Browsing by Subject "DILEMMAS"

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  • Laakasuo, Michael; Sundvall, Jukka (2016)
    Utilitarian versus deontological inclinations have been studied extensively in the field of moral psychology. However, the field has been lacking a thorough psychometric evaluation of the most commonly used measures. In this paper, we examine the factorial structure of an often used set of 12 moral dilemmas purportedly measuring utilitarian/deontological moral inclinations. We ran three different studies (and a pilot) to investigate the issue. In Study 1, we used standard Exploratory Factor Analysis and Schmid-Leimann (g factor) analysis; results of which informed the a priori single-factor model for our second study. Results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis in Study 2 were replicated in Study 3. Finally, we ran a weak invariance analysis between the models of Study 2 and 3, concluding that there is no significant difference between factor loading in these studies. We find reason to support a single-factor model of utilitarian/deontological inclinations. In addition, certain dilemmas have consistent error covariance, suggesting that this should be taken into consideration in future studies. In conclusion, three studies, pilot and an invariance analysis, systematically suggest the following. (1) No item needs to be dropped from the scale. (2) There is a unidimensional structure for utilitarian/deontological preferences behind the most often used dilemmas in moral psychology, suggesting a single latent cognitive mechanism. (3) The most common set of dilemmas in moral psychology can be successfully used as a unidimensional measure of utilitarian/deontological moral inclinations, but would benefit from using weighted averages over simple averages. (4) Consideration should be given to dilemmas describing infants.
  • Kunnari, Anton; Sundvall, Jukka R. I.; Laakasuo, Michael (2020)
    The process dissociation procedure (PDP) for moral cognition was created to separately measure two dispositions of moral judgment based on the dual-process theory of moral reasoning: deontological and utilitarian inclinations. In this paper we raise some concerns from a psychometrics perspective regarding the structure, reliability, and validity of the moral PDP as a measure of individual differences. Using two simulation studies as well as a real sample of N = 1,010, we investigate the psychometric properties of the moral PDP. We present novel evidence showing that (1) some correlations between PDP parameters are mathematical artifacts, and as such cannot be taken as evidence in support of a theory, (2) there are severe response inconsistencies within dilemma batteries, and (3) reliability estimates for these scores seem to be far below the accepted standards. We discuss some potential theoretical and content-related reasons for these statistical issues and their implications. We conclude that in their current form, PDP measures of utilitarian and deontological tendencies are sub-optimal for assessing individual differences.
  • Laakasuo, Michael; Sundvall, Jukka; Drosinou, Maria-Anna (2017)
    The role of emotional disgust and disgust sensitivity in moral judgment and decision-making has been debated intensively for over 20 years. Until very recently, there were two main evolutionary narratives for this rather puzzling association. One of the models suggest that it was developed through some form of group selection mechanism, where the internal norms of the groups were acting as pathogen safety mechanisms. Another model suggested that these mechanisms were developed through hygiene norms, which were piggybacking on pathogen disgust mechanisms. In this study we present another alternative, namely that this mechanism might have evolved through sexual disgust sensitivity. We note that though the role of disgust in moral judgment has been questioned recently, few studies have taken disgust sensitivity to account. We present data from a large sample (N=1300) where we analyzed the associations between The Three Domain Disgust Scale and the most commonly used 12 moral dilemmas measuring utilitarian/deontological preferences with Structural Equation Modeling. Our results indicate that of the three domains of disgust, only sexual disgust is associated with more deontological moral preferences. We also found that pathogen disgust was associated with more utilitarian preferences. Implications of the findings are discussed.
  • Löfström, Erika; Pyhältö, Kirsi (2020)
    The purpose of this study was to examine ethics in doctoral supervision, and to analyse whether ethical issues in doctoral supervision relate to doctoral experience, and if they do, how. It focused on doctoral students and explored the relationships between ethical issues in doctoral supervision and attrition intentions, research engagement, satisfaction with supervision and with doctoral studies, and burnout. The study provides a tool for analyzing ethical issues in doctoral supervision. The respondents were 236 doctoral students in behavioral sciences. Ethics in supervision predicted both positive outcome variables (engagement, satisfaction with doctoral studies and supervision) and negative ones (burnout, attrition intentions). Autonomy and beneficence were essential components for engagement, while fidelity, justice, and non-maleficence were vital for satisfaction.