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Not All Who Ponder Count Costs: Arithmetic Reflection Predicts Utilitarian Tendencies, but Logical Reflection Predicts both Deontological and Utilitarian Tendencies

Byrd, Nick and Conway, Paul (2019) Not All Who Ponder Count Costs: Arithmetic Reflection Predicts Utilitarian Tendencies, but Logical Reflection Predicts both Deontological and Utilitarian Tendencies. [Preprint]

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Abstract

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. Findings suggested two categorically different impacts of reflection: measures of arithmetic reflection, such as the Cognitive Reflection Test, predicted only utilitarian, not deontological, response tendencies. However, measures of logical reflection, such as performance on logical syllogisms, positively predicted both utilitarian and deontological tendencies. These studies replicate some findings, clarify others, and reveal opportunity for additional nuance in dual process theorist’s claims about the link between reflection and dilemma judgments.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Byrd, Nicknick.a.byrd@gmail.com0000-0001-5475-5941
Conway, Paulconway@psy.fsu.edu
Keywords: moral dilemmas; process dissociation; dual-process theory; cognitive reflection test; belief bias; moral psychology
Subjects: General Issues > Ethical Issues
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Judgment and Decision Making
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Mr Nick Byrd
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2019 03:31
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 03:31
Item ID: 16102
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.​1016/​j.​cognition.​2019.​06.​...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.06.007
Subjects: General Issues > Ethical Issues
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Judgment and Decision Making
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Social Psychology
Date: 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16102

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