“The Group Knobe Effect”: evidence that people intuitively attribute agency and responsibility to groups

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Abstract

In the current paper, we present and discuss a series of experiments in which we investigated people’s willingness to ascribe intentions, as well as blame and praise, to groups. The experiments draw upon the so-called “Knobe Effect”. Knobe [2003. “Intentional action and side effects in ordinary language.” Analysis 63: 190–194] found that the positiveness or negativeness of side-effects of actions influences people’s assessment of whether those side-effects were brought about intentionally, and also that people are more willing to assign blame for negative side-effects of actions than they are to assign praise for positive side-effect of actions. Building upon this research, we found evidence that the positiveness or negativeness of side-effects of group actions influences people’s willingness to attribute intentions to groups (Experiment 1a), and that people are more willing to assign blame to groups for negative side-effects of actions than they are to assign praise to groups for positive side-effects of actions (Experiment 1b). We also found evidence (Experiments 2a, 2b, 3 and 4) that the “Group Knobe Effect” persists even when intentions and blame/praise are attributed to groups non-distributively, indicating that people tend not to think of group intentions and group blame/praise in distributive terms. We conclude that the folk are collectivist about group intentions, and also about the blameworthiness and praiseworthiness of groups.

Detaljer

Författare
  • John Andrew Michael
  • András Szigeti
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Central European University
  • Linköping University
Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Psykologi (exklusive tillämpad psykologi)

Nyckelord

Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)44-61
Antal sidor18
TidskriftPhilosophical Explorations
Volym22
Utgåva nummer1
Tidigt onlinedatum2018 jul 3
StatusPublished - 2019
PublikationskategoriForskning
Peer review utfördJa