New paper co-authored by Vilius Dranseika
Vilius Dranseika from BIOUNCERTAINTY project, Shaun Nichols and Nina Strohminger, published a new article: "Which kind of sameness? Disambiguating two senses of identity with a novel linguistic task” in Cognition.
When people report that a person's identity has changed, what do they mean by this? Recent research has often assumed that participants are indicating a change in numerical, rather than qualitative, identity. Investigations into this matter have been hampered by the fact that English has no clear way to demarcate one type of identity from the other. To resolve this matter, we develop and test a novel task in Lithuanian, which has lexical markers for numerical and qualitative identity. We apply this task to intuitions about changes in moral capacities, which has previously shown to lead to high ratings in identity change. We discover that, when people say that a morally altered person is dramatically different, they mean the person is qualitatively transformed, but numerically intact. We conclude that this methodology is a valuable tool not only for illuminating the specific phenomenon of the moral self, but for general use in studying folk ascriptions of identity persistence.