ERIC Number: EJ919429
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Divergent Effects of Different Positive Emotions on Moral Judgment
Strohminger, Nina; Lewis, Richard L.; Meyer, David E.
Cognition, v119 n2 p295-300 May 2011
Positive emotions are often treated as relatively similar in their cognitive-behavioral effects, and as having unambiguously beneficial consequences. For example, Valdesolo and DeSteno (2006) reported that a humorous video made people more prone to choose a utilitarian solution to a moral dilemma. They attributed this finding to increased positive affect. To determine whether such results actually stem in general from positive affect or from other more specific properties of humor, we conducted an experiment with moral dilemmas presented during an interleaved emotion-induction procedure involving mirth and another positive emotion, elevation. Mirth increased permissiveness for deontological violations, whereas elevation had the opposite effect. Furthermore, affective valence had no apparent independent influence on these judgments. Our results suggest that mirth and elevation have distinct cognitive consequences whose properties reflect their respective social functions, not their shared positive valence.
Descriptors: Emotional Response, Moral Issues, Value Judgment, Experiments, Video Technology, Humor, Cognitive Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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