Faculty Articles

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2023

Publication Title

Judgment and Decision Making

ISSN or ISBN

1930-2975

Volume

17

Issue/Number

1

First Page

164

ISSN

1930-2975

Last Page

188

Abstract/Excerpt

The act of suicide is commonly viewed as wrong in some sense, but it is not clear why this is. Based on past empirical research and philosophical theorizing, we test ten different explanations for why suicide is opposed on normative grounds. Using a within-subjects design, Study 1 showed that seven out of ten manipulations had significant effects on normative judgments of suicide: time left to live, lack of close social relationships, a history of prior immoral behavior, the manner in which the suicide is committed, painful, incurable medical issues, impulsive decision-making, and the actor’s own moral-religious background. However, in all cases, the act of suicide was still considered wrong, overall. Using a between-subjects design, Study 2 tested the combined effect of the seven significant manipulations from Study 1. In combination, the seven manipulations eliminated opposition to suicide, on average. Implications for moral psychology and suicide prevention are discussed.

DOI

10.1017/S1930297500009062

ORCID ID

0000-0002-4082-9505, 0000-0002-7314-7244

Comments

Copyright: © 2021.

We thank Ria Bajaria, Fatima Bahar, Rose-Arrielle Jerome, and Rebekah Sager for their assistance with this research, and Jonathan Baron, two anonymous reviewers, and the members of the Reasoning, PersonPerception, and Morality Lab for their helpful feedback on this paper. The two studies reported here represent the entirety of the research we have conducted on this topic. We report how we determined our sample sizes, all data exclusions, all manipulations, and all measures in both studies. Full materials, data, and analysis scripts for both studies are available on the Open Science Framework at https://osf.io/mjvgq

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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