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BIOUNCERTAINTY - ERC Starting Grant no. 805498

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13 maja 2021: Research seminar online - Markus Kneer (University of Zurich), Izabela Skoczeń (Jagiellonian University): Outcome Effects, Moral Luck and the Hindsight Bias

13 maja 2021: Research seminar online - Markus Kneer (University of Zurich), Izabela Skoczeń (Jagiellonian University): Outcome Effects, Moral Luck and the Hindsight Bias

We have the pleasure to invite you for a research seminar in the ‘BIOUNCERTAINTY’ research project. The seminar will take place on Thursday, May 13th, at 5:30pm on MS Teams (link below).

Abstract: In a series of ten preregistered experiments (N=2043), we investigate the effect of outcome valence on judgments of probability, negligence, and culpability – a phenomenon sometimes labelled moral (and legal) luck. We found that harmful outcomes, when contrasted with neutral outcomes, lead to increased perceived probability of harm ex post, and consequently to increased attribution of negligence and culpability. Rather than simply postulating a hindsight bias (as is common), we employ a variety of empirical means to demonstrate that the outcome-driven asymmetry across perceived probabilities constitutes a systematic cognitive distortion. We then explore three distinct strategies to alleviate the hindsight bias and its downstream effects on mens rea and culpability ascriptions. Not all are successful, but at least some prove promising. They should, we argue, be taken into consideration in criminal jurisprudence, where distortions due to the hindsight bias are likely considerable and deeply disconcerting.

 

Markus Kneer is a research associate at the University of Zurich working on philosophy of language, mind and moral psychology. He is also the PI of a 4-year SNF research project exploring biases in mental state ascriptions.

 

Izabela Skoczeń is an assistant professor at the Jagiellonian University. She is interested in philosophy of language, linguistic pragmatics, philosophy of law and experimental jurisprudence.

 

Link to the paper.

 

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