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Modulation of incentivized dishonesty by disgust facial expressions.

Lim J, Ho PM, Mullette-Gillman OA - Front Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: Combining these data with those from prior experiments revealed that the effect of disgust presentation on both harm judgments and honesty could be accounted for by the same bidirectional function, with no significant effect of domain.This clearly demonstrates that disgust facial expressions produce the same modulation of moral judgments across different moral foundations (harm and honesty).Our results suggest strong overlap in the cognitive/neural processes of moral judgments across moral foundations, and provide a framework for further studies to specify the integration of emotional information in moral decision making.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders Program, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, Singapore ; Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology, National University of Singapore Singapore, Singapore.

ABSTRACT
Disgust modulates moral decisions involving harming others. We recently specified that this effect is bi-directionally modulated by individual sensitivity to disgust. Here, we show that this effect generalizes to the moral domain of honesty and extends to outcomes with real-world impact. We employed a dice-rolling task in which participants were incentivized to dishonestly report outcomes to increase their potential final monetary payoff. Disgust or control facial expressions were presented subliminally on each trial. Our results reveal that the disgust facial expressions altered honest reporting as a bi-directional function moderated by individual sensitivity. Combining these data with those from prior experiments revealed that the effect of disgust presentation on both harm judgments and honesty could be accounted for by the same bidirectional function, with no significant effect of domain. This clearly demonstrates that disgust facial expressions produce the same modulation of moral judgments across different moral foundations (harm and honesty). Our results suggest strong overlap in the cognitive/neural processes of moral judgments across moral foundations, and provide a framework for further studies to specify the integration of emotional information in moral decision making.

No MeSH data available.


Schematic of one trial of the task paradigm. Subjects first performed the gender discrimination task, during which they were primed subliminally with a facial image with either a disgust or neutral expression. They then mentally selected “top” or “bottom” before rolling a physical die and writing down the outcome (which may not have been the true outcome of their decision).
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Figure 1: Schematic of one trial of the task paradigm. Subjects first performed the gender discrimination task, during which they were primed subliminally with a facial image with either a disgust or neutral expression. They then mentally selected “top” or “bottom” before rolling a physical die and writing down the outcome (which may not have been the true outcome of their decision).

Mentions: For each trial of this task (Figure 1), subjects roll a six-sided die, from which they report the value of a pre-chosen side. Critically, they perform the task with little supervision and may easily write down each value dishonestly if they choose to do so. Further, the monetary payments participants received were dependent on the values that they reported, motivating them to cheat. To test the effect of our emotional modulation on this task, we primed subjects subliminally with a disgusted facial expression before half of the die-rolling trials, and compared the likely amount of dishonest reporting between this condition and the control of neutral facial expressions.


Modulation of incentivized dishonesty by disgust facial expressions.

Lim J, Ho PM, Mullette-Gillman OA - Front Neurosci (2015)

Schematic of one trial of the task paradigm. Subjects first performed the gender discrimination task, during which they were primed subliminally with a facial image with either a disgust or neutral expression. They then mentally selected “top” or “bottom” before rolling a physical die and writing down the outcome (which may not have been the true outcome of their decision).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4508507&req=5

Figure 1: Schematic of one trial of the task paradigm. Subjects first performed the gender discrimination task, during which they were primed subliminally with a facial image with either a disgust or neutral expression. They then mentally selected “top” or “bottom” before rolling a physical die and writing down the outcome (which may not have been the true outcome of their decision).
Mentions: For each trial of this task (Figure 1), subjects roll a six-sided die, from which they report the value of a pre-chosen side. Critically, they perform the task with little supervision and may easily write down each value dishonestly if they choose to do so. Further, the monetary payments participants received were dependent on the values that they reported, motivating them to cheat. To test the effect of our emotional modulation on this task, we primed subjects subliminally with a disgusted facial expression before half of the die-rolling trials, and compared the likely amount of dishonest reporting between this condition and the control of neutral facial expressions.

Bottom Line: Combining these data with those from prior experiments revealed that the effect of disgust presentation on both harm judgments and honesty could be accounted for by the same bidirectional function, with no significant effect of domain.This clearly demonstrates that disgust facial expressions produce the same modulation of moral judgments across different moral foundations (harm and honesty).Our results suggest strong overlap in the cognitive/neural processes of moral judgments across moral foundations, and provide a framework for further studies to specify the integration of emotional information in moral decision making.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders Program, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, Singapore ; Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology, National University of Singapore Singapore, Singapore.

ABSTRACT
Disgust modulates moral decisions involving harming others. We recently specified that this effect is bi-directionally modulated by individual sensitivity to disgust. Here, we show that this effect generalizes to the moral domain of honesty and extends to outcomes with real-world impact. We employed a dice-rolling task in which participants were incentivized to dishonestly report outcomes to increase their potential final monetary payoff. Disgust or control facial expressions were presented subliminally on each trial. Our results reveal that the disgust facial expressions altered honest reporting as a bi-directional function moderated by individual sensitivity. Combining these data with those from prior experiments revealed that the effect of disgust presentation on both harm judgments and honesty could be accounted for by the same bidirectional function, with no significant effect of domain. This clearly demonstrates that disgust facial expressions produce the same modulation of moral judgments across different moral foundations (harm and honesty). Our results suggest strong overlap in the cognitive/neural processes of moral judgments across moral foundations, and provide a framework for further studies to specify the integration of emotional information in moral decision making.

No MeSH data available.