Blog
About

167
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    5
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: not found
      • Article: not found

      Harm to others outweighs harm to self in moral decision making

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisherPMC
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Concern for the suffering of others is central to moral decision making. How humans evaluate others' suffering, relative to their own suffering, is unknown. We investigated this question by inviting subjects to trade off profits for themselves against pain experienced either by themselves or an anonymous other person. Subjects made choices between different amounts of money and different numbers of painful electric shocks. We independently varied the recipient of the shocks (self vs. other) and whether the choice involved paying to decrease pain or profiting by increasing pain. We built computational models to quantify the relative values subjects ascribed to pain for themselves and others in this setting. In two studies we show that most people valued others' pain more than their own pain. This was evident in a willingness to pay more to reduce others' pain than their own and a requirement for more compensation to increase others' pain relative to their own. This "hyperaltruistic" valuation of others' pain was linked to slower responding when making decisions that affected others, consistent with an engagement of deliberative processes in moral decision making. Subclinical psychopathic traits correlated negatively with aversion to pain for both self and others, in line with reports of aversive processing deficits in psychopathy. Our results provide evidence for a circumstance in which people care more for others than themselves. Determining the precise boundaries of this surprisingly prosocial disposition has implications for understanding human moral decision making and its disturbance in antisocial behavior.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 21

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Empathy for pain involves the affective but not sensory components of pain.

          Our ability to have an experience of another's pain is characteristic of empathy. Using functional imaging, we assessed brain activity while volunteers experienced a painful stimulus and compared it to that elicited when they observed a signal indicating that their loved one--present in the same room--was receiving a similar pain stimulus. Bilateral anterior insula (AI), rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), brainstem, and cerebellum were activated when subjects received pain and also by a signal that a loved one experienced pain. AI and ACC activation correlated with individual empathy scores. Activity in the posterior insula/secondary somatosensory cortex, the sensorimotor cortex (SI/MI), and the caudal ACC was specific to receiving pain. Thus, a neural response in AI and rostral ACC, activated in common for "self" and "other" conditions, suggests that the neural substrate for empathic experience does not involve the entire "pain matrix." We conclude that only that part of the pain network associated with its affective qualities, but not its sensory qualities, mediates empathy.
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Spontaneous giving and calculated greed.

            Cooperation is central to human social behaviour. However, choosing to cooperate requires individuals to incur a personal cost to benefit others. Here we explore the cognitive basis of cooperative decision-making in humans using a dual-process framework. We ask whether people are predisposed towards selfishness, behaving cooperatively only through active self-control; or whether they are intuitively cooperative, with reflection and prospective reasoning favouring 'rational' self-interest. To investigate this issue, we perform ten studies using economic games. We find that across a range of experimental designs, subjects who reach their decisions more quickly are more cooperative. Furthermore, forcing subjects to decide quickly increases contributions, whereas instructing them to reflect and forcing them to decide slowly decreases contributions. Finally, an induction that primes subjects to trust their intuitions increases contributions compared with an induction that promotes greater reflection. To explain these results, we propose that cooperation is intuitive because cooperative heuristics are developed in daily life where cooperation is typically advantageous. We then validate predictions generated by this proposed mechanism. Our results provide convergent evidence that intuition supports cooperation in social dilemmas, and that reflection can undermine these cooperative impulses.
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: not found
              • Article: not found

              Human cooperation.

              Why should you help a competitor? Why should you contribute to the public good if free riders reap the benefits of your generosity? Cooperation in a competitive world is a conundrum. Natural selection opposes the evolution of cooperation unless specific mechanisms are at work. Five such mechanisms have been proposed: direct reciprocity, indirect reciprocity, spatial selection, multilevel selection, and kin selection. Here we discuss empirical evidence from laboratory experiments and field studies of human interactions for each mechanism. We also consider cooperation in one-shot, anonymous interactions for which no mechanisms are apparent. We argue that this behavior reflects the overgeneralization of cooperative strategies learned in the context of direct and indirect reciprocity: we show that automatic, intuitive responses favor cooperative strategies that reciprocate. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                December 02 2014
                December 02 2014
                December 02 2014
                November 17 2014
                : 111
                : 48
                : 17320-17325
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.1408988111
                4260587
                25404350
                © 2014

                Free to read

                http://www.pnas.org/site/misc/userlicense.xhtml

                Comments

                Comment on this article