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Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2010 Dec;5(4):378-84. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsq005. Epub 2010 Feb 12.

Behavioral norms for condensed moral vignettes.

Author information

1
Cognitive Neuroscience Section, National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1440, USA.

Abstract

Moral judgment is an evaluation of the actions and character of a person made with respect to societal norms. Although many types of vignettes have been used in previous studies on moral beliefs and judgment, what is missing is a set of standardized common vignettes based in real life. The goal of this study was to provide researchers with stimuli that have values on several dimensions pertaining to moral judgment and whose underlying components are known. These values will allow researchers to select stimuli based on standardized ratings rather than on the results of pilot studies, while avoiding the limitations of the classic, abstract moral scenarios. Our study was composed of three phases, (i) collecting and shortening the vignettes, (ii) obtaining ratings of the vignettes on several dimensions including emotional intensity, degree of social norm violation, and level of harm or benefit caused and (iii) determining the underlying components of the vignettes by performing a factor analysis. We found three components that accounted for most of the variance: norm violation, social affect and intention. The resulting vignettes can be used in future parametric studies on moral judgment in behavioral, neuropsychological and functional imaging experiments.

PMID:
20154053
PMCID:
PMC2999756
DOI:
10.1093/scan/nsq005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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