Priming Rights and Duties


Human rights rather than human duties have been the focus of both psychological research and mass media discussions. This may be because rights and duties are replaceable and it makes no difference if one or the other is used to describe an action. But some psychological research suggests that duties are more associated with collectives. Across three studies, we tested to see if priming individuals to think about rights or duties would change their beliefs in terms of group support across a variety of dilemmas. Our results showed that duties led to greater support for the collective, especially when the issue was framed in moral terms. A fourth study validated the proposition that duties are associated more with groups and rights more with individuals. Future experimental avenues are discussed.

Study 1 uses moral dilemmas to test if being primed to think about rights and duties influences judgments about utilitarian actions. There was a significant interaction, that those who observed the actor save the five people and kill the one were more accepting of the decision if they had been primed with duties.Study 2 uses a disaster dilemma, stating a hurricane has hit and requires donations. When focused on the amount of deaths that occurred, those who wrote about duties were more willing to donate to the disaster.Study 3 adapts the disaster dilemma and tests to see if there are differences between death and monetary differences. Individuals primed with duties gave more only in conditions where the damages were reported by number of deaths, not dollars.Study 4 takes a list of topics and asks individuals to rate if they think more about rights or duties when they think about these topics. Topics that had an individual focus were more thought of as rights, while those with a group focus were more thought about duties. Each folder contains a readme that explains which do file to run (typically, the analysis file, which runs all the rest of the files in the folder). It is sourced to be placed on one's Desktop. Do files are hopefully well documented with comments, and along with the paper, should provide enough instruction to understand all coding and procedures.

MTurk adults in the United States.

Funding insitution(s): Institute for Humane Studies.

web-based survey~~

Metadata Access
Creator Carriere, Kevin R.; Moghaddam, Fathali M.
Publisher ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
Contributor Institute for Humane Studies
Publication Year 2017
Rights Download; This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
OpenAccess true
Contact ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
Resource Type Dataset; experimental data
Discipline Economics