The strength of emotions in moral judgment and decision-making under risk

Polish Psychological Bulletin 43 (2):132-144 (2012)
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Abstract

The strength of emotions in moral judgment and decision-making under risk The focus of this paper is the role of emotions in judgments and choices associated with moral issues. Study 1 shows that depending on the strength of emotions when making a moral decision, people become sensitive to the severity and the probability of harm that their decisions can bring to others. A possible interpretation is that depending on the strength of emotions, people in their moral judgments choose to be either utilitarian or deontologist. In Study 2, following the priority heuristic model, we found that in situations in which the violation of moral norms does not evoke strong negative emotions, people are sensitive to quantitative risk parameters, and the decision-making process requires a relatively longer time. In moral situations in which a violation of the moral norm evokes strong emotions, decision-making is based on arguments other than quantitative risk parameters, and the process takes a shorter time.

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