What matters when judging intentionality—moral content or normative status? Testing the rational scientist model of the side-effect

Papadopoulos, C., and Hayes, B.K. (2018) What matters when judging intentionality—moral content or normative status? Testing the rational scientist model of the side-effect. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 25. pp. 1170-1177.

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Abstract

Previous work has demonstrated a “side-effect effect,” such that intentionality is more likely to be attributed to agents who bring about negatively valenced as opposed to positively valenced side effects. The rational-scientist model explains this by suggesting that norm-violating side effects are more informative for inferring intentionality than norm-conforming side effects. In the present study we reexamined this account, addressing limitations of previous empirical tests (e.g., Uttich & Lombrozo, Cognition 116: 87–100, 2010). Side-effect valence and norm status were manipulated factorially, enabling an examination of the impact of norm status on intentionality judgments in both positively and negatively valenced side effects. Additionally, the impact of side-effect norm status on the perceived valences of side effects and agents was examined. Effects of norm status were found for both positive and negative side effects. Violation of an ostensibly neutral norm led to negative perceptions of the side effect. However, a norm status effect on intentionality judgments persisted when these effects were controlled. These results support the view that the side-effect effect is the result of the rational use of social–cognitive evidence.

Item ID: 77258
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1069-9384
Copyright Information: © Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2017.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP13010447
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2023 03:48
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520401 Cognition @ 75%
50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5003 Philosophy > 500312 Philosophy of cognition @ 25%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology @ 100%
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