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Moral Contagion Attitudes towards Potential Organ Transplants in British and Japanese Adults

Hood, Bruce, M.; Gjersoe, Nathalia; Donnelly, Katherine; Byers, Alison and Itakura, Shoji (2011). Moral Contagion Attitudes towards Potential Organ Transplants in British and Japanese Adults. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 11(3) pp. 269–286.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853711X591251
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Abstract

In two studies we investigated whether people evidence an effect of moral contamination with respect to hypothetical organ transplants. This was achieved by asking participants to make judgements after presenting either positive or negative background information about the donor. In the first study, positive/negative background information had a corresponding effect on three judgements with attitudes to a heart transplant most pronounced by negative background information relative to good information and controls. This effect was replicated in the second study with both heart and liver transplantation. Negative effects were stronger than positive effects in all conditions consistent with a negativity bias, but again stronger with regards to organs than controls. These results confirm findings from surveys that reveal real patients are concerned about moral contamination following organ transplantation and show that this bias in evident even in hypothetical, non-life-threatening scenarios. In a third study we found a significantly stronger moral contagion effect in Japanese relative to English participants, suggesting that concerns about moral contagion may be moderated by culture.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2011 Koninklijke Brill NV
ISSN: 1568-5373
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetLeverhulme Trust, UK (Nos 20330150, 20220004)
Not SetNot SetBial Foundation, Portugal
Not SetNot SetGrant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, Japan Society
Not SetNot SetPerrott Warwick Fund, Trinity College, Cambridge
Academic Unit/Department: Education and Language Studies > Childhood, Development and Learning
Item ID: 35140
Depositing User: Nathalia Gjersoe
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2012 12:09
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2012 12:11
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/35140
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