Thinking More or Feeling Less? Explaining the Foreign-Language Effect on Moral Judgment

Hayakawa, S., Tannenbaum, D., Costa, A., Corey, J. D., & Keysar, B. (2017). Thinking more or feeling less? Explaining the foreign-language effect on moral judgment. Psychological science, 0956797617720944.

Abstract: Would you kill one person to save five? People are more willing to accept such utilitarian action when using a foreign language than when using their native language. In six experiments, we investigated why foreign-language use affects moral choice in this way. On the one hand, the difficulty of using a foreign language might slow people down and increase deliberation, amplifying utilitarian considerations of maximizing welfare. On the other hand, use of a foreign language might stunt emotional processing, attenuating considerations of deontological rules, such as the prohibition against killing. Using a process-dissociation technique, we found that foreign-language use decreases deontological responding but does not increase utilitarian responding. This suggests that using a foreign language affects moral choice not through increased deliberation but by blunting emotional reactions associated with the violation of deontological rules.

Read the article: Hayakawa, S., Tannenbaum, D., Costa, A., Corey, J. D., & Keysar, B. (2017). Thinking more or feeling less? Explaining the foreign-language effect on moral judgment. Psychological science, 0956797617720944.



(Something interesting I found)Posted:Sep 01 2017, 12:00 AM by jlmatelski
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