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Moral and Ethical Decision Making

Elke WeberBernd Figner

In this line of research, we are investigating moral and ethical decision making, particularly the influence of employed decision modes on choices and their longer term consequences in terms of worry, revisiting decisions, and the potential for development of post-traumatic stress disorders. In collaboration with Canadian peace-keeping missions and based on real traumatic episodes experienced by soldiers, we are investigating ethical conflict in military decisions and comparing them to non-military ethical conflicts. Military conflicts include situations in which the decision maker is required to choose between following their rules and orders (and thus harming others) versus breaking the orders (and helping others). Different decision modes predict different choices and congruous decision-mode use appears to be protective against experiencing decision difficulty and worry while incongruous mode use has the potential to lead to traumatic experiences with potential to developing PTSD.