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Explaining moral intuitions is one of the hot topics of recent cognitive sciences. In the present article we focus on a factor that attracted surprisingly little attention so far, namely the temporal order in which moral scenarios are presented. We argue that previous research points to a systematic pattern of order effects that has been overlooked until(More)
A heavily disputed question of moral philosophy is whether spatial distance between agent and victim is normatively relevant for the degree of obligation to help strangers in need. In this research, we focus on the associated descriptive question whether increased distance does in fact reduce individuals' sense of helping obligation. One problem with(More)
Inductive reasoning allows us to go beyond the target hypothesis and capitalize on prior knowledge. Past research has shown that both similarity relations and specific causal knowledge affect the inductive plausibility of hypotheses. The present experiment goes one step further by investigating the role of abstract causal schemas about main effects and(More)
In the present research we analyze the interrelations of spatial distance and efficaciousness in helping needy others, and we investigate how these factors affect our judgments of moral helping obligations. The main question is under which conditions the location of an agent's means of helping relative to a victim is regarded as morally relevant. We develop(More)
When A causes B and B causes C, under what conditions is A a good explanation for the occurrence of C? We propose that distal causes are only perceived to be explanatory if the causal mechanism is insensitive to inessential variations of boundary conditions. In two experiments, subjects first observed deterministic A → B → C relationships in a single(More)
Research on moral judgment often employs bipolar rating scales to assess whether the difference between two contrasted options is judged to be morally relevant. We give an account of how different numbers of response options provided on such scales (odd vs. even) change the meaning of the test question by communicating different implicit presuppositions. We(More)
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