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Tue, Oct 18


Digital Society Initiative, SOC-E-010

Public Lecture: Dr. Kathryn Francis (Keele University)

Virtual trolleys: Measuring moral decisions in VR

Public Lecture: Dr. Kathryn Francis (Keele University)
Public Lecture: Dr. Kathryn Francis (Keele University)

Time & Location

Oct 18, 2022, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Digital Society Initiative, SOC-E-010, Rämistrasse 69, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

About the Event

Moral judgments are often studied using sacrificial moral dilemmas that involve considering whether sacrificing one person to save many more is a morally acceptable thing to do. Traditionally, these moral dilemmas are presented as text-based vignettes that have limited contextual information. In several studies, we have incorporated Virtual Reality (VR) simulations of sacrificial moral dilemmas that are contextually salient and allow the measurement of moral decisions in real-time. Across several studies incorporating VR and haptic VR, we find that utilitarian decision-making (sacrificing one person to save more) is higher in VR compared to text dilemmas (Francis et al., 2016; 2017; 2018). I discuss the implications of these findings in the context of existing models of moral decision-making and the role of VR in studying moral phenomena.

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