Gender Differences in Solving Moral Dilemmas: Emotional Engagement, Care and Utilitarian Orientation

P. Cordellieri, M. Boccia, L. Piccardi, D. Kormakova, L. V. Stoica, F. Ferlazzo, C. Guariglia, A. M. Giannini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Moral sense is important for determining human behaviour. Moral sense becomes crucial in operational environments in which choices must be made that have complex moral implications in highly stressful situations. Behavioural and neuroimaging findings have shown the existence of gender-related differences in moral reasoning. The present study aimed to investigate whether gender affects moral reasoning and emotional state. We also investigated whether empathy, decision-making and emotional regulation strategies had a role in determining gender differences in solving moral dilemmas. We found that moral judgements and emotional engagement were significantly different. Women were less prone than men to accept a moral violation, such as killing someone to save their own lives and the lives of others. Furthermore, women were more emotionally involved and experienced dysphoric emotions more often than men. Our results shed light upon the mechanisms that affect moral reasoning and determine gender differences in solving moral dilemmas.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Studies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Gender moral difference
  • Moral dilemmas
  • Moral judgment
  • Moral justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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