Changing minds by tracking eyes: Dynamical systems, gaze and moral decisions

Abstract

Decision making is a dynamic process. Alternatives compete over time, and this competition plays out in sensorimotor processes. This is true not just for perceptual decisions or simple categorisation tasks, but also for moral decisions, which are the outcome of a complex interplay of intuition, emotion and reasoning. In this experiment, we first establish a descriptive and causal link between gaze and moral judgement. We then use eye movements to track the time course of participants’ moral decisions and show that by interrupting their decision process based on their gaze position, we are able to influence what they decide. We interpret this as evidence for a dynamical systems view of decision making and argue that our results provide new insights into how judgements are reached and constructed in our embodied minds.


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