RP: “ How would you decide?”

Suppose being in charge of either saving multiple people from a horrifying accident by taking some kind of action or saving only one person by being a bystander. What would you do if you had to face such a dilemma? Such situations are rare in real life but they are not inevitable. They are called moral dilemmas.

Moral dilemmas are situations which ask you to consider two values and to decide to honor one over the other. They usually aim to create cognitive conflicts in which decision making is especially difficult. There are no truly “right or wrong” answers to these questions as morality is subjective. But is it truly subjective or are there other environmental factors influencing our decision making? 

In our research we are primarily interested in the impact of different colors on moral decision making. Especially the time one needs to make a decision about one moral dilemma. Participants will be primed with a color, before making a decision on a moral dilemma. We will ask participants to answer a total of 16 moral dilemmas, based on studies by Christensen et al (2014). They will be randomly assigned to one of four conditions, representing four different colors. These will be the colors red, blue, and yellow. We will include gray as our control condition. The measurement of interest is response time after having read one dilemma. Participants are asked to indicate their judgement on a seven point likert-scale and this indication time will be recorded. We avoid taking into account the time of the reading, since people read at different speeds.

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