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

Abstract : Based on the “Knobe Effect,” Knobe has argued that moral evaluations can influence intentionality judgments. However, two methodological objections have been raised against this claim: first, that participants’ answers do not accurately reflect what they think and, second, that the Knobe Effect can be fully explained by non-moral factors, such as the agent’s desires or beliefs. In this article, we discuss these two methodological objections to the existence of the Knobe Effect and provide new evidence that moral evaluations can shape intentionality judgments. First, Study 1 shows that standard measures of intentionality do not overestimate participants’ intentionality judgments. Second, Studies 2 and 3 suggest that participants’ moral evaluations still mediate the impact of positive versus negative side-effects on judgments about intentional action, even when taking into account a whole range of non-moral factors. Results suggest that moral evaluations play an irreducible role in shaping our judgments about intentional action.
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https://hal-univ-paris10.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01541661
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Submitted on : Monday, June 19, 2017 - 1:48:53 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:02:24 AM

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Cova Florian, Anthony Lantian, Jordane Boudesseul. Can the Knobe Effect Be Explained Away? Methodological Controversies in the Study of the Relationship Between Intentionality and Morality. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, SAGE Publications, 2016, 42 (10), pp.1295-1308. ⟨10.1177/0146167216656356⟩. ⟨hal-01541661⟩

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