PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe growing field of moral psychology has demonstrated promise for understanding how we make moral decisions. Researchers ask you to choose your actions in a specific moral scenario. For example, would you sacrifice one person for five? This research study tests the effect of different scenario wording on responses to moral dilemmas, which are scenarios that place the judge in a conflicted moral situation. Moral questions include three types: personal moral, impersonal moral, and non-moral. These questions were manipulated to appear in one of four conditions. Two conditions featured second person or third person perspectives, and two conditions utilized either 'would' questions or 'should' questions. Participants made utilitarian (greatest good for the most people) or non-utilitarian decisions for thirty scenarios containing all three types of moral questions. Results show an interaction effect between the second/third person wording and would/should question types. People were more likely to make utilitarian judgments when deciding what others would do. Implications include validation of measurement accuracy for moral scenarios, and discussion offers greater understanding of how we make moral decisions both consciously and unconsciously.
Degree ProgramHonors College