Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Antisocial Personality Traits Predict Utilitarian Responses To Moral Dilemmas

By Daniel M. Bartels and David A. Pizarro

The Mismeaure of Morals:
Anitsocial Personality Traint Predict Utilitarian Responses to Moral Dilemmas
Cognition, Volume 121, Issue 1, October 2011, pages 154-161


Abstract
Researchers have recently argued that utilitarianism is the appropriate framework by which to evaluate moral judgment, and that individuals who endorse non-utilitarian solutions to moral dilemmas (involving active vs. passive harm) are committing an error. We report a study in which participants responded to a battery of personality assessments and a set of dilemmas that pit utilitarian and non-utilitarian options against each other. Participants who indicated greater endorsement of utilitarian solutions had higher scores on measures of Psychopathy, machiavellianism, and life meaninglessness. These results question the widely-used methods by which lay moral judgments are evaluated, as these approaches lead to the counterintuitive conclusion that those individuals who are least prone to moral errors also possess a set of psychological characteristics that many would consider prototypically immoral.

The first two pages of the article can be found here

Bartels, Pizarro


No comments: