Are you sure that’s the right thing to do? Research on the effect of distraction type on unconscious moral decision-making
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Moral dilemmas refer to situations in which someone has moral reasons to do each possible action, but cannot not do all the actions. Someone will do something wrong, regardless of the chosen action. Generally, there are two types of moral reasoning: deontological and utilitarian reasoning. Deontological reasoning is concerned with the inherent righntess of an action, while utilitarian reasoning is more focussed on the overall outcome of an action. Whether someone chooses deontologically or utilitarianly in a moral dilemma, depends on the used moral decion-making processes. This study looked at how the type of distraction someone did during a thinking phase might influence someone's unconscious decion-making in a moral dilemma, by looking at to what extent participants would choose the deontological or utilitarian option in two moral scenarios (the footbridge dilemma and the miners puzzle). This study showed that doing moral distractions lead to showing more deontological inclinations than doing a the 2-back task. However, these findings are not significant. Therefore, this study only suggests a difference in unconsious decision-making with moral distractions or the 2-back task, rather than showing one.