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Let us be philosophers!: Computerized support for ethical decision making
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Division of Human-Computer Interaction. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Human-Computer Interaction.
2010 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents a computerized tool for ethical decision making. For someone who is unfamiliar with the psychological theory that the tool is based on, it will perhaps first appear as a pointless piece of software. It does not give any guidance to what an ethically correct decision is, it does not suggest relevant ethical principles or guidelines and it does not even make reference to known cases of good moral conduct. In fact, it does not make any moral claims at all. The only two things that the tool does are that it stimulates reflective, analytical and holistic reasoning and blocks automatic, biased and constrained impulses. This approach is chosen to improve the decision maker's ability to consider the relevant circumstances in a situation. By focusing on relevant interests of stakeholders, the scope of consideration in a moral situation can be expanded and the impact of decisions can be evaluated with respect to these. To justify this non-normative approach, the functionality of normative ethics is analyzed. The conclusion stresses the importance of self-conscious deliberation. Further arguments for advocating a systematic, holistic and self-critical handling of moral problems are collected from both philosophy and psychology. The structure and functionality of the tool is founded in psychological theory and especially the problem of cognitive biases in moral decision making is addressed. The tool has been evaluated in two studies, which both indicate that it actually delivers what it was designed to do. Statistically significant results show that the tool helped users to expand the scope of consideration in a moral problem situation compared to using an equivalent paper-and-pen-based method.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala University, 2010.
Series
Information technology licentiate theses: Licentiate theses from the Department of Information Technology, ISSN 1404-5117 ; 2010-005
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Computer Science with specialization in Human-Computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132779OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-132779DiVA, id: diva2:359143
Supervisors
Projects
ETHCOMPAvailable from: 2010-09-24 Created: 2010-10-26 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved

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fulltext(1775 kB)868 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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