This site uses cookies

By using this site, you consent to our use of cookies. You can view our terms and conditions for more information.

Response time modelling reveals evidence for multiple, distinct sources of moral decision caution

Milan Andrejević
Monash University ~ Philosophy
Mr. Joshua White
University of Melbourne ~ School of Psychological Sciences
Daniel Feuerriegel
Simon Laham
Stefan Bode

In everyday life, moral judgments are frequently made in dynamic information environments, in which we are required to revise our first impressions after learning new information. Further, overly harsh moral judgments may damage social relationships. For these reasons, we often need to be cautious in our moral judgments, yet how caution impacts moral decision-making processes remains poorly understood. We investigated how moral valence-driven caution and contextual information expectancy-driven caution affect decision processes underlying moral judgements using the diffusion decision model (DDM) framework. Across two experiments, participants (N = 122) made moral judgements of others’ sharing actions. Prior to judging, participants were informed whether contextual information regarding the deservingness of the recipient would follow. We found that participants slowed their moral judgements when judging negatively valenced actions and when expecting contextual updates. Using a hierarchical Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo estimation of the DDM, we showed that these changes can be accounted for by shifts in drift rate and decision bias (valence) and boundary setting (context), respectively. These findings demonstrate that moral decision caution can be decomposed into distinct aspects of the unfolding decision process: the widening of boundaries in response to contextual update expectancy which may serve to reduce erroneous responding in general; and decision bias shifts, which reflect additional guarding against erroneous judgements which are negative.



moral decision caution
moral judgment
response time
drift diffusion model
dictator game
context update

There is nothing here yet. Be the first to create a thread.

Cite this as:

Andrejević, M., White, J. P., Feuerriegel, D., Laham, S., & Bode, S. (2021, July). Response time modelling reveals evidence for multiple, distinct sources of moral decision caution. Paper presented at Virtual MathPsych/ICCM 2021. Via