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ERIC Number: EJ925426
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0211-2159
Do Ethical Judgments Depend on the Type of Response Scale? Comparing Acceptability versus Unacceptability Judgments in the Case of Life-Ending Procedures
Sastre, Maria Teresa Munoz; Gonzalez, Charlene; Lhermitte, Astrid; Sorum, Paul C.; Mullet, Etienne
Psicologica: International Journal of Methodology and Experimental Psychology, v31 n3 p529-539 2010
Using Functional Measurement (Anderson, 2008), Frileux, Lelievre, Munoz Sastre, Mullet, and Sorum (2003) examined the joint impact of several key factors on lay people's judgments of the acceptability of physicians' interventions to end patients' lives. The level of acceptability was high, and the information integration rule that best described the participants' judgments was Acceptability = Patient's Request + Patient's Age + Residual Suffering + Incurability. Critics suggested, however, that acceptability was high because the ethical problem was framed in terms of acceptability (Murphy, 2007). Presenting participants with acceptability scales may have caused the life-ending procedure to be represented in participants' mind as basically "acceptable". By contrast, presenting participants with unacceptability scales might cause the procedure to be represented as basically "unacceptable". In the present study, therefore, we directly compared lay people's judgments of the acceptability of life-ending procedures under two opposite conditions--an acceptability condition, and an unacceptability condition. The life-ending procedure did not appear as more acceptable to participants responding in terms of acceptability than to those responding in terms of unacceptability. In addition, the impacts of the factors describing the end-of-life situations were not affected by the type of judgment scale that was used. Functional Measurement seems to be resistant to goal-framing effects; the findings that have been observed using acceptability scales can be considered as robust. (Contains 2 figures.)
University of Valencia. Dept. Metodologia, Facultad de Psicologia, Avda. Blasco Ibanez 21, 46010 Valencia, Spain. Tel: +34-96-386-4100; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A