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When the Eye Waters, Greed Shatters: The Effects of Moral Elevation on Morally Relevant Decision Making

Author
Hill, Christopher
Director
Denomination Maîtrise universitaire en psychologie
Defense Maîtrise : Univ. Genève, 2012
Abstract The present study investigates the behavioral and physiological impact of moral elevation, an emotion elicited by witnessing someone perform an act of extraordinary moral beauty. The first goal of this study is to examine whether or not elevation can reduce blameworthy decisions in a sequential non-zero sum dictator game featuring an extremely unfair option. The second goal of this study is to investigate if elevation-specific autonomic activity measured by skin conductance can predict this reduction. First, we found that elevation substantially reduced the occurrence of blameworthy decisions compared to our neutral or amusement condition. Second, we found that sympathetic arousal during the induction of elevation predicted this reduction. Third, we found evidence that the predictive sympathetic activity generated by elevation coincides with the experience of emotional tears. These results suggest that being touched by the display of extraordinary moral exemplarity can help prevent blameworthy behavior in an anonymous situation.
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Research group Emergence et expression de l'émotion (E3 Lab)
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HILL, Christopher. When the Eye Waters, Greed Shatters: The Effects of Moral Elevation on Morally Relevant Decision Making. Université de Genève. Maîtrise, 2012. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:18760

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Deposited on : 2012-03-07

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