Sciences and Mathematics, College of
Psychological Science, Department of
SURS Faculty Advisor
Dr. Timothy Schoenfeld
Cognitive Load Effect on Moral Decision Making
Elise Crause, Merry Bailey, Liz Eisenga, Caroline Hopper
Choices are made each day to determine the outcome of our lives. To better understand the human process of decision making, philosophers and psychologists have examined moral dilemmas. Cognitive load is a type of stress that alters decision-making and the likelihood of choosing a self-motivated behavior over a behavior that benefits another person or group. For this study, moral dilemmas were given in sets of two before and after a cognitive-load-inducing task. The cognitive-load-inducing task required participants to verbally answer subtraction problems until the answer was correct or time had run out, and the level of stress was measured using two physiological predictors of stress, heart rate and skin conductivity. Our study aimed to determine the effect of an increased cognitive load on the level of selfishness that the participants exhibited when making decisions for a series of moral dilemmas. We conducted our research through the measures of moral dilemmas, heart rate, and skin conductance (Bauer et al., 2022).
Crause, Elise; Eisenga, Liz; Hopper, Caroline; and Bailey, Merry, "Cognitive Load Effect on Moral Decision Making" (2022). Science University Research Symposium (SURS). 55.