Harm, Affect and the Moral / Conventional Distinction by Daniel Kelly Stephen Stich



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Harm, Affect and the Moral / Conventional Distinction

by

Daniel Kelly



Stephen Stich

Kevin J. Haley

Serena J. Eng

Daniel M. T. Fessler


­

Scenarios and Results
Each of the full scenario sets is presented below. Only one of the distinct ordered pairs is listed for each scenario set. In reverse-order scenario pairs, where scenario B preceded scenario A, for example, phrases like “Now suppose that…” were simply transposed from the beginning of the description of scenario B to the beginning of scenario A’s description. A table of basic results follows each scenario set.
Cannibalism Spatial

A) A number of cultures in various parts of the world traditionally engaged in the practice of eating parts of their deceased relatives' bodies as part of elaborate funeral rituals. Suppose you came upon such a funeral where people in one of these groups were eating parts of their deceased relatives' bodies.


Is it OK for these people to eat parts of their deceased relatives' bodies?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate these people’s behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

B) Now suppose there is a small group of Americans living in Northern California who have the ritual practice of eating parts of their deceased relatives' bodies as part of funeral rituals. Suppose you came upon a group of these Americans at a funeral where people were eating parts of the bodies of their deceased relatives.


Is it OK for these people to eat parts of their deceased relatives' bodies?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate these people’s behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Cannibalism Spatial (N = 180). Standard deviations are in parentheses.






Overall (across versions)

Main Effect

Version 1

(A first)

Version 2 (B first)

Order Effects




A

B




A

B

B

A




OK?


74%

56%

2=26.68;

p=0.000

81%

52%

60%

66%

A: 2=4.81; p=0.028

B: none


How bad?

3.83 (3.05)

4.94 (3.14)

t(180)=6.61; p=0.000

3.36 (2.92)

5.00 (3.21)

4.87 (3.09)

4.40 (3.13)

A: F(1,178)= 5.37; p=0.022

B: none



Slavery Spatio-temporal

A) In ancient Greece and Rome, slaves were an important part of the economic and social system. Greek and Roman slaves were used as oarsmen, as soldiers, to maintain households, and to supply agricultural labor.


Was it OK for the ancient Greeks and Romans to keep slaves?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate the ancient Greeks and Romans' behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

B) In the United States, slaves were an important part of the economy of the South 200 years ago. American slaves were used mainly to maintain households, and to supply agricultural labor.


Was it OK for Americans to keep slaves 200 years ago?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate the Americans' behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Slavery Spatio-temporal (N=188). Standard deviations are in parentheses.






Overall (across versions)

Main Effect

Version 1 (A first)

Version 2 (B first)

Order Effects




A

B




A

B

B

A




OK?


11%

7%

McNemar 2; p=0.021

20%

10%

5%

5%

A: 2=10.57; p=0.001

B: none


How bad?

6.91 (2.18)

7.52 (2.01)

t(188)=4.96; p=0.000

6.16 (2.33)

7.35 (1.99)

7.64 (2.02)

7.49 (1.87)

A: F(1,186)=18.75;

p=0.000

B: none


Whipping Temporal

A) Three hundred years ago, whipping was a common practice in most navies and on cargo ships. There were no laws against it, and almost everyone thought that whipping was an appropriate way to discipline sailors who disobeyed orders or were drunk on duty.


Mr. Williams was an officer on a cargo ship 300 years ago. One night, while at sea, he found a sailor drunk at a time when the sailor should have been on watch. After the sailor sobered up, Williams punished the sailor by giving him 5 lashes with a whip.
Is it OK for Mr. Adams to whip the sailor?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Mr. Adams' behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

B) Mr. Adams is an officer on a large modern American cargo ship in 2004. One night, while at sea, he finds a sailor drunk at a time when the sailor should have been monitoring the radar screen. After the sailor sobers up, Adams punishes the sailor by giving him 5 lashes with a whip.


Is it OK for Mr. Adams to whip the sailor?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Mr. Adams' behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Whipping Temporal (N=198). Standard deviations are in parentheses.






Overall (across versions)

Main Effect

Version 1 (A first)

Version 2 (B first)

Order Effects




A

B




A

B

B

A




OK?


51%

10%

2=79.01

p=0.000

52%

6%

13%

49%

None

How bad?

4.33 (2.82)

6.88 (2.26)

t(198)=13.55; p=0.000

4.50 (2.72)

7.17 (1.94)

6.59 (2.50)

4.17 (2.91)

A: none

B: F(1,196)=3.35;



p=0.069



Whipping Authority

A) Mr. Adams is an officer on a large modern American cargo ship in 2004. One night, while at sea, he finds a sailor drunk at a time when the sailor should have been monitoring the radar screen. After the sailor sobers up, Adams punishes the sailor by giving him 5 lashes with a whip.


Is it OK for Mr. Adams to whip the sailor?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Mr. Adams' behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

B) Now suppose that the Captain of the modern cargo ship had told Mr. Adams that "On this ship it is OK for officers to whip sailors."


Is it OK for Mr. Adams to whip the sailor?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Mr. Adams' behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Whipping Authority (N=196). Standard deviations are in parentheses.






Overall (across versions)

Main Effect

Version 1 (A first)

Version 2 (B first)

Order Effects




A

B




A

B

B

A




OK?


6%

22%

2=25.26; p=0.000

8%

18%

28%

2%

A: 2=3.61; p=0.057

B: none


How bad?

7.19 (2.18)

6.03 (2.54)

t(196)=8.00; p=0.000

6.76 (2.38)

6.06 (2.49)

5.99 (2.61)

7.70 (1.80)

A: F(1,194)=9.40; p=0.002

B: none


Military training Authority

A) For many years, the military training of elite American commandos included a simulated interrogation by enemy forces in which the trainees were threatened and physically abused. Most people in the military believe that these simulated interrogations were helpful in preparing trainees for situations they might face later in their military careers. Though no one was ever killed or permanently disabled by the physical abuse they received during these simulated interrogations, the trainees often ended up with bruises or injuries that lasted for a week or more.


Recently, the Pentagon issued orders prohibiting physical abuse in military training. Sergeant Anderson is a soldier who trains elite American commandos. He knows about the orders prohibiting physical abuse and his immediate superiors have ordered him not to do it. Nonetheless, he regularly threatens and physically abuses trainees during the simulated interrogations that he conducts.
Is it OK for Sergeant Anderson to physically abuse trainees during simulated interrogations?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Sergeant Anderson’s behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

B) Now suppose that the Pentagon had never issued orders prohibiting physical abuse in military training, and that Sergeant Anderson's superiors had told him that the use of physical abuse was acceptable in simulated interrogations.


Is it OK for Sergeant Anderson to physically abuse trainees during simulated interrogations?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Sergeant Anderson’s behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Military training Authority (N=150). Standard deviations are in parentheses.






Overall (across versions)

Main Effect

Version 1 (A first)

Version 2 (B first)

Order Effects




A

B




A

B

B

A




OK?


9%

58%

2=71.01; p=0.000

15%

55%

61%

3%

A: 2=7.03; p=0.008

B: none


How bad?

6.82 (2.26)

3.99 (2.93)

t(150)=12.91

p=0.000

6.24 (2.58)

4.06 (3.00)

3.90 (2.87)

7.44 (1.64)

A: F(1,148)=11.35; p=0.001

B: none


Prisoner abuse Authority

A) Sergeant Johnson is interrogating a suspected terrorist who may have information about future terrorist attacks. His commanding officer has ordered him not to use sleep deprivation as a way of getting information. Nonetheless Sergeant Johnson keeps the suspect awake for three days and three nights.


Is it OK for Sergeant Johnson to keep the suspect awake for three days and three nights?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Sergeant Johnson’s behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

B) Now suppose that before he decided to keep the prisoner awake, Sergeant Johnson's commanding officer had told him that the use of sleep deprivation is an acceptable way of trying to get information when interrogating suspected terrorists, and that Sergeant Johnson could use sleep deprivation whenever he wanted to.


Is it OK for Sergeant Johnson to keep the suspect awake for three days and three nights?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Sergeant Johnson’s behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Prisoner abuse Authority (N=173). Standard deviations are in parentheses.






Overall (across versions)

Main Effect

Version 1 (A first)

Version 2 (B first)

Order Effects




A

B




A

B

B

A




OK?


1%

15%

2=20.35

p=0.000

0%

18%

12%

2%

None

How bad?

6.31 (2.09)

4.88 (2.39)

t(173)=9.02; p=0.000

5.59 (1.91)

4.38 (2.40)

5.40 (2.28)

7.03 (2.02)

A: F(1,171)=23.45; p=0.000

B: F(1,171)=8.17; p=0.005



Spanking Authority

A) It is against the law for teachers to spank students. Ms. Williams is a third grade teacher, and she knows about the law prohibiting spanking. She has also received clear instructions from her Principal not to spank students. But when a boy in her class is very disruptive and repeatedly hits other children, she spanks him.


Is it OK for Ms. Williams to spank the boy?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Ms. Williams' behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

B) Now suppose that it was not against the law for teachers to spank students, and that Ms. Williams' Principal had told her that she could spank students who misbehave if she wanted to.


Is it OK for Ms. Williams to spank the boy?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Ms. Williams' behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Spanking authority (N=168). Standard deviations are in parentheses.






Overall (across versions)

Main Effect

Version 1 (A first)

Version 2 (B first)

Order Effects




A

B




A

B

B

A




OK?


5%

44%

2=63.02; p=0.000

8%

48%

40%

2%

A: 2=2.94; p=0.087

B: none


How bad?

6.57 (2.41)

4.17 (2.89)

t(168)=12.35

p=0.000

5.88 (2.52)

3.96 (2.87)

4.37 (2.90)

7.25 (2.09)

A: F(1,166)=14.64; p=0.000

B: none


Hair pull Authority

A) Nancy and Lisa are both 8 years old. Nancy is playing on the swing in the playground during school recess. Lisa walks up and pulls her hair. Nancy starts to cry.


Is it OK for Lisa to pull Nancy's hair?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Lisa’s behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

B) Now suppose that the teacher had said before recess, before Lisa pulled Nancy's hair, that "At this school there is no rule against pulling hair. Anybody can pull someone's hair if they want to."


Is it OK for Lisa to pull Nancy's hair?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Lisa’s behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Hair pull authority (N=205). Standard deviations are in parentheses.






Overall (across versions)

Main Effect

Version 1 (A first)

Version 2 (B first)

Order Effects




A

B




A

B

B

A




OK?


4%

14%

2=12.89; p=0.000

6%

14%

13%

2%

None

How bad?

7.15 (1.91)

5.58 (2.40)

t(205)=10.29; p=0.000

6.90 (1.96)

5.37 (2.58)

5.79 (2.20)

7.41 (1.82)

A: F(1,203)=3.78; p=0.053

B: none


Hitting Authority

A) Ben and Frank are boys in grade school. While Ben is sitting at his desk working, Frank walks up and hits Ben, and Ben begins to cry.


Is it OK for Frank to hit Ben?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Frank’s behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

B) Now suppose that the teacher had said before the lesson, before Frank hit Ben, that "At this school, anybody can hit someone if they want to."


Is it OK for Frank to hit Ben?
YES NO
On a scale from 0 to 9, how would you rate Frank’s behavior?

Not at all bad Very bad

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Hitting authority (N=177). Standard deviations are in parentheses.






Overall (across versions)

Main Effect

Version 1 (A first)

Version 2 (B first)

Order Effects




A

B




A

B

B

A




OK?


14%

53%

2=62.35; p=0.000

20%

48%

56%

9%

A: 2=4.42; p=0.036

B: none


How bad?

6.56 (2.47)

4.06 (2.84)

t(177)=12.03; p=0.000

6.03 (2.64)

4.14 (2.91)

4.00 (2.80)

7.00 (2.25)

A: F(1,175)=7.02; p=0.009

B: none







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