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This study investigated how people solve moral dilemmas and aimed to show that their answers are influenced by critical information about the life expectancy of a person that has to be sacrificed in order to save several others individuals. We hypothesized that people should have a different reaction and, consequently, a “different ” mental representation of an individual if they known, for example, that this individual is attempting suicide, has a severe injury or is a terminally ill patient. The information about the life expectation of a person could provide the decision maker with a sort of “alibi ” allowing him to deem an action as acceptable despite the fact that he usually judges it inappropriate or immoral. In this respect, we hypothesized that providing people with a possible justification may induce them to engage on a more cognitive process of thinking and to overcome the emotional distaste for being the direct cause of another person suffering. Indeed, we found that providing people with a good justification induce them to behave more selfishly and to follow an utilitarian criterion to evaluate whether particular actions is acceptable or not

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