Deontic reasoning with emotional content: Evolutionary psychology or decision theory?
Wiley Blackwell on behalf of the Cognitive Science Society
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Three experiments investigated the contrasting predictions of the evolutionary and decision-theoretic approaches to deontic reasoning. Two experiments embedded a hazard management (HM) rule in a social contract scenario that should lead to competition between innate modules. A 3rd experiment used a pure HM task. Threatening material was also introduced into the antecedent, p, of a deontic rule, if p then must q. According to the evolutionary approach, more HM responses (Cosmides & Tooby, 2000) are predicted when p is threatening, whereas decision theory predicts fewer. All 3 experiments were consistent with decision theory. Other theories are discussed, and it is concluded that they cannot account for the behavior observed in these experiments.
Cognitive Science, 29 (5), pp.681-718
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