Feeling Socially Connected Increases Utilitarian Choices in Moral Dilemmas
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The current research explores the relationship between feeling socially connected and decision-making in high- conﬂict moral dilemmas. High-conﬂict moral dilemmas pit utilitarian outcomes, where one person is directly harmed to save ﬁve others, against people's social intuitions and values, e.g. “Do not harm others.” Drawing on sociality motivation research, we predict that feeling socially connected increases utilitarian choices in high- conﬂict moral dilemmas. We support this prediction in three studies. Our studies manipulated social connection, independent of the dilemma context, using live social interactions (Studies 1–2) and a recall task (Study 3). Across studies, those induced to feel social connection made more utilitarian choices in a high-conﬂict moral dilemma.
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moral decision-making; moral reasoning; moral emotion; social connection; social motivation; utilitarianism
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Lucas, B. J., & Livingston, Robert, J. (2014). Feeling socially connected increases utilitarian choices in moral dilemmas. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2014, pp. 1-4.
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