Journal article

Expanding the moral circle: Inclusion and exclusion mindsets and the circle of moral regard

Simon M Laham

JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY | ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE | Published : 2009

Abstract

The human tendency to draw boundaries is pervasive. The 'moral circle' is the boundary drawn around those entities in the world deemed worthy of moral consideration. Three studies demonstrate that the size of the moral circle is influenced by a decision framing effect: the inclusion-exclusion discrepancy. Participants who decided which entities to exclude from the circle (exclusion mindset) generated larger moral circles than those who decided which to include (inclusion mindset). Further, people in an exclusion mindset showed "spill-over" effects into subsequent moral judgments, rating various outgroups as more worthy of moral treatment. The size of the moral circle mediated the effects of ..

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