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Visual Imagery Influences Deontological Moral Judgement

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Question: Amit and Greene posed the question of whether or not visual imagery influences some moral judgements over others. To test their hypothesis, Amit and Greene (2012) broke the main question down into two parts and tested them over the course of three experiments. The first hypothesis stated that visual imagery influenced deontological judgements, and the second state that verbal cognitive processes influenced utilitarian judgements.
Alternatives:
Amit and Greene answered the question with the assertion that visual imagery specifically affects deontological moral judgement comparative to other forms of judgement (Amit & Greene, 2012). An alternative answer to the question of whether or not visual imagery supports a particular type
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Amit and Greene’s hypothesis supports a dual-processing theory of morality (Amit & Greene), deontological judgments, favoring the individual, and utilitarian judgements, favoring the many for the greater good. Another theory posed by Eugene M. Caruso and Francesca Gino (2011), claims that visual imagery affects ethical behavior generally, rather than a specific type of moral processing. Caruso and Gino theorized that, rather than individuals having separate processes for judging the morality a situation, simply closing one’s eyes can increase stimulation in the brain and allow for a more critical assessment of the situation and which potential actions are ethical versus unethical.
Method:
Experiment 1 tested if there was a difference in an individual’s tendency to make deontological judgments or utilitarian judgements depending on whether that individual favored a visual cognitive style versus a verbal cognitive style,
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Three hundred participants, both men and women with ages ranging from 17-70, were assigned either the Footbridge or Trolley dilemma. The participants were asked to answer two visual imagery question, which were given to the participants either before or after their response to the dilemma. The first question was: did the participant visualize the dilemma in his or her ‘mind’s eye.’ Followed by a 7-point scale that asked the participant to rate the vividness of the sacrifice of the one individual versus the sacrifice of the group. Lower numbers indicated that the sacrifice of the individual was more vivid, and vice
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