Deontological Moral Judgement

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Individuals with OCD’s concern about a harmful event is significantly reduced when they do not have direct responsibility for the event (Ashbaugh, Gelfand and Radomsky, 2006). Mancni et al. (2008) proposed the link between responsibility and guilt is due to the concern around having violated a moral norm and the guilt associated with this. In fact, the association between responsibility and behaviours similar to those associated with OCD has been broadly reported in the literature. Induction of responsibility and fear of guilt often lead to more OCD like experiences and checking behaviours in individuals with OCD than in those without OCD (Arntz, Voncken & Goosen, 2007). Conversely, individuals with OCD report less desire to use their compulsive behaviours when their responsibility, and consequently …show more content…
Of crucial significance, the presence of imagery has been shown to be associated with individuals making deontological moral judgements (Amit & Greene, 2012). Amit and Greene (2012) hypothesized that deontological moral judgements are supported by visual imagery and that verbal processes support utilitarian judgements. This was based on the finding that visual representations are more emotionally salient (Holmes & Mathews, 2005), than verbal thought (Mathews, Ridgeway & Holmes, 2013), due to the earlier evolution of emotion (O ̈ hman & Mineka, 2001).
Using a visual/verbal task to assess the preferential cognitive style of their participants (N=51), they found that individuals with visual cognitive styles made more deontological than utilitarian moral judgements. This occured when they were asked to comment on what they would do in seven moral dilemmas, presented in the form of vignettes. Using another experiment, Amit and Greene (2012) explained that this was because participants (N=370) visualized the action rather than the overall outcome. The visualization also triggered the emotional responses that support deontological

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