Moral judgments of risky choices: a moral echoing effect

Mary Parkinson has published several experiments from her PhD research in:

Parkinson, M. & Byrne, R.M.J. (2017). Moral judgments of risky choices: a moral echoing effect. Judgment & Decision Making, 12, 3, 236-252.

The abstract is as follows:

“Two experiments examined moral judgments about a decision-maker’s choices when he chose a sure-thing, 400 out of 600 people will be saved, or a risk, a two-thirds probability to save everyone and a one-thirds probability to save no-one. The results establish a moral echoing effect—a tendency to credit a decision-maker with a good outcome when the decision-maker made the typical choices of the sure-thing in a gain frame or the risk in a loss frame, and to discredit the decision-maker when there is a bad outcome and the decision-maker made the atypical choices of a risk in a gain frame or a sure-thing in a loss frame. The moral echoing effect is established in Experiment 1 (n=207) in which participants supposed the outcome would turn well or badly, and it is replicated in Experiment 2 (n=173) in which they knew it had turned out well or badly, for judgments of moral responsibility and blame or praise. The effect does not occur for judgments of cause, control, counterfactual alternatives, or emotion.”

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