Erin Calhoun Global Scholars 2016 Symposium

Title: A Study of Everyday Moral Decision Making

Abstract: The study of moral psychology is important to exploring human empathy, social relationships, and society at large. Historically, psychological studies of moral decision-making have centered on abstract dilemmas that involve very unlikely life or death scenarios. These abstract dilemmas do not allow researchers to study the processes that underlie the dilemmas humans face commonly. Everyday moral vignettes circumvent this problem, allowing researchers to study responses to scenarios involving stealing money or romantic infidelity, for example. However, everyday dilemmas lack the emotional intensity of their abstract counterparts. This study has created a body of realistic, everyday stimuli that maintain the life or death severity of abstract scenarios: medical ethical dilemmas.

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