ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (6): 613-627.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00613

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


占友龙1, 肖啸2, 谭千保1, 李琎3,4, 钟毅平3,4()   

  1. 1湖南科技大学教育学院心理学系, 湘潭 411201
    2湖南第一师范学院, 长沙 410205
    3湖南师范大学教育科学学院心理学系, 长沙 410081
    4认知与人类行为湖南省重点实验室, 长沙 410081
  • 收稿日期:2021-05-10 出版日期:2022-06-25 发布日期:2022-04-26
  • 通讯作者: 钟毅平
  • 基金资助:

Influence of reputational concern and social distance on moral decision-making under the harmful dilemma: Evidence from behavioral and ERPs study

ZHAN Youlong1, XIAO Xiao2, TAN Qianbao1, LI Jin3,4, ZHONG Yiping3,4()   

  1. 1Department of Psychology, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan 411201, China
    2Hunan First Normal University, Changsha 410205, China
    3Department of Psychology, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
    4Cognition and Human Behavior Key Laboratory of Hunan Province, Changsha 410081, China
  • Received:2021-05-10 Online:2022-06-25 Published:2022-04-26
  • Contact: ZHONG Yiping


在社会交往中, 声誉关注是人类合作行为和道德判断的重要决定因素之一。以往研究只是单独考察声誉关注或社会距离会如何影响道德决策行为, 但两者如何交互影响道德决策尚不清楚, 尤其是禁止性道德范畴领域(如, 伤害他人行为)下道德决策的认知神经机制。本研究要求被试在匿名或公开情境下决策是否愿意对不同社会距离他人(朋友、熟人、陌生人)实施疼痛电击以增加自己的金钱收益, 同时记录其决策时的行为和神经反应。结果发现, 匿名情境下被试对朋友的电击伤害要显著低于对熟人和陌生人的, 表现出一种明显的“利己的利他主义”决策倾向; 与朋友和陌生人相比, 被试在涉及熟人的两难决策中花费了更长的时间, 体验到了更强烈的厌恶情绪, 并诱发了更大波幅的与情绪反应有关的P260成分, 以及与认知推理有关的晚期正成分(LPP: 300~450 ms), 表现出一种典型的“熟人效应”。然而, 行为与ERP指标上的这些差异在公开情境下均显著减弱了。这表明个体在禁止性道德范畴领域下的道德决策遵循着一种“利己的利他主义”的道德原则, 熟人关系的不确定性会在道德决策中诱发强烈的负性情绪和认知负荷, 而声誉关注削弱了利己倾向和人际关系的不确定性所带来的厌恶情绪和认知冲突。

关键词: 道德决策, 声誉关注, 社会距离, 利他主义, 事件相关电位(ERPs)


Reputational concern has been suggested as an important determinant of human cooperative behavior and moral judgment in social interactions. Previous studies have demonstrated that reputational concern influences behavioral and neural responses during prosocial behaviors and decision-making, such as moral decision-making. Moral decision- making is a typical social decision-making process involving trade-offs between the self and others. It refers to the process in which individuals make optimal choices under the guidance of social systems and norms according to their own value orientations when faced with a variety of possible dilemmas and conflicts in behavioral choices. Emerging studies have shown that social distance modulates behavioral and neural responses during moral decision-making. However, little is known about how reputational concern and social distance interact to affect moral decision-making, particularly regarding the underlying cognitive neural mechanism of moral decision-making associated with proscriptive morality (i.e., harmful behavior).
In the present study, we adopted the “shock-benefit dilemma” task and event-related potential (ERP) technology to examine temporal processing of the interactive influence of reputational concern and social distance on moral decision-making when faced with harmful dilemmas. Participants were instructed to complete a series of alternative dilemmas in an anonymous or public context. After being instructed whether their decisions were going to be made public to the target person, participants decided whether to deliver a certain intensity of painful electric shocks toward the targets (i.e., friends, acquaintances, or strangers) to receive money. A choice not to shock the targets meant that they would forego the benefit. Behavioral and neural responses were recorded while the participants made their decisions. The experiment consisted of 360 trials, including two blocks of anonymous and public situations and 120 trials with friends, acquaintances, and strangers.
The results showed that participants administered fewer electric shocks to friends than to acquaintances and strangers, which suggested an obvious “egoistic altruism” decision tendency in anonymous situations. Participants spent more time and experienced greater disgust in dilemmas involving acquaintances relative to those involving friends and strangers, which showed an obvious “acquaintance effect”. However, these differences were weakened in public situations. As for the ERP results, the dilemmas involving acquaintances elicited a larger P260 component, which is associated with emotional responses, and late positive potential (LPP, 300~450 ms), which is associated with cognitive reasoning. However, these differences in ERP indices disappeared in public situations.
The aim of this study was to explore the interaction between reputational concern and social distance in behavioral and neural responses during moral decision-making involving harmful dilemmas. The results supported the hypothesis that individuals follow the egoistic altruism moral principle to conduct moral decision-making involving reputational concern and social distance. These findings suggest that the uncertainty of acquaintance relations induces stronger negative emotions and cognitive load during moral decision-making, and reputational concern effectively weakens the aversion and dilemma conflict brought about by self-interest tendencies and interpersonal uncertainties.

Key words: moral decision-making, reputational concern, social distance, altruism, event-related potential (ERP)