Predictions from Uncertain Moral Character
- Samuel Johnson, School of Management, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom
- Gregory Murphy, Psychology Department, New York University, New York, New York, United States
- Max Rodrigues, Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
- Frank Keil, Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
AbstractPeople assess others’ moral characters to predict what they will do. Here, we study the computational mechanisms used to predict behavior from uncertain evidence about character. Whereas previous work has found that people often ignore hypotheses with low probabilities, we find that people often account for the possibility of poor moral character even when that possibility is relatively unlikely. There was no evidence that comparable inferences from uncertain non-moralized traits integrate across multiple possibilities. These results contribute to our understanding of moral judgment, probability reasoning, and theory of mind.
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