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    Closing your eyes affects moral judgment

    Who I am
    Robert Maurer
    @robertmaurer
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    wikipedia.org

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    We tend to believe that our moral judgments are unassailable, but in reality they are not. And the interesting thing is that sometimes insignificant stimuli are enough to change our mind. In reality, all the stimuli that surround us determine our decisions, even if we are not aware of them.

    Now researchers from the University of Chicago are back to putting their finger in the sore showing us how the simple act of closing our eyes can influence our moral judgments. How did they come to this conclusion?



    These psychologists recruited a number of volunteers and told them that they could participate in a study to evaluate the quality of a model of earphones. They were then asked to listen to the instructions through the earphones themselves. Interestingly, half were asked to do this with their eyes closed, presumably to help them focus on sound quality and not be affected by visual stimuli.

    They were then asked to give their opinion after hearing the story of a person who deliberately added hours of work never done to his file to fraudulently raise his salary.

    The interesting thing is that people who had listened to this story with their eyes closed tended to be more firm in their decisions and qualified the behavior as unacceptable. Conversely, those who had listened to the story with open eyes were more flexible in their judgments and more permissive with this behavior. Because?

    Researchers think it all comes down to visualization. That is to say, when we close our eyes and our brain does not receive visual stimuli, we can focus better on the story we hear, and this causes us to imagine it more complete in detail and therefore we react more intensely to the consequences.



    In fact, later the researchers asked some control questions and from the answers obtained it emerged that those who had closed their eyes had imagined the scenario in a much more vivid and real way than the others.


    Furthermore, imagining a scenario clearly also allows us to reflect more deeply on what is happening. In this way we take the situation more to heart and respond with a more "emotional" and "rigid" attitude.


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