Limits...
Neuroanatomical correlates of forgiving unintentional harms

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Mature moral judgments rely on the consideration of a perpetrator’s mental state as well as harmfulness of the outcomes produced. Prior work has focused primarily on the functional correlates of how intent information is neurally represented for moral judgments, but few studies have investigated whether individual differences in neuroanatomy can also explain variation in moral judgments. In the current study, we conducted voxel-based morphometry analyses to address this question. We found that local grey matter volume in the left anterior superior temporal sulcus, a region in the functionally defined theory of mind or mentalizing network, was associated with the degree to which participants relied on information about innocent intentions to forgive accidental harms. Our findings provide further support for the key role of mentalizing in the forgiveness of accidental harms and contribute preliminary evidence for the neuroanatomical basis of individual differences in moral judgments.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Moral condemnation ratings across conditions.Full distribution of moral condemnation ratings across conditions is shown using combination of box and violin plots96. Box plot within the violin plot contains thick black line for the median and the box indicates the interquartile range, while the added rotated kernel density plot shows the probability density of the data at different values. As can be seen, there was more variation in accidental and attempted harm cases, where intent and outcome was misaligned, as compared to neutral and intentional cases.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5382676&req=5

f2: Moral condemnation ratings across conditions.Full distribution of moral condemnation ratings across conditions is shown using combination of box and violin plots96. Box plot within the violin plot contains thick black line for the median and the box indicates the interquartile range, while the added rotated kernel density plot shows the probability density of the data at different values. As can be seen, there was more variation in accidental and attempted harm cases, where intent and outcome was misaligned, as compared to neutral and intentional cases.

Mentions: A 2-by-2 repeated measures ANOVA on moral judgment data revealed the expected main effects of intent (F(1, 48) = 217.778, p < 0.001, pη2 = 0.819), outcome (F(1, 48) = 122.012, p < 0.001, pη2 = 0.718), and their interaction (F(1, 48) = 30.393, p < 0.001, pη2 = 0.388). In other words, agents who acted with harmful intent or who produced a harmful outcome were condemned more severely than those acting with innocent intention or who produced a neutral outcome, respectively (Fig. 2; for descriptive statistics, see Supplementary Text S5). Additionally, the intent and outcome information interacted such that the degree to which the presence or absence of harmful consequence affected severity of moral condemnation depended on whether the intent was neutral or negative (greater difference in severity of moral judgment in accidental versus neutral comparison than intentional versus attempted comparison).


Neuroanatomical correlates of forgiving unintentional harms
Moral condemnation ratings across conditions.Full distribution of moral condemnation ratings across conditions is shown using combination of box and violin plots96. Box plot within the violin plot contains thick black line for the median and the box indicates the interquartile range, while the added rotated kernel density plot shows the probability density of the data at different values. As can be seen, there was more variation in accidental and attempted harm cases, where intent and outcome was misaligned, as compared to neutral and intentional cases.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5382676&req=5

f2: Moral condemnation ratings across conditions.Full distribution of moral condemnation ratings across conditions is shown using combination of box and violin plots96. Box plot within the violin plot contains thick black line for the median and the box indicates the interquartile range, while the added rotated kernel density plot shows the probability density of the data at different values. As can be seen, there was more variation in accidental and attempted harm cases, where intent and outcome was misaligned, as compared to neutral and intentional cases.
Mentions: A 2-by-2 repeated measures ANOVA on moral judgment data revealed the expected main effects of intent (F(1, 48) = 217.778, p < 0.001, pη2 = 0.819), outcome (F(1, 48) = 122.012, p < 0.001, pη2 = 0.718), and their interaction (F(1, 48) = 30.393, p < 0.001, pη2 = 0.388). In other words, agents who acted with harmful intent or who produced a harmful outcome were condemned more severely than those acting with innocent intention or who produced a neutral outcome, respectively (Fig. 2; for descriptive statistics, see Supplementary Text S5). Additionally, the intent and outcome information interacted such that the degree to which the presence or absence of harmful consequence affected severity of moral condemnation depended on whether the intent was neutral or negative (greater difference in severity of moral judgment in accidental versus neutral comparison than intentional versus attempted comparison).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Mature moral judgments rely on the consideration of a perpetrator&rsquo;s mental state as well as harmfulness of the outcomes produced. Prior work has focused primarily on the functional correlates of how intent information is neurally represented for moral judgments, but few studies have investigated whether individual differences in neuroanatomy can also explain variation in moral judgments. In the current study, we conducted voxel-based morphometry analyses to address this question. We found that local grey matter volume in the left anterior superior temporal sulcus, a region in the functionally defined theory of mind or mentalizing network, was associated with the degree to which participants relied on information about innocent intentions to forgive accidental harms. Our findings provide further support for the key role of mentalizing in the forgiveness of accidental harms and contribute preliminary evidence for the neuroanatomical basis of individual differences in moral judgments.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus