Intentionality and choice

Abstract

People judge that harmful side effects are intentional, e.g., a CEO who introduces a new program to increase profits that results in harm to the environment is judged to have intentionally harmed the environment. They judge helpful side effects are unintentional, e.g., a CEO who introduces a new program to increase profits that results in helping the environment is not judged to have intentionally helped the environment. We report two experiments that suggest the effect arises because people believe individuals can make alternative choices in bad situations and not in good ones.


Back to Table of Contents