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1. chinaXiv:201910.00029 [pdf]

Stand up to Action: The Postural Effect of Moral Dilemma Decision-Making and the Moderating Role of Dual Processes

刘传军; 廖江群
Subjects: Psychology >> Social Psychology

Previous studies have demonstrated the possibility that when people are in standing than sitting postures, they have a stronger cognitive control propensity, making them inclined to agree more to sacrificing one innocent and saving more people. Furthermore, this postural effect can be moderated by dual processes. In three studies, participants read dilemma scenarios followed by a proposed behavior to sacrifice one innocent and save five or more people. The participants in sitting or standing postures were asked whether the described action was morally acceptable (moral judgment) and whether they would perform the described action (moral action). The results demonstrated that participants were more approving of the behavioral proposal in the moral action perspective than in the moral judgment perspective across the three studies. The hypothesized postural effect was found in a field study (Study 1) and replicated in a pre-registered replication study (Study 2) and further supported in an experimental study (Study 3). Compared with those in sitting postures, participants in standing postures expressed higher approval of the behavioral proposal compared to their sitting counterparts. Furthermore, the postural effect was dismissed when participants made moral decisions with a dual task to increase cognitive load, and it was reversed when they made moral decisions after deliberate consideration of the behavioral proposal (Study 3). The present research supports and extends the dual-process morality theory by demonstrating that body posture can affect moral decision-making; it also offers novel evidence revealing the moderating role of dual process on embodiment effects. It enriches our knowledge that morality is evolutionarily embodied in postures and that the dual process can moderate embodiment effects.

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