Margherita Daniele, Monica Bucciarelli

Utilitarian decisions in sacrificial moral dilemmas can be based on intuitions

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Mental Models; Moral Judgments; Utilitarian Decisions; Deontological Decisions.

Contrary to what is stated in the literature on moral judgments, mental model theory assumes that utilitarian decisions in classical moral dilemmas can rely on intuitions. From the assumptions of the theory descends the prediction that children are more utilitarian than adults in moral dilemmas. A former study confirmed such prediction, but since males were not properly represented in the group of adult participants, there is an alternative explanation of the results: the adults were almost females and, as well-known in literature, females are less utilitarian than males. The aim of the present investigation was to replicate the results of such study by extending the group of adults in order to balance them by gender. The results were replicated: we discuss them in relation to literature on utilitarian judgments in moral dilemmas.

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