Listen to Your Heart Presentation

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  Listen to Your Heart: When False Somatic Feedback Shapes Moral Behavior :

  Listen to Your Heart: When False Somatic Feedback Shapes Moral Behavior Alexis Adams

Overview of study:

People often experience a pounding heartbeat when confronted with moral dilemmas Four experiments were conducted where researchers created a false feedback system of heartbeats to decipher if hearing a fast (compared to a normal) heartbeat affected moral dilemmas The phrase “listen to your heart” may have truth behind it Overview of study

Experiment 1 :

86 undergraduates participated Researchers wanted to see if a perceived fast heartbeat would affect a moral decision o    A somewhat time consuming task for a good cause Participants were divided into two groups; the normal heartbeat group and the fast heartbeat group They all read a letter trying to recruit people for an anti-discrimination study Participants were hooked up to a bogus heart rate monitor and believed they were listening to their own heartbeat Participants had to choose whether or not to volunteer for the thirty minute study Experiment 1

Theoretical Importance/Conclusions (Experiment 1):

Perceived fast heartbeat participants were more inclined to volunteer their time to the study Perceived fast heartbeat: 40% of participants volunteered Perceived normal heartbeat: 17% of participants volunteered Theoretical Importance/Conclusions (Experiment 1)

Experiment 2:

65 undergraduates participated Participants had the option to lie to their partner in order to gain more money Option A: pay participants $8 and their partner $2 Option B: pay participants $2 and their partner $8 Participants had the option to send their partner a message to sway their decision · True message: Option B will give you more money (for their partner ) · False message: Option A will give you more money Researchers told the participants that their partner would not know the option they chose  would not know they were deceiving them Experiment 2

Theoretical Importance/Conclusions (Experiment 2):

Participants lied significantly less in the perceived fast heartbeat group Perceived fast heartbeat: lied 31% Perceived normal heartbeat: lied 58% Theoretical Importance/Conclusions (Experiment 2)

Experiment 3 :

69 undergraduates took a mindfulness scale online Aimed to measure their inclination to withdrawal and refrain from responding behaviorally to thoughts and feelings The rest of the experiment was the same as the second one Experiment 3

Theoretical Importance/Conclusions (Experiment 3):

Researchers replicated the main effect of perceived fast heartbeat and lying Perceived fast heartbeat group: lied 43% Perceived normal heartbeat group: lied 71% Significant interaction between mindfulness and perceived heartbeat For participants that were less mindful, perceived fast heartbeat reduced deception Theoretical Importance/Conclusions (Experiment 3)

Experiment 4:

174 undergraduates were assigned to a decision or intuition condition It was thought that the decision group would be less likely to be influenced by emotions and physiological reactions (such as heartbeat) because the word decision stems from judgment and making choices based on facts, instead of emotions and feelings Experiment 4

Theoretical Importance/Conclusions (Experiment 4):

Priming an intuitive mindset decreased deception during a perceived fast heartbeat, compared to a normal heartbeat In a decision making mindset, perceived fast heartbeat did not decrease deception Theoretical Importance/Conclusions (Experiment 4)


All four experiments were conducted which all proved similar results Bogus pipeline of heartbeats; all the participants were hooked up to equipment that they believed was measuring their own heartbeat Manipulation checks ; to ensure that participants viewed the fast heartbeat and normal heartbeat according to what they were Strengths


Individual differences and their personal beliefs may have interfered The pretend discrimination study - negative outcomes of discrimination against gay and lesbian employees; Individuals who do not support gay rights, might opt not to take participate in the study for that reason (not because of perceived fast heartbeat) Mindfulness could possibly have separate outcomes on moral behavior other than what was studied Weaknesses

Related to class material:

The research was all quantitative; all aspects of the experiment were definitive and measurable Shows inter-rater reliability; previous experiments by other researchers have showed consistent results Shows concurrent validity; the results from this study are quantitatively similar to previous studies and show a correlation to them Related to class material

References :

American Heart Association. (2012a). All about heart rate (pulse). Retrieved from http :// About-Heart-Rate-Pulse_UCM_438850_Article.jsp Gu , J., Zhong , C., & Page-Gould, E. (2013). Listen to your heart: When false somatic feedback shapes moral behavior. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General , 142 (2), 307-312. doi:10.1037/a0029549 References

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