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Virtual morality: transitioning from moral judgment to moral action?

Francis, K. B., Howard, C., Howard, I. S., Gummerum, M., Ganis, G., Anderson, G. and Terbeck, S. (2016) Virtual morality: transitioning from moral judgment to moral action? PLoS ONE, 11 (10). e0164374. ISSN 1932-6203

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164374

Abstract/Summary

The nature of moral action versus moral judgment has been extensively debated in numerous disciplines. We introduce Virtual Reality (VR) moral paradigms examining the action individuals take in a high emotionally arousing, direct action-focused, moral scenario. In two studies involving qualitatively different populations, we found a greater endorsement of utilitarian responses–killing one in order to save many others–when action was required in moral virtual dilemmas compared to their judgment counterparts. Heart rate in virtual moral dilemmas was significantly increased when compared to both judgment counterparts and control virtual tasks. Our research suggests that moral action may be viewed as an independent construct to moral judgment, with VR methods delivering new prospects for investigating and assessing moral behaviour.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:70866
Additional Information:Re-published in January 2017 with a correction: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0170133.
Publisher:Public Library of Science

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