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Killing your friends? : The effect of emotional appeal on moral decision making under cognitive load

Brüggemann, T. (2019) Killing your friends? : The effect of emotional appeal on moral decision making under cognitive load.

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Abstract:Research on the dual process theory of moral judgement often makes use of the answer to a moral dilemma to assess if the action was deontic or utilitarian. Equating an answer to a moral dilemma with an underlying moral conviction has recently come under criticism. This study used a different approach in investigating the explanatory power of the dual process theory of moral judgement by manipulating the emotional appeal of a decision in the trolley problem. It investigated how cognitive load and the emotional appeal of people on the tracks in the trolley problem affected the reaction time to answer the dilemma. This study found that people took considerably longer to answer the trolley problem if the person on the single track was a young person or a friend than if they were a stranger. Cognitive load did not affect the reaction times. The increase in reaction time is attributed to an increased level of difficulty and a decreased level of confidence of the emotionally appealing scenarios. Implications for the dual process theory of moral judgements are discussed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/77118
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