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Moral Intuitions and Heuristics: Evaluating the Evidence

replications / related research

Never trust a single study.
Eg. the same authors pubilshed another study in the same year \citep{schnall:2008_clean} which an attempt to replicate has quite convincingly indicated that the effect is not powerful enough to have been discovered by the original study \citep{johnson:2014_does}.
How are things with \citet{schnall:2008_disgust}? \citep{chapman:2013_things} is a broadly supportive review.

Eskine et al, 2011 figure 1

\citet{eskine:2011_bad} is another study which appears to support (end extend) \citet{schnall:2008_disgust}.
Relevant because bitterness is related to disgust.
Different tastes in mouth, ‘using Wheatley and Haidt’s (2005) moral vignettes, which portray various moral trans- gressions (second cousins engaging in consensual incest, a man eating his already-dead dog, a congressman accepting bribes, a lawyer prowling hospitals for victims, a person shoplifting, and a student stealing library books)’ \citep{eskine:2011_bad}.
Also ‘using Wheatley and Haidt’s (2005) moral vignettes, which portray various moral transgressions (second cousins engaging in consensual incest, a man eating his already-dead dog, a congressman accepting bribes, a lawyer prowling hospitals for victims, a person shop-lifting, and a student stealing library books)’ \citep{eskine:2011_bad}.
‘Results revealed a significant effect of bev- erage type, F(2, 51) = 7.368, p = .002, η 2 = .224. Planned contrasts showed that participants’ moral judgments in the bitter condition (M = 78.34, SD = 10.83) were significantly harsher than judgments in the control condition (M = 61.58, SD = 16.88), t(51) = 3.117, p = .003, d = 1.09, and in the sweet condition (M = 59.58, SD = 16.70), t(51) = 3.609, p = .001, d = 1.22’ \citep{eskine:2011_bad}.
‘Judgments in the control and sweet conditions did not differ significantly, t(51) = 0.405, n.s.’ \citep{eskine:2011_bad}.

Chapman & Anderson, 2013 table 2

11 studies here. Note that two studies found no effect of manipulating disgust on moral judgement.

‘To date, almost all of the studies that have manipulated disgust or cleanliness have reported effects on moral judgment. These findings strengthen the case for a causal relationship between disgust and moral judgment, by showing that experimentally evoked disgust---or cleanliness, its opposite---can influence moral cognition’

\citep[p.~313]{chapman:2013_things}

Chapman & Anderson (2013)

conclusion so far

There seems to be a variety of evidence for the claim

that manipulating disgust-related phenomena

can influence unreflective ethical judgements.

puzzle 1

Why do people tend to respond differently in Trolley and Transplant?

puzzle 2

Why are ethical judgements sometimes, but not always, a consequence of reasoning from known principles?