Can Unintended Side Effects Be Intentional? Resolving a Controversy Over Intentionality and Morality

@article{Guglielmo2010CanUS,
  title={Can Unintended Side Effects Be Intentional? Resolving a Controversy Over Intentionality and Morality},
  author={Steve Guglielmo and Bertram F. Malle},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  year={2010},
  volume={36},
  pages={1635 - 1647}
}
Can an event’s blameworthiness distort whether people see it as intentional? In controversial recent studies, people judged a behavior’s negative side effect intentional even though the agent allegedly had no desire for it to occur. Such a judgment contradicts the standard assumption that desire is a necessary condition of intentionality, and it raises concerns about assessments of intentionality in legal settings. Six studies examined whether blameworthy events distort intentionality judgments… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Can the Knobe Effect Be Explained Away? Methodological Controversies in the Study of the Relationship Between Intentionality and Morality

TLDR
Results suggest that moral evaluations play an irreducible role in shaping the authors' judgments about intentional action, even when taking into account a whole range of non-moral factors.

Reconstructing the side-effect effect: A new way of understanding how moral considerations drive intentionality asymmetries.

TLDR
People redefine questions about intentionality to focus on agents' foreknowledge in harming cases and on their lack of desire or intention in helpful cases, suggesting that the same intentionality question is being interpreted differently as a function of side effect valence.

How Much Should the People Know? Implications of Methodological Choices in The Study of Intentionality and Blame Ascriptions,

Several studies have shown that people are more likely to attribute intentionality and blame to agents who perform actions that have harmful consequences. This kind of bias has problematic

Understanding Side-Effect Intentionality Asymmetries: Meaning, Morality, or Attitudes and Defaults?

TLDR
Findings cast doubt on whether side-effect intentionality asymmetries are informative regarding people’s core understanding and application of the concept of intentional action.

Why side-effect outcomes do not affect intuitions about intentional actions: properly shifting the focus from intentional outcomes back to intentional actions.

TLDR
It is shown that, because actions are not explicitly referenced, people reinterpret questions about the intentionality of side effects-particularly for harmful outcomes-as asking about intentional actions that caused side effects, creating a mismatch between participants' pragmatic and researchers' literal interpretations.

Tort Reform: Cognitive Perspective Taking Promotes Attributions of 'Oblique' Intent for Side-Effects of Intentional Action

A person’s actions often yield positive and/or negative side-effects in addition to directly-intended consequences. Legal opinion on negligence and recklessness attributes “oblique” intent to persons

Intentional Sin and Accidental Virtue? Cultural Differences in Moral Systems Influence Perceived Intentionality

Indians and U.S. Americans view harmful actions as morally wrong, but Indians are more likely than U.S. Americans to perceive helping behaviors as moral imperatives. We utilize this cultural
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 63 REFERENCES

Intentionality, Morality, and Their Relationship in Human Judgment

This article explores several entanglements between human judgments of intentionality and morality (blame and praise). After proposing a model of people's folk concept of intentionality I discuss

Asymmetries in Judgments of Responsibility and Intentional Action

Recent experimental research on the ' Knobe effect ' suggests, somewhat surprisingly, that there is a bi-directional relation between attributions of intentional action and evaluative considerations.

Acting Intentionally and the Side-Effect Effect

TLDR
This is the first demonstration in preschoolers that moral judgment influences judgments of whether something was done on purpose (as opposed to judgments of purpose influencing moral judgment).

Bad acts, blameworthy agents, and intentional actions: Some problems for juror impartiality

In this paper, I first review some of the recent empirical work on the biasing effect that moral considerations have on folk ascriptions of intentional action. Then, I use Mark Alicke's affective

The Pervasive Impact of Moral Judgment

: A series of recent studies have shown that people's moral judgments can affect their intuitions as to whether or not a behavior was performed intentionally. Prior attempts to explain this effect

Ripple effects in memory: judgments of moral blame can distort memory for events

TLDR
When asked a week later to recall information about the event, the participants who had received negative information about Frank remembered that Frank had walked out on a larger restaurant bill than he actually had.

Mentally Misguided : How State of Mind Inquiries Ignore Psychological Reality and Overlook Cultural Differences

The law constantly tries to make sense of people’s thoughts. Did former NBA star Jayson Williams purposely cover up the shooting of his chauffeur? Did Texaco executives intentionally discriminate

Intentional action in folk psychology: An experimental investigation

Four experiments examined people's folk-psychological concept of intentional action. The chief question was whether or not evaluative considerations--considerations of good and bad, right and wrong,

Intentional Action and Intending: Recent Empirical Studies

Recent empirical work calls into question the so-called “Simple View” that an agent who A's intentionally intends to A. In experimental studies, ordinary speakers frequently assent to claims that, in
...