rejecting such actions (consistent with deontological philosophy). However, past findings do not always replicate, confound different kinds of reflection, and employ conventional sacrificial dilemmas that treat utilitarian and deontological considerations as opposite. In two studies, we examined whether past findings would replicate when employing process dissociation to assess deontological and utilitarian inclinations independently. (...)
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  • Examining the Unfolding of Moral Decisions Across Time Using the Reach-to-Touch Paradigm.Samantha Parker & Matthew Finkbeiner - 2019 - Thinking and Reasoning 26 (2):218-253.
    Recent theories of decision making are characterised by a growing emphasis on understanding the cognitive mechanisms that produce decisions. This has seen a growth in methods that allow for the con...
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