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Emotional arousal in moral decision making

By Maya El Saneh


Treballs Finals del Màster de de Recerca en Comportament i Cognició, Facultat de Psicologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Curs: 2014-2015, Tutor: Guillem Feixas ViaplanaIn a previous study it was reported that patients with vmPFC damage had more tendency than people with no lesions to have more utilitarian responses, (i.e., deciding that is acceptable to make a harmful act in order to maximize overall utility) Moretto (2009). Our study included only healthy individuals in order to differentiate between the three types of conditions (personal moral, impersonal moral and non-moral dilemmas). The study included 21 participants that responded to personal as well as impersonal moral dilemmas while skin conductance response (SCR) was recorded as a physiological index of affective state. All participants were college students from University of Barcelona. As for gender, 11 of the subjects were female and 10 were male. Mean age of the subjects was 23.09, ranging from 18 to 30. Later, the results showed that when decisions involve more emotions like in personal moral dilemmas, healthy individuals took more time to answer (Response Time) and their SCR was high only when reading a personal dilemma but on average their responses were non-utilitarian. These findings support the hypothesis that the proportion of utilitarian responses will be lower in the personal moral situations in comparison with impersonal moral and non-moral situations and that SCR would be higher in participants exhibiting fewer utilitarian choices than in those with a higher rate of utilitarian responses

Topics: Dilema, Conducta (Psicologia), Cognició, Emocions, Tesis de màster, Dilemma, Human behavior, Cognition, Emotions, Masters theses
Year: 2016
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