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1.
Psychol Sci ; 32(11): 1842-1855, 2021 Nov.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34705578

RESUMEN

Helping other people can entail risks for the helper. For example, when treating infectious patients, medical volunteers risk their own health. In such situations, decisions to help should depend on the individual's valuation of others' well-being (social preferences) and the degree of personal risk the individual finds acceptable (risk preferences). We investigated how these distinct preferences are psychologically and neurobiologically integrated when helping is risky. We used incentivized decision-making tasks (Study 1; N = 292 adults) and manipulated dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain by administering methylphenidate, atomoxetine, or a placebo (Study 2; N = 154 adults). We found that social and risk preferences are independent drivers of risky helping. Methylphenidate increased risky helping by selectively altering risk preferences rather than social preferences. Atomoxetine influenced neither risk preferences nor social preferences and did not affect risky helping. This suggests that methylphenidate-altered dopamine concentrations affect helping decisions that entail a risk to the helper.

2.
Curr Opin Psychol ; 44: 49-57, 2021 Aug 26.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34563979

RESUMEN

Humans are regularly in suboptimal psychophysiological states like stressed or hungry. Previous research has made both claims that such impairments should decrease and that they should increase prosocial behaviour. We describe the overarching theoretical reasoning underlying these opposing predictions. Then we discuss empirical research on the two impairments most frequently studied, acute stress and acute hunger, and we find that neither alters prosocial behaviour clearly in one direction. We argue that this is because even under impairments, humans react flexibly to the incentive structure of the specific social situation they are in. Hence, either prosocial or egoistic tendencies get expressed, depending on which strategy can lead to fulfilment of the need the impairment triggered.

3.
J Exp Psychol Gen ; 150(5): 1008-1039, 2021 May.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33074696

RESUMEN

Most people hold that it is wrong to sacrifice some humans to save a greater number of humans. Do people also think that it is wrong to sacrifice some animals to save a greater number of animals, or do they answer such questions about harm to animals by engaging in a utilitarian cost-benefit calculation? Across 10 studies (N = 4,662), using hypothetical and real-life sacrificial moral dilemmas, we found that participants considered it more permissible to harm a few animals to save a greater number of animals than to harm a few humans to save a greater number of humans. This was explained by a reduced general aversion to harm animals compared with humans, which was partly driven by participants perceiving animals to suffer less and to have lower cognitive capacity than humans. However, the effect persisted even in cases where animals were described as having greater suffering capacity and greater cognitive capacity than some humans, and even when participants felt more socially connected to animals than to humans. The reduced aversion to harming animals was thus also partly due to speciesism-the tendency to ascribe lower moral value to animals due to their species-membership alone. In sum, our studies show that deontological constraints against instrumental harm are not absolute but get weaker the less people morally value the respective entity. These constraints are strongest for humans, followed by dogs, chimpanzees, pigs, and finally inanimate objects. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).


Asunto(s)
Derechos del Animal , Teoría Ética , Juicio , Adulto , Animales , Perros , Femenino , Humanos , Masculino , Pan troglodytes , Sciuridae , Porcinos , Ursidae , Adulto Joven
4.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 4733, 2019 10 18.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31628302

RESUMEN

It has been argued that, when they are acutely hungry, people act in self-protective ways by keeping resources to themselves rather than sharing them. In four studies, using experimental, quasi-experimental, and correlational designs (total N = 795), we examine the effects of acute hunger on prosociality in a wide variety of non-interdependent tasks (e.g. dictator game) and interdependent tasks (e.g. public goods games). While our procedures successfully increase subjective hunger and decrease blood glucose, we do not find significant effects of hunger on prosociality. This is true for both decisions incentivized with money and with food. Meta-analysis across all tasks reveals a very small effect of hunger on prosociality in non-interdependent tasks (d = 0.108), and a non-significant effect in interdependent tasks (d = -0.076). In study five (N = 197), we show that, in stark contrast to our empirical findings, people hold strong lay theories that hunger undermines prosociality.


Asunto(s)
Técnicas de Observación Conductual/métodos , Hambre/fisiología , Conducta Social , Bienestar Social/psicología , Glucemia/metabolismo , Conducta de Elección/fisiología , Conducta Cooperativa , Femenino , Juegos Experimentales , Humanos , Masculino , Motivación/fisiología , Distribución Aleatoria , Recompensa , Adulto Joven
5.
Group Process Intergroup Relat ; 22(6): 785-803, 2019 Sep.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31588179

RESUMEN

Philosophers have argued there is a normative relationship between our attitudes towards animals ("speciesism") and other prejudices, and psychological work suggests speciesism relies on similar psychological processes and motivations as those underlying other prejudices. But do laypeople perceive such a connection? We compared perceptions of a target who is high or low on speciesism with those of a target who is high or low on racism (Studies 1-2), sexism (Study 2), or homophobia (Study 3). We find that just like racists, sexists, and homophobes, speciesists were both evaluated more negatively and expected to hold more general prejudicial attitudes and ideologies (e.g., thought to be higher on SDO and more prejudiced in other ways). Our results suggest that laypeople seem intuitively aware of the connection between speciesism and "traditional" forms of prejudice, inferring similar personality traits and general prejudicial attitudes from a speciesist just as they do from a racist, sexist, or homophobe.

6.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 15100, 2019 10 21.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31636277

RESUMEN

The 21st century will likely see growing risks of human extinction, but currently, relatively small resources are invested in reducing such existential risks. Using three samples (UK general public, US general public, and UK students; total N = 2,507), we study how laypeople reason about human extinction. We find that people think that human extinction needs to be prevented. Strikingly, however, they do not think that an extinction catastrophe would be uniquely bad relative to near-extinction catastrophes, which allow for recovery. More people find extinction uniquely bad when (a) asked to consider the extinction of an animal species rather than humans, (b) asked to consider a case where human extinction is associated with less direct harm, and (c) they are explicitly prompted to consider long-term consequences of the catastrophes. We conclude that an important reason why people do not find extinction uniquely bad is that they focus on the immediate death and suffering that the catastrophes cause for fellow humans, rather than on the long-term consequences. Finally, we find that (d) laypeople-in line with prominent philosophical arguments-think that the quality of the future is relevant: they do find extinction uniquely bad when this means forgoing a utopian future.


Asunto(s)
Extinción Biológica , Juicio , Principios Morales , Adulto , Femenino , Humanos , Masculino , Riesgo
7.
AJOB Empir Bioeth ; 10(1): 63-69, 2019.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30908114

RESUMEN

BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health disaster driven largely by antibiotic use in human health care. Doctors considering whether to prescribe antibiotics face an ethical conflict between upholding individual patient health and advancing public health aims. Existing literature mainly examines whether patients awaiting consultations desire or expect to receive antibiotic prescriptions, but does not report views of the wider public regarding conditions under which doctors should prescribe antibiotics. It also does not explore the ethical significance of public views or their sensitivity to awareness of AMR risks or the standpoint (self-interested or impartial) taken by participants. METHODS: An online survey was conducted with a sample of the U.S. public (n = 158). Participants were asked to indicate what relative priority should be given to individual patients and society-at-large from various standpoints and in various contexts, including antibiotic prescription. RESULTS: Of the participants, 50.3% thought that doctors should generally prioritize individual patients over society, whereas 32.0% prioritized society over individual patients. When asked in the context of AMR, 39.2% prioritized individuals whereas 45.5% prioritized society. Participants were significantly less willing to prioritize society over individuals when they themselves were the patient, both in general (p = .001) and in relation to AMR specifically (p = .006). CONCLUSIONS: Participants' attitudes were more oriented to society and sensitive to collective responsibility when informed about the social costs of antibiotic use and when considered from a third-person rather than first-person perspective. That is, as participants came closer to taking the perspective of an informed and impartial "ideal observer," their support for prioritizing society increased. Our findings suggest that, insofar as antibiotic policies and practices should be informed by attitudes that are impartial and well-informed, there is significant support for prioritizing society.


Asunto(s)
Antibacterianos/uso terapéutico , Actitud Frente a la Salud , Farmacorresistencia Microbiana , Prioridades en Salud/ética , Adulto , Anciano , Enfermedades Transmisibles/tratamiento farmacológico , Femenino , Política de Salud , Humanos , Masculino , Persona de Mediana Edad , Salud Pública/ética , Opinión Pública , Responsabilidad Social , Encuestas y Cuestionarios , Adulto Joven
8.
J Pers Soc Psychol ; 116(6): 1011-1029, 2019 Jun.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29517258

RESUMEN

We introduce and investigate the philosophical concept of 'speciesism' -the assignment of different moral worth based on species membership -as a psychological construct. In five studies, using both general population samples online and student samples, we show that speciesism is a measurable, stable construct with high interpersonal differences, that goes along with a cluster of other forms of prejudice, and is able to predict real-world decision-making and behavior. In Study 1 we present the development and empirical validation of a theoretically driven Speciesism Scale, which captures individual differences in speciesist attitudes. In Study 2, we show high test-retest reliability of the scale over a period of four weeks, suggesting that speciesism is stable over time. In Study 3, we present positive correlations between speciesism and prejudicial attitudes such as racism, sexism, homophobia, along with ideological constructs associated with prejudice such as social dominance orientation, system justification, and right-wing authoritarianism. These results suggest that similar mechanisms might underlie both speciesism and other well-researched forms of prejudice. Finally, in Studies 4 and 5, we demonstrate that speciesism is able to predict prosociality towards animals (both in the context of charitable donations and time investment) and behavioral food choices above and beyond existing related constructs. Importantly, our studies show that people morally value individuals of certain species less than others even when beliefs about intelligence and sentience are accounted for. We conclude by discussing the implications of a psychological study of speciesism for the psychology of human-animal relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).


Asunto(s)
Bienestar del Animal/ética , Actitud , Principios Morales , Adulto , Animales , Femenino , Humanos , Masculino , Estudiantes/psicología , Estudiantes/estadística & datos numéricos
9.
J Exp Soc Psychol ; 79: 200-216, 2018 Nov.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30393392

RESUMEN

Previous work has demonstrated that people are more likely to trust "deontological" agents who reject harming one person to save many others than "consequentialist" agents who endorse such instrumental harms, which could explain the higher prevalence of non-consequentialist moral intuitions. Yet consequentialism involves endorsing not just instrumental harm, but also impartial beneficence, treating the well-being of every individual as equally important. In four studies (total N = 2086), we investigated preferences for consequentialist vs. non-consequentialist social partners endorsing instrumental harm or impartial beneficence and examined how such preferences varied across different types of social relationships. Our results demonstrate robust preferences for non-consequentialist over consequentialist agents in the domain of instrumental harm, and weaker - but still evident - preferences in the domain of impartial beneficence. In the domain of instrumental harm, non-consequentialist agents were consistently viewed as more moral and trustworthy, preferred for a range of social roles, and entrusted with more money in economic exchanges. In the domain of impartial beneficence, preferences for non-consequentialist agents were observed for close interpersonal relationships requiring direct interaction (friend, spouse) but not for more distant roles with little-to-no personal interaction (political leader). Collectively our findings demonstrate that preferences for non-consequentialist agents are sensitive to the different dimensions of consequentialist thinking and the relational context.

10.
Psychoneuroendocrinology ; 96: 126-131, 2018 10.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29940425

RESUMEN

Acute stress affects human decision making. It has been argued that there are systematic sex differences in behavioral responses to acute stress, with males showing a 'fight or flight' and females showing a 'tend and befriend' response. A 'tend and befriend' response would suggest that women become more cooperative under acute stress, while men do not. We investigated the effects of acute stress on social behavior. We induced stress via the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and then immediately after measured how participants reacted to offers made in the ultimatum game by a male proposer. We found that female participants were less likely to reject offers under stress (n = 25) vs. no stress (n = 37), p = 0.009, independent of how fair these offers were, cooperative behavior consistent with the 'tend and befriend' hypothesis. Male participants when stressed (n = 30) did not show differences in rejections rates compared to the control condition (n = 26), p = 0.41. Our results provide support for a qualitatively different behavioral response to acute stress among men and women.


Asunto(s)
Conducta de Elección/fisiología , Estrés Psicológico/psicología , Adulto , Toma de Decisiones/fisiología , Femenino , Juegos Experimentales , Humanos , Hidrocortisona/análisis , Masculino , Saliva/química , Factores Sexuales , Conducta Social , Adulto Joven
11.
Psychol Sci ; 29(3): 379-389, 2018 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29381448

RESUMEN

An optimistic learning bias leads people to update their beliefs in response to better-than-expected good news but neglect worse-than-expected bad news. Because evidence suggests that this bias arises from self-concern, we hypothesized that a similar bias may affect beliefs about other people's futures, to the extent that people care about others. Here, we demonstrated the phenomenon of vicarious optimism and showed that it arises from concern for others. Participants predicted the likelihood of unpleasant future events that could happen to either themselves or others. In addition to showing an optimistic learning bias for events affecting themselves, people showed vicarious optimism when learning about events affecting friends and strangers. Vicarious optimism for strangers correlated with generosity toward strangers, and experimentally increasing concern for strangers amplified vicarious optimism for them. These findings suggest that concern for others can bias beliefs about their future welfare and that optimism in learning is not restricted to oneself.


Asunto(s)
Sesgo , Aprendizaje , Optimismo/psicología , Adulto , Femenino , Humanos , Masculino , Persona de Mediana Edad
12.
Psychol Rev ; 125(2): 131-164, 2018 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29265854

RESUMEN

[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 125(2) of Psychological Review (see record 2018-15704-001). The copyright attribution was incorrectly listed, and the Creative Commons CC-BY license disclaimer was incorrectly omitted from the author note. The correct copyright is "© 2017 The Author(s)" and the omitted disclaimer is found in the erratum. All versions of this article have been corrected.] Recent research has relied on trolley-type sacrificial moral dilemmas to study utilitarian versus nonutilitarian modes of moral decision-making. This research has generated important insights into people's attitudes toward instrumental harm-that is, the sacrifice of an individual to save a greater number. But this approach also has serious limitations. Most notably, it ignores the positive, altruistic core of utilitarianism, which is characterized by impartial concern for the well-being of everyone, whether near or far. Here, we develop, refine, and validate a new scale-the Oxford Utilitarianism Scale-to dissociate individual differences in the 'negative' (permissive attitude toward instrumental harm) and 'positive' (impartial concern for the greater good) dimensions of utilitarian thinking as manifested in the general population. We show that these are two independent dimensions of proto-utilitarian tendencies in the lay population, each exhibiting a distinct psychological profile. Empathic concern, identification with the whole of humanity, and concern for future generations were positively associated with impartial beneficence but negatively associated with instrumental harm; and although instrumental harm was associated with subclinical psychopathy, impartial beneficence was associated with higher religiosity. Importantly, although these two dimensions were independent in the lay population, they were closely associated in a sample of moral philosophers. Acknowledging this dissociation between the instrumental harm and impartial beneficence components of utilitarian thinking in ordinary people can clarify existing debates about the nature of moral psychology and its relation to moral philosophy as well as generate fruitful avenues for further research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).


Asunto(s)
Toma de Decisiones , Empatía , Teoría Ética , Principios Morales , Teoría Psicológica , Humanos
13.
Nat Hum Behav ; 2(8): 573-580, 2018 08.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31209312

RESUMEN

Uncertainty about how our choices will affect others infuses social life. Past research suggests uncertainty has a negative effect on prosocial behaviour1-12 by enabling people to adopt self-serving narratives about their actions1,13. We show that uncertainty does not always promote selfishness. We introduce a distinction between two types of uncertainty that have opposite effects on prosocial behaviour. Previous work focused on outcome uncertainty (uncertainty about whether or not a decision will lead to a particular outcome). However, as soon as people's decisions might have negative consequences for others, there is also impact uncertainty (uncertainty about how others' well-being will be impacted by the negative outcome). Consistent with past research1-12, we found decreased prosocial behaviour under outcome uncertainty. In contrast, prosocial behaviour was increased under impact uncertainty in incentivized economic decisions and hypothetical decisions about infectious disease threats. Perceptions of social norms paralleled the behavioural effects. The effect of impact uncertainty on prosocial behaviour did not depend on the individuation of others or the mere mention of harm, and was stronger when impact uncertainty was made more salient. Our findings offer insights into communicating uncertainty, especially in contexts where prosocial behaviour is paramount, such as responding to infectious disease threats.

14.
Pers Soc Psychol Rev ; 21(1): 3-28, 2017 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26468077

RESUMEN

What effects do factors that impair or enhance performance in individuals have when these individuals act in groups? We provide a framework, called the GIE ("Effects of Grouping on Impairments and Enhancements") framework, for investigating this question. As prominent examples for individual-level impairments and enhancements, we discuss sleep deprivation and caffeine. Based on previous research, we derive hypotheses on how they influence performance in groups, specifically process gains and losses in motivation, individual capability, and coordination. We conclude that the effect an impairment or enhancement has on individual-level performance is not necessarily mirrored in group performance: grouping can help or hurt. We provide recommendations on how to estimate empirically the effects individual-level performance impairments and enhancements have in groups. By comparing sleep deprivation to stress and caffeine to pharmacological cognitive enhancement, we illustrate that we cannot readily generalize from group results on one impairment or enhancement to another, even if they have similar effects on individual-level performance.


Asunto(s)
Cafeína/farmacología , Desempeño Psicomotor/fisiología , Privación de Sueño/metabolismo , Sueño/fisiología , Procesos de Grupo , Humanos , Motivación , Desempeño Psicomotor/efectos de los fármacos , Privación de Sueño/tratamiento farmacológico
15.
Neuron ; 91(2): 482-93, 2016 07 20.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27477020

RESUMEN

To survive, humans must estimate their own ability and the abilities of others. We found that, although people estimated their abilities on the basis of their own performance in a rational manner, their estimates of themselves were partly merged with the performance of others. Reciprocally, their ability estimates for others also reflected their own, as well as the others', performance. Self-other mergence operated in a context-dependent manner: interacting with high or low performers, respectively, enhanced and diminished own ability estimates in cooperative contexts, but the opposite occurred in competitive contexts. Self-other mergence not only influenced subjective evaluations, it also affected how people subsequently objectively adjusted their performance. Perigenual anterior cingulate cortex tracked one's own performance. Dorsomedial frontal area 9 tracked others' performances, but also integrated contextual and self-related information. Self-other mergence increased with the strength of self and other representations in area 9, suggesting it carries interdependent representations of self and other.


Asunto(s)
Mapeo Encefálico , Lóbulo Frontal , Relaciones Interpersonales , Conducta Social , Adulto , Femenino , Giro del Cíngulo/fisiología , Humanos , Procesamiento de Imagen Asistido por Computador , Imagen por Resonancia Magnética , Masculino , Adulto Joven
16.
Front Psychol ; 7: 232, 2016.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26925027

RESUMEN

We ask why pharmacological cognitive enhancement (PCE) is generally deemed morally unacceptable by lay people. Our approach to this question has two core elements. First, we employ an interdisciplinary perspective, using philosophical rationales as base for generating psychological models. Second, by testing these models we investigate how different normative judgments on PCE are related to each other. Based on an analysis of the relevant philosophical literature, we derive two psychological models that can potentially explain the judgment that PCE is unacceptable: the "Unfairness-Undeservingness Model" and the "Hollowness-Undeservingness Model." The Unfairness-Undeservingness Model holds that people judge PCE to be unacceptable because they take it to produce unfairness and to undermine the degree to which PCE-users deserve reward. The Hollowness-Undeservingness Model assumes that people judge PCE to be unacceptable because they find achievements realized while using PCE hollow and undeserved. We empirically test both models against each other using a regression-based approach. When trying to predict judgments regarding the unacceptability of PCE using judgments regarding unfairness, hollowness, and undeservingness, we found that unfairness judgments were the only significant predictor of the perceived unacceptability of PCE, explaining about 36% of variance. As neither hollowness nor undeservingness had explanatory power above and beyond unfairness, the Unfairness-Undeservingness Model proved superior to the Hollowness-Undeservingness Model. This finding also has implications for the Unfairness-Undeservingness Model itself: either a more parsimonious single-factor "Fairness Model" should replace the Unfairness-Undeservingness-Model or fairness fully mediates the relationship between undeservingness and unacceptability. Both explanations imply that participants deemed PCE unacceptable because they judged it to be unfair. We conclude that concerns about unfairness play a crucial role in the subjective unacceptability of PCE and discuss the implications of our approach for the further investigation of the psychology of PCE.

17.
Behav Brain Sci ; 39: e148, 2016 Jan.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28355783

RESUMEN

To understand a group's (dys)functionality, we propose focusing on its members' concerns for their reputation. The examples of prosocial behavior and information exchange in decision-making groups illustrate that empirical evidence directly or indirectly suggests that reputational concerns play a central role in groups. We argue that our conceptualization fulfills criteria for a good theory: enhancing understanding, abstraction, testability, and applicability.


Asunto(s)
Toma de Decisiones , Procesos de Grupo , Conducta Social , Humanos , Modelos Teóricos
18.
Front Psychol ; 6: 1852, 2015.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26696922

RESUMEN

We review work on the effectiveness of different forms of cognitive enhancement, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological. We consider caffeine, methylphenidate, and modafinil for pharmacological cognitive enhancement (PCE) and computer training, physical exercise, and sleep for non-pharmacological cognitive enhancement (NPCE). We find that all of the techniques described can produce significant beneficial effects on cognitive performance. However, effect sizes are moderate, and consistently dependent on individual and situational factors as well as the cognitive domain in question. Although meta-analyses allowing a quantitative comparison of effectiveness across techniques are lacking to date, we can conclude that PCE is not more effective than NPCE. We discuss the physiological reasons for this limited effectiveness. We then propose that even though their actual effectiveness seems similar, in the general public PCE is perceived as fundamentally different from NPCE, in terms of effectiveness, but also in terms of acceptability. We illustrate the potential consequences such a misperception of PCE can have.

20.
Front Behav Neurosci ; 9: 15, 2015.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25762906

RESUMEN

Ingroup favoritism-the tendency to favor members of one's own group over those in other groups-is well documented, but the mechanisms driving this behavior are not well understood. In particular, it is unclear to what extent ingroup favoritism is driven by preferences concerning the welfare of ingroup over outgroup members, vs. beliefs about the behavior of ingroup and outgroup members. In this review we analyze research on ingroup favoritism in economic games, identifying key gaps in the literature and providing suggestions on how future work can incorporate these insights to shed further light on when, why, and how ingroup favoritism occurs. In doing so, we demonstrate how social psychological theory and research can be integrated with findings from behavioral economics, providing new theoretical and methodological directions for future research.

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