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Simulating Moral Actions: An Investigation of Personal Force in Virtual Moral Dilemmas

Francis, KB, Terbeck, S, Briazu, RA, Haines, A, Gummerum, M, Ganis, G and Howard, IS (2017) Simulating Moral Actions: An Investigation of Personal Force in Virtual Moral Dilemmas. Scientific Reports, 7. ISSN 2045-2322

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Abstract

Advances in Virtual Reality (VR) technologies allow the investigation of simulated moral actions in visually immersive environments. Using a robotic manipulandum and an interactive sculpture, we now also incorporate realistic haptic feedback into virtual moral simulations. In two experiments, we found that participants responded with greater utilitarian actions in virtual and haptic environments when compared to traditional questionnaire assessments of moral judgments. In experiment one, when incorporating a robotic manipulandum, we found that the physical power of simulated utilitarian responses (calculated as the product of force and speed) was predicted by individual levels of psychopathy. In experiment two, which integrated an interactive and life-like sculpture of a human into a VR simulation, greater utilitarian actions continued to be observed. Together, these results support a disparity between simulated moral action and moral judgment. Overall this research combines stateof- the-art virtual reality, robotic movement simulations, and realistic human sculptures, to enhance moral paradigms that are often contextually impoverished. As such, this combination provides a better assessment of simulated moral action, and illustrates the embodied nature of morally-relevant actions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 0299 Other Physical Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2019 10:41
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2019 10:45
DOI or Identification number: 10.1038/s41598-017-13909-9
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11293

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