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自我相关性对道德决策影响的认知机制:风险水平与共情的作用
中文摘要

道德决策(Moral decision-making)是指当面临多种可能的行为途径选择时,个体在社会制度和规范的指导下根据自我价值导向作出最优选择的过程。它通常会涉及到“维护自我利益”与“阻止对他人的伤害”之间的两难权衡,并诱发强烈的认知冲突和情绪反应。根据前人的研究,当决策对象与自我的关联程度不同时(即自我相关性,self-relevance),个体在道德决策中的行为和神经反应也会不同。本研究在总结前人研究的基础上,结合行为测量、主观报告和事件相关电位技术,通过3个研究、6个ERPs实验来系统考察自我相关性对道德决策的影响,并探讨外在的决策风险和内在的共情能力在其中的调节作用,以及帮助和伤害情境下道德决策的变异及其神经机制。 实验1采用经典的情境启动范式,探讨不同程度的自我相关性对帮助情境下道德决策中行为和神经反应的影响。实验结果发现,与朋友和熟人相比,被试对陌生人做出了更少的帮助选择,且决策时间更长,表现出一种明显的“利己倾向”。而且,在早期的道德直觉阶段,个体在不同程度的自我相关性条件下的帮助决策所诱发的N1无显著差异;然而,在情绪阶段,涉及陌生人的决策诱发了更大波幅的与认知冲突和负性情绪反应有关的P260;且在晚期的认知阶段,还诱发了更大波幅的与道德评价和认知推理有关的LPP(300-450 ms)。然而,这种差异并未出现在朋友和熟人条件之间。 实验2采用了新颖的“电击-获利”任务,让被试在一系列涉及不同数量的电击伤害与不同数量的金钱收益之间进行权衡,观察被试在伤害情境下是否愿意为了额外的金钱收益去主动电击不同程度的自我相关性他人。实验结果发现,与电击自我相比,被试更愿意放弃额外的自我收益而对朋友和陌生人做出更少的电击选择,且决策时间更慢,表现出一种明显的“利他倾向”。而且,在N1上,高电击强度比低电击强度下的波幅更负;在P260上和LPP(300-450 ms)上,涉及陌生人的电击决策比朋友和熟人的波幅均更大,而朋友和熟人之间的无显著差异。然而,行为选择和神经反应上的这种差异随着电击强度的增加而逐渐消失了。 实验3同样采用情境启动范式,先呈现决策的风险水平,然后让被试完成道德决策任务,考察外在的决策风险在自我相关性对帮助情境下道德决策影响中的调节作用。实验结果发现,与低风险水平相比,被试在高风险水平下选择帮助的比例更高,决策时间更慢。被试对朋友的帮助选择要显著高于对熟人的,且对熟人的也显著高于对陌生人的,表现出一种明显的“利己倾向”。而且,与朋友和陌生人相比,被试对熟人的帮助决策消耗了更长的时间,并分别在情绪反应和认知推理阶段诱发了更大波幅的P260和LPP(300-450 ms),表现出一种有趣的“熟人效应”。然而,决策时间和神经反应上的这种差异在高风险水平下却消失了。 实验4同样采用“电击-获利”任务考察自我相关性与决策风险对伤害情境下道德决策中行为和神经反应的影响。实验结果发现,与低风险水平相比,被试在高风险水平下选择电击的比例更低,决策时间更慢。被试对朋友的电击选择要显著低于对熟人的,且对熟人的也显著低于对陌生人的,表现出一种明显的“利己倾向”。而且,与朋友和陌生人相比,被试对熟人的电击决策消耗了更长的时间,并分别在情绪反应和认知推理阶段诱发了更大波幅的P260和LPP(300-450 ms),表现出一种有趣的“熟人效应”。然而,决策时间和神经反应上的这种差异在高风险水平下却消失了。 实验5继续采用情境启动范式,考察了决策者的共情能力在自我相关性与风险水平交互影响下道德决策中的调节作用。实验发现,与低共情个体相比,高共情个体做出了更多的帮助选择。而且,低共情个体在低风险水平下的帮助选择仍然表现出与实验3相似的“利己倾向”,且决策时间和神经反应(P260和LPP)上同样表现出了明显的“熟人效应”,但在高风险水平下减弱或消失了。然而,高共情个体的道德决策并未受到自我相关性与风险水平的共同调节。 实验6继续采用“电击-获利”任务,考察决策者的共情能力在自我相关性与风险水平交互影响下道德决策中的调节作用。实验发现,与低共情个体相比,高共情个体做出了更少的电击选择。而且,低共情个体在低风险水平下的电击选择仍然表现出了与实验4相似的“利己倾向”,且决策时间和神经反应(P260和LPP)上同样表现出了明显的“熟人效应”,但在高风险水平下消失了。然而,高共情个体的道德决策同样并未受到自我相关性与风险水平的交互影响。 研究结果表明道德情境与自我的相关性越高,道德决策中诱发的认知冲突和情绪反应就会越弱,且该冲突就会被更有效的解决。外在的决策风险会通过声誉维护机制来抑制个体做出利己的道德选择,并减弱不同程度的自我相关性决策诱发的情绪反应和认知冲突,且决策风险的这种调节作用主要表现在道德决策的早中期的情绪过程和晚期的认知过程。高、低共情能力个体的道德决策在行为选择、主观报告和神经反应上表现出了显著差异。与低共情个体相比,高共情个体表现出了更少的利己性道德选择,且消耗了更少的情绪和认知成本来解决道德冲突。而低共情个体在低风险水平下对熟人的道德决策消耗了更多的情绪和认知成本,并受到了外在决策风险水平的影响。总之,帮助和伤害情境下的道德决策在不同社会情境中存在着变化,“道德决策的情境模型”的构建有助于理清各因素之间的相互作用及其内在机制。 关键词:道德决策;自我相关性;风险水平;共情;帮助与伤害;ERP

英文摘要

Moral decision-making is the process to choose an optimal course of action from multiple alternatives within a system of norms and values that guide our behavior within a community. It usually involves a trade-off between maintaining personal benefits and preventing harm to others, and which can elicit strong cognitive conflicts and emotional responses. Based on previous studies, the behavioral and neural responses during moral decision-making would vary with the different degrees of association between decision maker and receivers (i.e., self-relevance). On the basis of reviewing and summarizing the relevant research, the present study aimed to combine with behavioral measures, subjective reports and event-related potential technology, through six ERPs experiments to investigate influence of self-relevance on moral decision-making, the roles of external decision risk and internal empathy ability during moral decision-making, as well as the variation and neural mechanism of moral decision-making under helpful and harmful contexts. Experiment 1 adopted the dilemma scenario-priming paradigm to examine the time course of the different intimate self-relevance impacts on the emotional and cognitive processes during moral decision-making. Results showed that participants made less altruistic decisions with increased decision times and experienced more unpleasant for strangers versus friends and acquaintances, which showing an obvious ‘egoistic tendency’. Moreover, at the early moral intuitional process, there was no significance difference observed at N1 under different intimate IR; however, at the emotional process, larger P260 which reflects the dilemma conflicts and negative emotional responses, was elicited when moral decision-making for strangers; at the later cognitive process, such difference was also observed at LPP (300-450 ms) which indexes the later top-down cognitive appraisal and reasoning processes. However, such differences were not observed between friends and acquaintances. Experiment 2 utilized a seminal moral decision task to investigate behavioral responses and neural processes during moral decision involving with different self-relevance. Event-related potentials were measured while participants were instructed to trade-off different amounts of money gains for themselves against different numbers of painful electric shocks experienced by the receivers (self, friend, or stranger). When making decisions about whether to shock others to gain money for themselves, participants were altruistic to forego more their self-interests to restrain harm directed to others than themselves. The early frontal N1, indexing fast and automatic moral intuitional process was increased along with increased both intensities of painful electric shocks and amounts of money gains. Low self-relevance enhanced the intensity of moral conflict and aversive experience and added the subsequent mental cost of resolving this conflict, reflected by a larger P260-LPP(350 ms) effect in the harmful decisions toward strangers. Experiment 3 adopted the same dilemma scenario-priming paradigm, in which the level of decision risk was firstly presented, and then participants were asked moral decision-making task, to explore the modulation of decision risk on moral decision involving with different intimate self-relevance. Results indicated that proportions of helping were larger under the high level of decision risk than that under the low level of decision risk, as well as the slower speed of decision making. The proportions of helping friends were higher than that of helping acquaintances, as well as that of helping acquaintance higher than that of helping strangers, which showing an obvious ‘egoistic tendency'. Moreover, compared with friends and strangers, moral decisions toward acquaintances took longer times, and elicited larger P260 and LPP(300-450 ms), which suggesting an interesting ‘acquaintance effect’. However, such effect in decision times and neural responses was eliminated under high level of decision risk. Experiment 4 adopted the same ‘shock-gain’ task to investigate the interaction between self-relevance and decision risk on the behavioral and neural responses during moral decision. Results showed that proportions of shocking were larger under the high level of decision risk than that under the low level of decision risk, as well as the slower speed of decision making. The proportions of shocking friends were higher than that of helping acquaintances, as well as that of shocking acquaintance higher than that of shocking strangers, which showing a similar ‘egoistic tendency’. Moreover, compared with friends and strangers, moral decisions toward acquaintances took longer times, and elicited larger P260 and LPP(300-450 ms), which suggesting a similar ‘acquaintance effect’. However, such effect in decision times and neural responses was eliminated under high level of decision risk. Experiment 5 sequentially adopted the same dilemma scenario-priming paradigm, to uncover the modulation of empathy ability on moral decision involving with both different intimate self-relevance and different levels of decision risk under the helpful situations. Results indicated that individuals with high empathy ability made more helping choices compare to individuals with low empathy ability. Moreover, individuals with low empathy ability made similar egoistic helping choices under the low levels of decision risk, and appeared similar ‘acquaintance effect’, and whereas these differences were disappeared under the high levels of decision risk. However, moral decision made by individuals with high empathy was not modulated by both self-relevance and decision risk under the helpful situation. Experiment 6 sequentially adopted the same ‘shock-gain’ task to uncover the modulation of empathy ability on moral decision involving with both different intimate self-relevance and different levels of decision risk under the harmful situations. Results indicated that individuals with high empathy ability made less shocking choices compare to individuals with low empathy ability. Moreover, individuals with low empathy ability made similar egoistic shocking choices under the low levels of decision risk, and appeared similar ‘acquaintance effect’, and whereas these differences were disappeared under the high levels of decision risk. However, moral decision made by individuals with high empathy was not modulated by both self-relevance and decision risk under the harmful situation. These results suggested that the higher the self-relevance in moral dilemmas is, the weaker the dilemma conflicts and emotional responses are, and the more efficient this conflicts are solved. External decision risk could suppress the egoistic moral selections through reputation mechanism, and decreased intensities of both emotional response and cognitive conflict evoked by different degree of both self-relevance and decision risk, which appearing at the early emotional and later cognitive process of moral decision-making. The behavioral responses, subjective reports and neural representations of moral decision making were significant different between high and low empathy ability individuals. Compared to individuals with low empathy ability, individuals with high empathy ability made less egoistic moral choices, and consumed less emotional and cognitive costs to solve moral conflicts. However, individuals with low empathy ability allocated more emotional and cognitive costs to solve this conflicts under moral decision-making toward acquaintances, and which was modulated by external decision risk. Taken together, moral decision-making under helpful and harmful situations would vary with different social situations, and ‘situational model of moral decision-making’ can help clarify the interactions and internal mechanisms between various factors. Keywords: Moral decision-making; self-relevance; risk level; empathy; help and harm; ERP

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