Blind Ethics: Closing One's Eyes Polarizes Moral Judgments and Discourages Dishonest Behavior
Caruso, Eugene M
Cognition 2011 Feb; 118(2): 280-5
Four experiments demonstrate that closing one's eyes affects ethical judgment and behavior because it induces people to mentally simulate events more extensively. People who considered situations with their eyes closed rather than open judged immoral behaviors as more unethical and moral behaviors as more ethical. In addition, considering potential decisions with closed eyes decreased stated intentions to behave ethically and actual self-interested behavior. This relationship was mediated by the more extensive mental simulation that occurred with eyes closed rather than open, which, in turn, intensified emotional reactions to the ethical situation. We discuss the implications of these findings for moral psychology and ethical decision making.
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