Treatments approved, boosts eschewed : Moral limits of neurotechnological enhancement

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Koverola , M , Kunnari , A J O , Drosinou , M-A , Palomäki , J P , Hannikainen , I , Košová , M , Kopecký , R , Sundvall , J & Laakasuo , M 2022 , ' Treatments approved, boosts eschewed : Moral limits of neurotechnological enhancement ' , Journal of Experimental Social Psychology , vol. 102 , 104351 .

Title: Treatments approved, boosts eschewed : Moral limits of neurotechnological enhancement
Author: Koverola, Mika; Kunnari, Anton Johannes Olavi; Drosinou, Maria-Anna; Palomäki, Jussi Petteri; Hannikainen, Ivar; Košová, Michaela; Kopecký, Robin; Sundvall, Jukka; Laakasuo, Michael
Contributor organization: Department of Digital Humanities
Cognitive Science
Department of Psychology and Logopedics
Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
High Performance Cognition group
Mind and Matter
Digital Humanities
Date: 2022
Language: eng
Number of pages: 21
Belongs to series: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
ISSN: 0022-1031
Abstract: In six vignette-based experiments, we assessed people's moral reactions towards various cognition-enhancing brain implants, including their overall approval and perceived fairness, as well as the dehumanization of brain-implanted agents. Across the domains of memory (Studies 1-4, 6), general intelligence (Study 5A), and emotional stability (Study 5B), people in general approved of alleviating ailments, and even of attaining optimal human performance, but expressed greater opposition towards superhuman levels of enhancement. Further analyses of individual differences indicated that the tendency to condemn transhumanist technologies, such as brain implants, was linked to sexual disgust sensitivity and the binding moral foundations - two characteristic correlates of a conservative worldview. In turn, exposure to science fiction was tied to greater approval of brain implants. We also examined potential idiosyncrasies associated with our stimulus materials and did not find reliable effects of any secondary factors on moral attitudes. Taken together, our studies reveal certain moral boundaries to neurotechnological enhancement, strong among those with conservative affective and moral dispositions but relaxed among those familiar with science fiction themes.
Subject: Brain implant
Cognitive enhancement
Moral foundations theory
Sexual disgust
5144 Social psychology
6162 Cognitive science
611 Philosophy
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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