Argument Analysis Post (Mind perception and morality) Is mind perception the essence of morality? Here Kurt Gray and his colleagues argue that perceiving people as agents or patients lies at the heart

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Argument Analysis Post (Mind perception and morality)

Is mind perception the essence of morality? Here Kurt Gray and his colleagues argue that perceiving people as agents or patients lies at the heart of morality judgments. Jesse Graham and Ravi Iyer (who, by the way, have their own theories of morality based on cross-cultural and evolutionary psychology) respond with a series of questions about the theory. Your job will be to determine whose position is stronger.

Please download and read the argument analysis instructions very carefully. This document includes instructions for the argument analysis paper and the argument analysis discussion post. As a reminder, you’ll be discussing the best and worst evidence presented for each side of the issue.

The articles you will read this week are below:

Argument Analysis Post (Mind perception and morality) Is mind perception the essence of morality? Here Kurt Gray and his colleagues argue that perceiving people as agents or patients lies at the heart
This article was downloaded by: [New Mexico State University] On: 13 June 2012, At: 06:42 Publisher: Psychology Press Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK Psychological Inquiry: An International Journal for the Advancement of Psychological Theory Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/hpli20 The Unbearable Vagueness of “Essence ”: Forty-Four Clarification Questions for Gray, Young, and Waytz Jesse Graham a & Ravi Iyer a a Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California Available online: 31 May 2012 To cite this article: Jesse Graham & Ravi Iyer (2012): The Unbearable Vagueness of “Essence ”: Forty-Four Clarification Questions for Gray, Young, and Waytz, Psychological Inquiry: An International Journal for the Advancement of Psychological Theory, 23:2, 162-165 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1047840X.2012.667767 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material. Psychological Inquiry, 23: 162–165, 2012 Copyright C Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1047-840X print / 1532-7965 online DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2012.667767 The Unbearable Vagueness of “Essence”: Forty-Four Clari cation Questions for Gray, Young, and Waytz Jesse Graham and Ravi Iyer Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California To make the argument that all morality is essen- tially one thing, Gray, Young, and Waytz employ a series of helpful analogies, portraying morality as a bull, an elephant, a dog, a Necker cube, H 2O, a uni- versity, an invisible triangle, and the Grand Canyon Skywalk. This impressive metaphoric diversity illus- trates just how dif cult it is to t something as rich and complex as human morality into a single characteri- zation. It also illustrates the authors’ vagueness about what exactly is being argued by “essence.” The target article makes three claims. The rst claim, “perceptions of mind are linked to moral judgments,” is well supported by a comprehensive overview, and a strong case is made that mind perception and morality are “closely linked,” “con- nected,” and even “naturally connected.” This claim is uncontroversial—it’s dif cult to imagine any theoreti- cal take on morality that doesn’t see mind perception (and social cognition more generally) as closely inter- woven with it, especially if mind perception includes “perceptions of group mind” (p. 114). For instance, the idea that moral thinking is for social doing (Haidt, 2007) implies that perceptions of the minds of others will be a crucial aspect of morality. The second claim, “dyadic morality uniquely accounts for the phenom- ena of dyadic completion…and moral typecasting,” is also well supported: These two phenomena repre- sent the birthplace of the dyadic morality theory, and no other theory accounts for them so well. However, the hyperbolic third claim, “all moral transgressions are fundamentally understood as agency plus experi- enced suffering,” is not well supported (by data or ar- gument); more problematically, it never becomes clear what exact claim is being made by terms like “essence,” “fundamentally understood,” “understood through the lens of,” and so on. In this commentary we ask Gray, Young, and Waytz an overarching question—What does “essence” mean?—as well as four more speci c sets of questions that cannot be answered until the meaning of “essence” is clear. Questions 1 to 9: What Does It Mean to Say Mind Perception Is the Essence of Morality? Gray, Young, and Waytz (this issue) do an admirable job of laying out the evidence for a strong link betweenmind perception and morality. But they make explicit that they want to claim more than just a strong link: “Many researchers have shown that mental state attri- bution is important to morality, but here we explore whether mind perception is theessenceof morality” (p. 103). This certainly seems like a bolder claim, but what exactly is the step from importance to essence? What new claim is being introduced? Is the claim best characterized by the metaphor of Picasso’s bull (here’s one of many elegant ways of picturing the most im- portant and prototypical features of morality, with as few strokes as possible) or is it closer to the metaphor of H 2O (concerns such as social justice and moral dis- gust might seem different on the surface, but in actual, testable reality they are the exact same thing)? Is the claim that mind perception is anecessary precursorto all moral judgments? This is a potentially useful and testable claim, but the authors provide no speci c evidence for it (e.g., demonstrations that per- ceptions of mind precede affect), and it’s not clear that this stronger claim is being made. For instance, when discussing the role of affect in moral judgments, they make the softer claim “Most often, [affect] seems to be triggered by perceiving a mind” [emphasis added] (p. 115) and conclude with the even softer claim that both cognitive and affective components are simply linkedto mind perception. By saying that mind per- ception is theessenceof morality, are the authors claiming that it is not only very important for moral- ity, but that it is themostimportant factor? Is mind perception always (for all people, in all contexts, re- garding all content areas) more central and important to morality than all other factors, like affect, conse- quences, culture, or rule violations? At points in the target article it seems the claim is that mind percep- tion is thebestlens through which to understand all moral judgments. It’s unclear how one could test this theoretical superiority claim, but perhaps this type of claim is more appropriately advanced by argument than data. However, despite the impressive evidence offered for the links between mind perception and morality, we remain unconvinced that mind percep- tion is always the best way to understand moral judg- ments or concerns. Take, for instance, the robust nd- ing that moral judgments become harsher in the pres- ence of incidental disgust (e.g., dirty desk, chewed 162Downloaded by [New Mexico State University] at 06:42 13 June 2012 COMMENTARIES pens, or atulent aromas; Schnall, Haidt, Clore, & Jordan, 2008). Does mind perceptionbestilluminate why this takes place? Does it offer thebestwaytoun- derstand this phenomenon? If this is not the intended meaning of “essence,” and nor is the claim that mind perception is a necessary precursor to moral judgments, then we are not sure what the essence claim does be- yond assert that “mind perception is very important for morality.” Most if not all of these open questions would be resolved if the authors speci ed what exact claims are being made by the use of “essence” in their article’s title. Questions 10 to 23: What Does It Mean to Say Dyadic Harm Is the Essence of Morality? Despite the target article’s title, most of its space is devoted to arguing for the essentiality of a spe- ci c “template” of mind perception—the dyadic com- bination of intentionally harmful agent and suffer- ing patient—rather than mind perception in general. This introduces more uncertainty about what is be- ing claimed: Is the essence of morality perception of minds, or perception of these two speci c kinds of minds? Does this give us a more speci c necessary precondition for all moral judgments, and if so, do all four components (dyad, intention, harm, suffering) need to be perceived for a moral judgment to occur? What if some of these features are perceived but others are not, as in the perception of dyadic dishonesty (in- tentionally deceitful agent, no harm done, unsuffering deceived patient)? If the lie is harmless (“I love that sweater”), then most people would probably judge it less harshly than a harmful lie. But the claim here isn’t just that harm perceptions (among others) are impor- tant to moral judgments, it’s that they alone areessen- tialfor moral judgments: “A dyadic template suggests not only that perceived suffering is tied to immorality, but that all morality is understood through the lens of harm” (p. 108). Again, is this a process claim of neces- sary precondition, whereby all moral judgments must be reached via the perception of dyadic harm? Or is the claim a softer one in which “essence” only means “template,” and so (most) moral judgments (roughly) t the prototype of dyadic harm (usually)? These questions can also be answered by clarify- ing exactly what “essence” means. But vagueness will remain until the word “harm” is de ned as well. At times the authors seem to mean something concrete like “intentionally caused physical or emotional suffer- ing,” but other times “harm” is stretched to be nearly synonymous with anything morally bad. For instance, in the case of perceived dyadic dishonesty, the authors could claim that even though no suffering was directly experienced by the unknowingly deceived patient, the social contract was harmed by the lack of honesty, orthe deceptioncanlead to harm at some point in the future. This is the rhetorical strategy employed in the section titled “Concerns About Suffering Underlie Dif- ferent Domains”—a bold, speci c, and potentially use- ful empirical claim. However, this section just asserts that nonharm violationscanlead to suffering (“can” is used 10 times in this 10-sentence paragraph). What is the claim that these “can” arguments support? One can come up with ways that harmscanresult from harmless violations, but does this mean that suffering concernsmust“underlie” reactions to these violations? For instance, purity violations can lead to suffering, as when promiscuous sex results in a burning sensation. Does this mean that when people make moral judg- ments about promiscuity they do so only by reference to the physical or emotional suffering that can result from it, and the intentionally harmful agents who en- gage in such behavior? Do people really only judge promiscuity as wrong because of its similarity to the prototype of dyadic harm? Another example: Fairness violations can lead to suffering, when an unfairly dis- tributed resource is needed. What if the resource is not needed, such as one child getting a surprise present when her sister gets nothing? If the sister feels that this is wrong, does she do so only by reference to a percep- tion of herself as a suffering patient and the gift-giver as an intentionally harmful agent, or does she simply perceive unfairness? Again, is the claim here a process model, in which anything leading to a moral judgment must proceed via reference to dyadic harm? Is the claim that there is only one moral judgment, only one moral intuition—an intuitive response to dyadic harm—and some harmless things just happen to trigger it? As with mind perception in general, the authors make a strong case that intentional harm and perceived suffering are both very important for moral judgments. But this is presented as evidence that dyadic harm is the essence of moral judgment: “If the essence of morality is captured by the combination of harmful intent and painful experience, then acts committed by agents with greater intent and that result in more suffering should be judged as more immoral” (p. 106). This statement may be true, but that doesn’t mean that its reverse is also true. That is, the fact that greater intent and suf- fering lead to greater perceived immorality does not provide evidence that these are the essence of moral- ity, any more than fart sprays increasing severity of moral judgments provide evidence that atulence is the essence of morality. Questions 24 to 33: How Is the Theory Falsi able? To know how the theory of dyadic harm morality can be falsi ed, we need to clarify what speci c claims are being made. This problem is by no means unique to this theory – it is also not fully clear how most 163Downloaded by [New Mexico State University] at 06:42 13 June 2012 COMMENTARIES other theories of morality (e.g., moral foundations, moral components, universal moral grammar) can be falsi ed. Assuming the authors are making the bolder claims they occasionally step back from, and assum- ing we’re right in our interpretations that these bolder claims involve a kind of process model and necessary precursor argument, then we have some suggestions about how dyadic harm morality can be falsi ed. The theory seems to us to imply that cases like Wheatley and Haidt’s (2005) hypnotic suggestion of “disgust,” and Schnall et al.’s (2008) manipulations of incidental disgust in the environment, could only be increasing moral judgments via a process of increased percep- tions of intentional harms and suffering patients. This is an empirically testable claim, and could perhaps be tested using habituation procedures to deactivate con- cepts related to harm and suffering—if disgust is only affecting moral judgments via these concepts, then this should nullify the disgust effects. Similarly, depending on what is known about the time-course of mind per- ception, the claims that it is anecessaryprecursor to moral judgment could be falsi ed by showing signs or consequences of moral judgment before signs or consequences of mind perception were apparent. Such demonstrations would be dif cult to achieve, if they are possible at all. But the more pressing question is, What would the authors consider to be discon rming evidence of the claims of their theory? This of course cannot be answered until we know what these claims are. Related to the question of falsi ability. What can and should count as evidence for the theory? The au- thors offer plenty of convincing evidence for the links and importance of mind perception, intention, harm, and suffering to morality—but what would provide ev- idence for their claims of essence beyond mere links or importance? Without knowing what “essence” means, how can we test whatever claims this step adds? Gray, Young, and Waytz deserve genuine credit for attempting to apply the dyadic harm model in realms other than the phenomena it was created to explain. Many other parsimonious, elegant accounts of human morality are born in a particular set of phenomena (responses to trolley dilemmas, behavior in economic games), and then those same phenomena are offered as evidence for the theories. So we nd it refreshing that the authors apply the theory in areas where it seems least likely to work (e.g., moral disgust, honor killings, character judgments). However, these attempts fail in the execution: Precisely when it seems like the authors are going to show how dyadic harmexplainsmoral- ity at the different “levels” of community, character, and components, they give up on arguing for harm or dyads at all and instead fall back on the weaker, non- controversial argument that mind perception islinked to all these instances of morality. It’s not very surpris- ing that mind perceptionoccurswhen assessing some-one’s character, or when focused on the group as locus of moral concern, but where is the evidence or even the argument that dyadic harm unites and explains these as their essence? What about the harsh moral charac- ter judgments in cases of less harmful (Tannenbaum, Uhlmann, & Diermeier, 2011) or even harmless (Inbar, Pizarro, & Cushman, 2012) violations? What about positive moral judgments? Do all responses to proso- cial action and character virtues rely on reference to dyadic helping? What about the reduced role of intent in moral judgments about harmless Purity violations (Young & Saxe, 2011)? For that matter, what about all of the theory-contradicting moral disgust evidence the authors cite on page 110? The authors dismiss this body of evidence by pointing out that “disgust ini- tially evolved to protect people from bodily harm… and so the experience of moral disgust can be seen as a heuristic for potential suffering” (p. 110). By this logic,anythingthat conferred a survival advantage is a “heuristic for potential suffering,” because it reduced the pain of not leaving offspring and/or dying, and death after all is really quite harmful. To show that dyadic harm is the essence of all morality, the authors need to do more than show how mind perception is linkedto these “exceptions,” or how harmscanarise from harmless violations. But again, it all depends on what “essence” means. Questions 34 to 44: What Is the Pragmatic Validity of the Theory? As we previously noted, there are many parsimo- nious, elegant characterizations of the moral sense, and it is striking how different these can be in both theoretical approach and empirical focus. How to ad- judicate among them? Is morality best characterized as dyadic harm, or as fairness (Baumard, Andr´ e, & Sperber, in press), or as universal grammar (Mikhail, 2007), or as something else? Which of these pictures is most elegant? This does not strike us as an empirical question. But what if we asked which picture is most useful? Here there may be enough traction to be able to eventually provide an empirical answer. In the context of validating a pluralistic measure of moral foundations (Graham et al., 2011), we employed the concept of pragmatic validity in homage to William James: Pragmatism asks its usual question. “Grant an idea or belief to be true,” it says, “what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone’s actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth’s cash-value in experiential terms?” (James, 1907/1998, p. 97) 164Downloaded by [New Mexico State University] at 06:42 13 June 2012 COMMENTARIES What is the “cash-value” of the dyadic harm the- ory of morality? What new understanding of human morality does it bring to science, and what new ques- tions does it allow researchers to ask? The authors explicitly address these questions in the section titled “Novel Phenomena of Dyadic Morality,” and here we are entirely convinced of the theory’s usefulness in conceptualizing and explaining dyadic completion and moral typecasting. Explorations of the interplay be- tween moral agency and patiency have been a concrete and useful addition to moral psychology. Most of the target article, though, is devoted to arguments that mind perception and dyadic harm are not just important but essential for understanding morality. The “uni cation” of moral psychology is offered as a primary bene t of the dyadic-harm approach, and yet the section on uni cation of levels of analysis only provides argu- ments that mind perception in general (not dyadic harm speci cally) is linked to the different levels. What new understandings or insights does it provide about moral- ity to say that it always involves some perception of other minds? What new hypotheses are made possible by the claim of “essence” as opposed to mere impor- tance? The authors conclude that the theory “accounts for diverse ndings in moral psychology” (p. 118), but this was never shown. Dyadic morality has a very useful account of moral typecasting and dyadic com- pletion, the phenomena out of which the theory was born. But it’s not yet clear how it accounts for other moral phenomena in a similarly useful way. The more bold and novel claim, that all moral judg- ment necessarily involves some reference to dyadic harm, could be quite useful in other respects. For in- stance, it would provide a clear and (potentially, at least) measurable criterion for calling a judgment, value, or attitude moral as opposed to nonmoral. If there is a dispute about whether, say, purity concerns are really moral or not, this can now be an empirical question, not just semantic. Although we think there is scant evidence for this stricter claim, we see it as a potentially useful, as-yet-unsupported hypothesis, and one of the most promising future avenues for this ap- proach to studying morality. Conclusion Although our commentary has concentrated on areas of potential disagreement, we raise these 44 ques- tions not simply to critique but also as genuine clari – cation questions. We fully expect that the authors willhave good answers to these questions (and we won’t perceive any harmful intent if they only have space in their reply to answer 41 or 42 of them). Despite our skepticism about many of the theory’s claims, we think it is worthwhile to boldly push a theory as far as it will go, and that something valuable is learned in that process. The need to clarify claims applies to many theories of morality (e.g., what exactly is claimed by “foundation,” or by “grammar,” etc.), and increasing speci cation will help determine where the different theories make different predictions, and how to em- pirically test them. By clarifying what exact claims are being made by the use of “essence” in the target article, we can begin the work of determining whether those claims are correct and what additional pragmatic value they can bring to moral psychology. Note Address correspondence to Jesse Graham, Depart- ment of Psychology, University of Southern California, 3620 South McClintock Avenue, SGM 501, Los Ange- les, CA 90089-1061. E-mail: [email protected] References Baumard, N., Andr´ e, J. B., & Sperber, D. (in press). A mutualistic approach to morality.Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Graham, J., Nosek, B. A., Haidt, J., Iyer, R., Koleva, S., & Ditto, P. H. (2011). Mapping the moral domain.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 366–385. Haidt, J. (2007). The new synthesis in moral psychology.Science, 316, 998–1002. Inbar, Y., Pizarro, D. A., & Cushman, F. (2012). Bene ting from misfortune: When harmless actions are judged to be morally blameworthy.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 52–62. James, W. (1998).Pragmatism: A new name for some old ways of thinking and The Meaning of Truth.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Original work published 1907) Mikhail, J. (2007). Universal moral grammar: Theory, evidence, and the future.Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 143–152. Schnall, S., Haidt, J., Clore, G. L., & Jordan, A. H. (2008). Disgust as embodied moral judgment.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1096–1109. Tannenbaum, D., Uhlmann, E. L., & Diermeier, D. (2011). Moral signals, public outrage, and immaterial harms.Journal of Ex- perimental Social Psychology, 47, 1249–1254. Wheatley, T., & Haidt, J. (2005). Hypnotic disgust makes moral judgments more severe.Psychological Science, 16, 780–784. Young, L., & Saxe, R. (2011). When ignorance is no excuse: Dif- ferent roles for intent across moral domains.Cognition, 120, 202–214. 165Downloaded by [New Mexico State University] at 06:42 13 June 2012
Argument Analysis Post (Mind perception and morality) Is mind perception the essence of morality? Here Kurt Gray and his colleagues argue that perceiving people as agents or patients lies at the heart
Argument Analysis Assignment Please follow the instructions outlined here to complete the article analysis and discussion board posts. *Introductory note about debate articles . Please be aware that journal articles come in two forms. There are primary source articles and secondary source articles. Primary source articles are original, empirical articles written by researchers for the purpose of describing specific research that they conducted. These articles include methods and results sections (e.g., actual data). Secondary source articles or chapters come in two general forms —the meta – analysis or the literature review article. Here, a researcher will describe a specific area of research conducted by him or herself in the past and/or by other researche rs. Literature review articles do not contain data. Instead they contain descriptions of data. A meta -analysis may also be described as a secondary source article because a meta -analysis is a mathematical and descriptive summary of a broad range of finding s. The important point is that debate articles take both forms. Sometime s an author will make claims in a primary source article (by discussing his or her own data collection and r esults), and sometimes an author will make a claim and support it via the use of previous research conducted on the topic. One source type is not inherently better or worse than the other. An author who describes his or her own data collection may be just a flawed in his or her reasoning (or as brilliant) as an author who descri bes other’s previous research. Please keep this in mind as we progress through the semester. Step 1: Summarize both articles Before you are able to analyze an argument you must be able to summarize it. Good summaries include a description of the author ’s ideas including any claims made by the author. Good summaries also review evidence used to advance the argument. To prepare to s ummarize the text, read it to get a general idea about the points. Then, reread the text and mark it up by circling key terms and underlining claims. Finally, chart individual paragraphs or sections and examine the overall structure of the text. As you read, take note of:  What is this section about? What is the author saying in this section ?  What is the author doing in this para graph or section (use verbs like introducing, reviewing, interpreting, challenging, asserting, illustrating)?  Does the author make a claim? What does he or she argue? Make note of central claims.  What evidence is provided to advance the argument? Be awar e of your own biases and avoid inaccurate interpretations. Keep this portion for yourself. Do not turn it in . Step 2: Analyze both article s Choose one or two centr al claims made by the author (s) and describe and analyze the evidence that is used to support it (i.e., for the assignment discuss at three pieces of evidence ). Finally, evaluate the evidence used by the authors . The questions below should serve as a guide to help you evaluate evidence. Some questions will not be relevant to the article that you are reading. A. Use the questions below to evaluate the evidence. First decide what type of evidence the author using. Then, d escribe the evidence and then analyze it. The questions below will help you analyze and evaluate the argument.  Is the evidence based on generalization ?  Is the evidence b ase d on analogy, specific cases , personal experience or anecdote?  Is the evidence based on authority ? o The author uses an authority figure (another author, a doctor, an academic) or an institutional authori ty to support claims  Does the author provide empirical e vidence ? Is the evidence based on experimental data? Observational data? Survey data? To evaluate empirical evidence consider the questions below. o Is a causal claims made (recall that only true experi ments allow for causal inferences) ?  If yes, is a causal claim possible? Was random assignment used ? Was an experiment used? o Is a correlational claim made (recall these are claims about the strength and/or direction of a relationship between two or more va riables)?  If yes, a re there other potential explanations for the data (e.g., potential third variables)? o Decide if the evidence /data is generalizable (e.g., is the data external ly valid )  Is the data robust? Can it replicate in a number of settings with dif ferent samples (e.g., is there overreliance a specific sample) ?  Is it ecologically valid? Would it happen in real life, outside of the lab?  Is it relevant? Does it matter? Are the findings useful for solving problems or improving the quality of life? B. Why is the author using t his evidence? Is it convincing? C. To write an argument analysis, describe the main claims and explain how the author supports each claim.  What are the main claims ?  (describe the main claims)  How does the author support and/or advance the argument ?  (describe the evidence)  What kind of evidence is used to support the claim ?  (evaluate the evidence)  Based on your evaluation of the evidence, h ow convincing is the evidence used to support the author’s claims ?  (what are your con clusions) You may use the structure below to develop y our writing. Please note that your argument analysis will likely be much longer than that below. The paragraph below is simply an outline. Remember, you will need to turn in two of these papers (one for each side of the debate). Write it up and t urn in both analyses in the same word document. Argument Analysis Template _____________ _____________________ ___ that _________________________________ (citation: last name(s) and yea r) (verb, e.g., cla ims, asserts, argues) (paraphrase the main claim(s) ) He/she _______________________ this claim by first ____________________________________. (supports, develops) (explain/describe the evidence) Then, _________________________________________________ __________________________ . (explain/describe the evidence) _______________________ purpose is to ____________________________________________ (citation: last name(s) and yea r) _____________in order to __________________________________________________ _______ (what does the author want the audience to do, think, or feel as a result of this paper) The evidence in support of this claim is _______________ for the following reasons. (strong/weak) First, __________________________________________. Further,______________________________ (evaluate the type of evidence used, and why it is strong or flawed) (evaluate another piece of evidence and _________________________________________. Finally, _________________________________ it’s strengths or flaws) (evaluate the type of evidence used, and why it is strong or flawed) Instructions for Discussion Board Posts 1 Occasionally during the semester, you will need to pick a side. First, you should post your answer to the board. Then , you should eval uate another student’s side and provide feedback. To complete this task, you will need to analyze the paper in the same way as you would for an argument analysis. You will read, summarize, and evaluate each paper. However, here you will chose to analyze t he overall claim (the broad claims such as “violent media causes aggression” or “media violence doesn’t cause aggression”). Then, you will need to decide, based on your evaluation of all the evidence in the paper, which pieces of evidence provide the stron gest and weakest support for the claim and why When you post your answer please use the format below: 1. Issue Name_________________________________ 2. Your Name_________________________ 3. My position is pro or anti____________________________ Position 1: _____ _____________ (describe the main claim) At best __________________________________________________________ (describe the strongest evidence in support of this side , and describe why the evidence is strong ) At worst_________________________________________________________ (describe the weakest evidence in support of this side , and describe why the evidence is weak ) Position 2: __________________ (describe the main claim ) At best ______________________________ ____________________________ (describe the strongest evidence in support of this side , and describe why the evidence is strong ) At worst_________________________________________________________ (describe the weakest evidence support of this side , and describe why the evidence is weak ) Here is an example: 1. Violence causes aggression. 2. Jamie Hughes 3. My position is that violent media causes aggression. Position 1: Violent media causes aggression. The best evidence in favor of Bushman and Anderson’s (2001) claim was the study that was conducted…….blah…blah…blah. This provides strong support because the study was…..blah, blah At worst, Bushman and Anderson (2001) presented evidence that ……blah…blah…blah. This evidence was particularly weak because…… Po sition 2: Violent media does not cause aggression At best, Freedman (2002) argued convincingly that the research conducted on this subject lacked…….blah blah blah. This is problematic for those who think media causes aggression because …. At worst, Freed man (2002) discussed blah blah which did support his main thesis because…… When you provide feedback to another student : 1. Issue Name_________________________________ 2. Your Name_________________________ 3. My position is pro or anti____________________________ 1 N.B., a discussion board post is due in week 3 and week 4 only . 4. Describe why you agree or disagree with the student’s position by challenging the students claims with evidence (if you disagree) or by adding evidence for the student’s claims (if you agree). Grading c riteria for argument analysis Your argument analysis will be evaluated as follows . Category Unacceptable (D) Problematic (C -) Satisfactory (C, B) Good (B+, A) Identified and described main claims o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Identified and described supporting evidence o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Evaluated supporting evidence o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Interpretation & Integration o Improper format for question o Several grammatical/spelling errors o Unclear or haphazard organization o Proper format for question o Few grammatical/spelling errors o Focused and integrated organization The debate activities are written to give you practice with thinking critically about research evidence. For each debate paper, the same three basic, inter -related indicators of quality are applicable: – The extent to which the ideas are ap propriate and relevant to the question – The extent to which the statements made or work shown is correct and accurate – The extent to which a complete or thorough answer is given Put simply, a good answer clearly communica tes a clear, insightful, and elegant answer to the question at hand. A concise, but thorough, statement is always the ticket to a good grade; an unnecessarily lengthy answer gives the reader the impression that you are not organized and that you do not ful ly grasp the topic. Similarly, instructors can only judge the quality of an answer by what is explicitly written, not by what the student “had in mind” when writing the answer. In general, your level of performance in achieving these indicators of quality can be judged on the following general rubric. For each task involved in an answer, performance on that task will be rated as being one of the following: – Performance does not meet the quality expectations for the task (65%) – Performance meets low quality expectations for the task (66 -73%) – Performance meets normal quality expectations for the task (74 -87%) – Performance meets high quality expectations for the task (88 -100%) The specific criteria that the instructor will look for when reading your debate papers are:  Identify and describe the main claims: I expect that you will identify and explain the main claims clearly (article comprehension).  Identify and explain the supporting evidence: I expect you identify and describe the main evidence used to support each claim clearly (comprehension)  Evaluate the supporting evidence: I expect that you will analyze empirical evidence by evaluating internal and external validity. To examine evidence in this way yo u must distinguish between correlational and causal evidence, you must consider the robustness and relevance of empirical evidence, and you are expected to find flaws or strengths in the empirical evidence used to support a claim.  Interpretation and Integ ration : Finally, your responses should be more than a bulleted list or disorganized jumble of statements and claims. You should concisely integrate the concepts and examples to answer the question at hand. I want to see that you are able to organize your a rgument and justifications into a coherent and elegant written piece of work Rubric for discussion posts is below Unacceptable or problematic (60 – 70%) Satisfactory (71 -88%) Good (89 -100%) Content: Use of claims and evidence 9 to 12 points 11.75 to 13 points 14 to 15 points o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Organization and Grammar 4 to 5 points 6 to 8 points 9 to 10 points o Improper format for question o Several grammatical/spelling errors o Unclear or haphazard organization o Proper format for question o Few grammatical/spelling errors o Focused and integrated organization o Proper format for question o No grammatical/spelling errors o Focused and integrated organization
Argument Analysis Post (Mind perception and morality) Is mind perception the essence of morality? Here Kurt Gray and his colleagues argue that perceiving people as agents or patients lies at the heart
This article was downloaded by: [New Mexico State University] On: 13 June 2012, At: 06:42 Publisher: Psychology Press Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK Psychological Inquiry: An International Journal for the Advancement of Psychological Theory Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/hpli20 The Unbearable Vagueness of “Essence ”: Forty-Four Clarification Questions for Gray, Young, and Waytz Jesse Graham a & Ravi Iyer a a Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California Available online: 31 May 2012 To cite this article: Jesse Graham & Ravi Iyer (2012): The Unbearable Vagueness of “Essence ”: Forty-Four Clarification Questions for Gray, Young, and Waytz, Psychological Inquiry: An International Journal for the Advancement of Psychological Theory, 23:2, 162-165 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1047840X.2012.667767 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. 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Psychological Inquiry, 23: 162–165, 2012 Copyright C Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1047-840X print / 1532-7965 online DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2012.667767 The Unbearable Vagueness of “Essence”: Forty-Four Clari cation Questions for Gray, Young, and Waytz Jesse Graham and Ravi Iyer Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California To make the argument that all morality is essen- tially one thing, Gray, Young, and Waytz employ a series of helpful analogies, portraying morality as a bull, an elephant, a dog, a Necker cube, H 2O, a uni- versity, an invisible triangle, and the Grand Canyon Skywalk. This impressive metaphoric diversity illus- trates just how dif cult it is to t something as rich and complex as human morality into a single characteri- zation. It also illustrates the authors’ vagueness about what exactly is being argued by “essence.” The target article makes three claims. The rst claim, “perceptions of mind are linked to moral judgments,” is well supported by a comprehensive overview, and a strong case is made that mind perception and morality are “closely linked,” “con- nected,” and even “naturally connected.” This claim is uncontroversial—it’s dif cult to imagine any theoreti- cal take on morality that doesn’t see mind perception (and social cognition more generally) as closely inter- woven with it, especially if mind perception includes “perceptions of group mind” (p. 114). For instance, the idea that moral thinking is for social doing (Haidt, 2007) implies that perceptions of the minds of others will be a crucial aspect of morality. The second claim, “dyadic morality uniquely accounts for the phenom- ena of dyadic completion…and moral typecasting,” is also well supported: These two phenomena repre- sent the birthplace of the dyadic morality theory, and no other theory accounts for them so well. However, the hyperbolic third claim, “all moral transgressions are fundamentally understood as agency plus experi- enced suffering,” is not well supported (by data or ar- gument); more problematically, it never becomes clear what exact claim is being made by terms like “essence,” “fundamentally understood,” “understood through the lens of,” and so on. In this commentary we ask Gray, Young, and Waytz an overarching question—What does “essence” mean?—as well as four more speci c sets of questions that cannot be answered until the meaning of “essence” is clear. Questions 1 to 9: What Does It Mean to Say Mind Perception Is the Essence of Morality? Gray, Young, and Waytz (this issue) do an admirable job of laying out the evidence for a strong link betweenmind perception and morality. But they make explicit that they want to claim more than just a strong link: “Many researchers have shown that mental state attri- bution is important to morality, but here we explore whether mind perception is theessenceof morality” (p. 103). This certainly seems like a bolder claim, but what exactly is the step from importance to essence? What new claim is being introduced? Is the claim best characterized by the metaphor of Picasso’s bull (here’s one of many elegant ways of picturing the most im- portant and prototypical features of morality, with as few strokes as possible) or is it closer to the metaphor of H 2O (concerns such as social justice and moral dis- gust might seem different on the surface, but in actual, testable reality they are the exact same thing)? Is the claim that mind perception is anecessary precursorto all moral judgments? This is a potentially useful and testable claim, but the authors provide no speci c evidence for it (e.g., demonstrations that per- ceptions of mind precede affect), and it’s not clear that this stronger claim is being made. For instance, when discussing the role of affect in moral judgments, they make the softer claim “Most often, [affect] seems to be triggered by perceiving a mind” [emphasis added] (p. 115) and conclude with the even softer claim that both cognitive and affective components are simply linkedto mind perception. By saying that mind per- ception is theessenceof morality, are the authors claiming that it is not only very important for moral- ity, but that it is themostimportant factor? Is mind perception always (for all people, in all contexts, re- garding all content areas) more central and important to morality than all other factors, like affect, conse- quences, culture, or rule violations? At points in the target article it seems the claim is that mind percep- tion is thebestlens through which to understand all moral judgments. It’s unclear how one could test this theoretical superiority claim, but perhaps this type of claim is more appropriately advanced by argument than data. However, despite the impressive evidence offered for the links between mind perception and morality, we remain unconvinced that mind percep- tion is always the best way to understand moral judg- ments or concerns. Take, for instance, the robust nd- ing that moral judgments become harsher in the pres- ence of incidental disgust (e.g., dirty desk, chewed 162Downloaded by [New Mexico State University] at 06:42 13 June 2012 COMMENTARIES pens, or atulent aromas; Schnall, Haidt, Clore, & Jordan, 2008). Does mind perceptionbestilluminate why this takes place? Does it offer thebestwaytoun- derstand this phenomenon? If this is not the intended meaning of “essence,” and nor is the claim that mind perception is a necessary precursor to moral judgments, then we are not sure what the essence claim does be- yond assert that “mind perception is very important for morality.” Most if not all of these open questions would be resolved if the authors speci ed what exact claims are being made by the use of “essence” in their article’s title. Questions 10 to 23: What Does It Mean to Say Dyadic Harm Is the Essence of Morality? Despite the target article’s title, most of its space is devoted to arguing for the essentiality of a spe- ci c “template” of mind perception—the dyadic com- bination of intentionally harmful agent and suffer- ing patient—rather than mind perception in general. This introduces more uncertainty about what is be- ing claimed: Is the essence of morality perception of minds, or perception of these two speci c kinds of minds? Does this give us a more speci c necessary precondition for all moral judgments, and if so, do all four components (dyad, intention, harm, suffering) need to be perceived for a moral judgment to occur? What if some of these features are perceived but others are not, as in the perception of dyadic dishonesty (in- tentionally deceitful agent, no harm done, unsuffering deceived patient)? If the lie is harmless (“I love that sweater”), then most people would probably judge it less harshly than a harmful lie. But the claim here isn’t just that harm perceptions (among others) are impor- tant to moral judgments, it’s that they alone areessen- tialfor moral judgments: “A dyadic template suggests not only that perceived suffering is tied to immorality, but that all morality is understood through the lens of harm” (p. 108). Again, is this a process claim of neces- sary precondition, whereby all moral judgments must be reached via the perception of dyadic harm? Or is the claim a softer one in which “essence” only means “template,” and so (most) moral judgments (roughly) t the prototype of dyadic harm (usually)? These questions can also be answered by clarify- ing exactly what “essence” means. But vagueness will remain until the word “harm” is de ned as well. At times the authors seem to mean something concrete like “intentionally caused physical or emotional suffer- ing,” but other times “harm” is stretched to be nearly synonymous with anything morally bad. For instance, in the case of perceived dyadic dishonesty, the authors could claim that even though no suffering was directly experienced by the unknowingly deceived patient, the social contract was harmed by the lack of honesty, orthe deceptioncanlead to harm at some point in the future. This is the rhetorical strategy employed in the section titled “Concerns About Suffering Underlie Dif- ferent Domains”—a bold, speci c, and potentially use- ful empirical claim. However, this section just asserts that nonharm violationscanlead to suffering (“can” is used 10 times in this 10-sentence paragraph). What is the claim that these “can” arguments support? One can come up with ways that harmscanresult from harmless violations, but does this mean that suffering concernsmust“underlie” reactions to these violations? For instance, purity violations can lead to suffering, as when promiscuous sex results in a burning sensation. Does this mean that when people make moral judg- ments about promiscuity they do so only by reference to the physical or emotional suffering that can result from it, and the intentionally harmful agents who en- gage in such behavior? Do people really only judge promiscuity as wrong because of its similarity to the prototype of dyadic harm? Another example: Fairness violations can lead to suffering, when an unfairly dis- tributed resource is needed. What if the resource is not needed, such as one child getting a surprise present when her sister gets nothing? If the sister feels that this is wrong, does she do so only by reference to a percep- tion of herself as a suffering patient and the gift-giver as an intentionally harmful agent, or does she simply perceive unfairness? Again, is the claim here a process model, in which anything leading to a moral judgment must proceed via reference to dyadic harm? Is the claim that there is only one moral judgment, only one moral intuition—an intuitive response to dyadic harm—and some harmless things just happen to trigger it? As with mind perception in general, the authors make a strong case that intentional harm and perceived suffering are both very important for moral judgments. But this is presented as evidence that dyadic harm is the essence of moral judgment: “If the essence of morality is captured by the combination of harmful intent and painful experience, then acts committed by agents with greater intent and that result in more suffering should be judged as more immoral” (p. 106). This statement may be true, but that doesn’t mean that its reverse is also true. That is, the fact that greater intent and suf- fering lead to greater perceived immorality does not provide evidence that these are the essence of moral- ity, any more than fart sprays increasing severity of moral judgments provide evidence that atulence is the essence of morality. Questions 24 to 33: How Is the Theory Falsi able? To know how the theory of dyadic harm morality can be falsi ed, we need to clarify what speci c claims are being made. This problem is by no means unique to this theory – it is also not fully clear how most 163Downloaded by [New Mexico State University] at 06:42 13 June 2012 COMMENTARIES other theories of morality (e.g., moral foundations, moral components, universal moral grammar) can be falsi ed. Assuming the authors are making the bolder claims they occasionally step back from, and assum- ing we’re right in our interpretations that these bolder claims involve a kind of process model and necessary precursor argument, then we have some suggestions about how dyadic harm morality can be falsi ed. The theory seems to us to imply that cases like Wheatley and Haidt’s (2005) hypnotic suggestion of “disgust,” and Schnall et al.’s (2008) manipulations of incidental disgust in the environment, could only be increasing moral judgments via a process of increased percep- tions of intentional harms and suffering patients. This is an empirically testable claim, and could perhaps be tested using habituation procedures to deactivate con- cepts related to harm and suffering—if disgust is only affecting moral judgments via these concepts, then this should nullify the disgust effects. Similarly, depending on what is known about the time-course of mind per- ception, the claims that it is anecessaryprecursor to moral judgment could be falsi ed by showing signs or consequences of moral judgment before signs or consequences of mind perception were apparent. Such demonstrations would be dif cult to achieve, if they are possible at all. But the more pressing question is, What would the authors consider to be discon rming evidence of the claims of their theory? This of course cannot be answered until we know what these claims are. Related to the question of falsi ability. What can and should count as evidence for the theory? The au- thors offer plenty of convincing evidence for the links and importance of mind perception, intention, harm, and suffering to morality—but what would provide ev- idence for their claims of essence beyond mere links or importance? Without knowing what “essence” means, how can we test whatever claims this step adds? Gray, Young, and Waytz deserve genuine credit for attempting to apply the dyadic harm model in realms other than the phenomena it was created to explain. Many other parsimonious, elegant accounts of human morality are born in a particular set of phenomena (responses to trolley dilemmas, behavior in economic games), and then those same phenomena are offered as evidence for the theories. So we nd it refreshing that the authors apply the theory in areas where it seems least likely to work (e.g., moral disgust, honor killings, character judgments). However, these attempts fail in the execution: Precisely when it seems like the authors are going to show how dyadic harmexplainsmoral- ity at the different “levels” of community, character, and components, they give up on arguing for harm or dyads at all and instead fall back on the weaker, non- controversial argument that mind perception islinked to all these instances of morality. It’s not very surpris- ing that mind perceptionoccurswhen assessing some-one’s character, or when focused on the group as locus of moral concern, but where is the evidence or even the argument that dyadic harm unites and explains these as their essence? What about the harsh moral charac- ter judgments in cases of less harmful (Tannenbaum, Uhlmann, & Diermeier, 2011) or even harmless (Inbar, Pizarro, & Cushman, 2012) violations? What about positive moral judgments? Do all responses to proso- cial action and character virtues rely on reference to dyadic helping? What about the reduced role of intent in moral judgments about harmless Purity violations (Young & Saxe, 2011)? For that matter, what about all of the theory-contradicting moral disgust evidence the authors cite on page 110? The authors dismiss this body of evidence by pointing out that “disgust ini- tially evolved to protect people from bodily harm… and so the experience of moral disgust can be seen as a heuristic for potential suffering” (p. 110). By this logic,anythingthat conferred a survival advantage is a “heuristic for potential suffering,” because it reduced the pain of not leaving offspring and/or dying, and death after all is really quite harmful. To show that dyadic harm is the essence of all morality, the authors need to do more than show how mind perception is linkedto these “exceptions,” or how harmscanarise from harmless violations. But again, it all depends on what “essence” means. Questions 34 to 44: What Is the Pragmatic Validity of the Theory? As we previously noted, there are many parsimo- nious, elegant characterizations of the moral sense, and it is striking how different these can be in both theoretical approach and empirical focus. How to ad- judicate among them? Is morality best characterized as dyadic harm, or as fairness (Baumard, Andr´ e, & Sperber, in press), or as universal grammar (Mikhail, 2007), or as something else? Which of these pictures is most elegant? This does not strike us as an empirical question. But what if we asked which picture is most useful? Here there may be enough traction to be able to eventually provide an empirical answer. In the context of validating a pluralistic measure of moral foundations (Graham et al., 2011), we employed the concept of pragmatic validity in homage to William James: Pragmatism asks its usual question. “Grant an idea or belief to be true,” it says, “what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone’s actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth’s cash-value in experiential terms?” (James, 1907/1998, p. 97) 164Downloaded by [New Mexico State University] at 06:42 13 June 2012 COMMENTARIES What is the “cash-value” of the dyadic harm the- ory of morality? What new understanding of human morality does it bring to science, and what new ques- tions does it allow researchers to ask? The authors explicitly address these questions in the section titled “Novel Phenomena of Dyadic Morality,” and here we are entirely convinced of the theory’s usefulness in conceptualizing and explaining dyadic completion and moral typecasting. Explorations of the interplay be- tween moral agency and patiency have been a concrete and useful addition to moral psychology. Most of the target article, though, is devoted to arguments that mind perception and dyadic harm are not just important but essential for understanding morality. The “uni cation” of moral psychology is offered as a primary bene t of the dyadic-harm approach, and yet the section on uni cation of levels of analysis only provides argu- ments that mind perception in general (not dyadic harm speci cally) is linked to the different levels. What new understandings or insights does it provide about moral- ity to say that it always involves some perception of other minds? What new hypotheses are made possible by the claim of “essence” as opposed to mere impor- tance? The authors conclude that the theory “accounts for diverse ndings in moral psychology” (p. 118), but this was never shown. Dyadic morality has a very useful account of moral typecasting and dyadic com- pletion, the phenomena out of which the theory was born. But it’s not yet clear how it accounts for other moral phenomena in a similarly useful way. The more bold and novel claim, that all moral judg- ment necessarily involves some reference to dyadic harm, could be quite useful in other respects. For in- stance, it would provide a clear and (potentially, at least) measurable criterion for calling a judgment, value, or attitude moral as opposed to nonmoral. If there is a dispute about whether, say, purity concerns are really moral or not, this can now be an empirical question, not just semantic. Although we think there is scant evidence for this stricter claim, we see it as a potentially useful, as-yet-unsupported hypothesis, and one of the most promising future avenues for this ap- proach to studying morality. Conclusion Although our commentary has concentrated on areas of potential disagreement, we raise these 44 ques- tions not simply to critique but also as genuine clari – cation questions. We fully expect that the authors willhave good answers to these questions (and we won’t perceive any harmful intent if they only have space in their reply to answer 41 or 42 of them). Despite our skepticism about many of the theory’s claims, we think it is worthwhile to boldly push a theory as far as it will go, and that something valuable is learned in that process. The need to clarify claims applies to many theories of morality (e.g., what exactly is claimed by “foundation,” or by “grammar,” etc.), and increasing speci cation will help determine where the different theories make different predictions, and how to em- pirically test them. By clarifying what exact claims are being made by the use of “essence” in the target article, we can begin the work of determining whether those claims are correct and what additional pragmatic value they can bring to moral psychology. Note Address correspondence to Jesse Graham, Depart- ment of Psychology, University of Southern California, 3620 South McClintock Avenue, SGM 501, Los Ange- les, CA 90089-1061. E-mail: [email protected] References Baumard, N., Andr´ e, J. B., & Sperber, D. (in press). A mutualistic approach to morality.Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Graham, J., Nosek, B. A., Haidt, J., Iyer, R., Koleva, S., & Ditto, P. H. (2011). Mapping the moral domain.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 366–385. Haidt, J. (2007). The new synthesis in moral psychology.Science, 316, 998–1002. Inbar, Y., Pizarro, D. A., & Cushman, F. (2012). Bene ting from misfortune: When harmless actions are judged to be morally blameworthy.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 52–62. James, W. (1998).Pragmatism: A new name for some old ways of thinking and The Meaning of Truth.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Original work published 1907) Mikhail, J. (2007). Universal moral grammar: Theory, evidence, and the future.Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 143–152. Schnall, S., Haidt, J., Clore, G. L., & Jordan, A. H. (2008). Disgust as embodied moral judgment.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1096–1109. Tannenbaum, D., Uhlmann, E. L., & Diermeier, D. (2011). Moral signals, public outrage, and immaterial harms.Journal of Ex- perimental Social Psychology, 47, 1249–1254. Wheatley, T., & Haidt, J. (2005). Hypnotic disgust makes moral judgments more severe.Psychological Science, 16, 780–784. Young, L., & Saxe, R. (2011). When ignorance is no excuse: Dif- ferent roles for intent across moral domains.Cognition, 120, 202–214. 165Downloaded by [New Mexico State University] at 06:42 13 June 2012
Argument Analysis Post (Mind perception and morality) Is mind perception the essence of morality? Here Kurt Gray and his colleagues argue that perceiving people as agents or patients lies at the heart
Argument Analysis Assignment Please follow the instructions outlined here to complete the article analysis and discussion board posts. *Introductory note about debate articles . Please be aware that journal articles come in two forms. There are primary source articles and secondary source articles. Primary source articles are original, empirical articles written by researchers for the purpose of describing specific research that they conducted. These articles include methods and results sections (e.g., actual data). Secondary source articles or chapters come in two general forms —the meta – analysis or the literature review article. Here, a researcher will describe a specific area of research conducted by him or herself in the past and/or by other researche rs. Literature review articles do not contain data. Instead they contain descriptions of data. A meta -analysis may also be described as a secondary source article because a meta -analysis is a mathematical and descriptive summary of a broad range of finding s. The important point is that debate articles take both forms. Sometime s an author will make claims in a primary source article (by discussing his or her own data collection and r esults), and sometimes an author will make a claim and support it via the use of previous research conducted on the topic. One source type is not inherently better or worse than the other. An author who describes his or her own data collection may be just a flawed in his or her reasoning (or as brilliant) as an author who descri bes other’s previous research. Please keep this in mind as we progress through the semester. Step 1: Summarize both articles Before you are able to analyze an argument you must be able to summarize it. Good summaries include a description of the author ’s ideas including any claims made by the author. Good summaries also review evidence used to advance the argument. To prepare to s ummarize the text, read it to get a general idea about the points. Then, reread the text and mark it up by circling key terms and underlining claims. Finally, chart individual paragraphs or sections and examine the overall structure of the text. As you read, take note of:  What is this section about? What is the author saying in this section ?  What is the author doing in this para graph or section (use verbs like introducing, reviewing, interpreting, challenging, asserting, illustrating)?  Does the author make a claim? What does he or she argue? Make note of central claims.  What evidence is provided to advance the argument? Be awar e of your own biases and avoid inaccurate interpretations. Keep this portion for yourself. Do not turn it in . Step 2: Analyze both article s Choose one or two centr al claims made by the author (s) and describe and analyze the evidence that is used to support it (i.e., for the assignment discuss at three pieces of evidence ). Finally, evaluate the evidence used by the authors . The questions below should serve as a guide to help you evaluate evidence. Some questions will not be relevant to the article that you are reading. A. Use the questions below to evaluate the evidence. First decide what type of evidence the author using. Then, d escribe the evidence and then analyze it. The questions below will help you analyze and evaluate the argument.  Is the evidence based on generalization ?  Is the evidence b ase d on analogy, specific cases , personal experience or anecdote?  Is the evidence based on authority ? o The author uses an authority figure (another author, a doctor, an academic) or an institutional authori ty to support claims  Does the author provide empirical e vidence ? Is the evidence based on experimental data? Observational data? Survey data? To evaluate empirical evidence consider the questions below. o Is a causal claims made (recall that only true experi ments allow for causal inferences) ?  If yes, is a causal claim possible? Was random assignment used ? Was an experiment used? o Is a correlational claim made (recall these are claims about the strength and/or direction of a relationship between two or more va riables)?  If yes, a re there other potential explanations for the data (e.g., potential third variables)? o Decide if the evidence /data is generalizable (e.g., is the data external ly valid )  Is the data robust? Can it replicate in a number of settings with dif ferent samples (e.g., is there overreliance a specific sample) ?  Is it ecologically valid? Would it happen in real life, outside of the lab?  Is it relevant? Does it matter? Are the findings useful for solving problems or improving the quality of life? B. Why is the author using t his evidence? Is it convincing? C. To write an argument analysis, describe the main claims and explain how the author supports each claim.  What are the main claims ?  (describe the main claims)  How does the author support and/or advance the argument ?  (describe the evidence)  What kind of evidence is used to support the claim ?  (evaluate the evidence)  Based on your evaluation of the evidence, h ow convincing is the evidence used to support the author’s claims ?  (what are your con clusions) You may use the structure below to develop y our writing. Please note that your argument analysis will likely be much longer than that below. The paragraph below is simply an outline. Remember, you will need to turn in two of these papers (one for each side of the debate). Write it up and t urn in both analyses in the same word document. Argument Analysis Template _____________ _____________________ ___ that _________________________________ (citation: last name(s) and yea r) (verb, e.g., cla ims, asserts, argues) (paraphrase the main claim(s) ) He/she _______________________ this claim by first ____________________________________. (supports, develops) (explain/describe the evidence) Then, _________________________________________________ __________________________ . (explain/describe the evidence) _______________________ purpose is to ____________________________________________ (citation: last name(s) and yea r) _____________in order to __________________________________________________ _______ (what does the author want the audience to do, think, or feel as a result of this paper) The evidence in support of this claim is _______________ for the following reasons. (strong/weak) First, __________________________________________. Further,______________________________ (evaluate the type of evidence used, and why it is strong or flawed) (evaluate another piece of evidence and _________________________________________. Finally, _________________________________ it’s strengths or flaws) (evaluate the type of evidence used, and why it is strong or flawed) Instructions for Discussion Board Posts 1 Occasionally during the semester, you will need to pick a side. First, you should post your answer to the board. Then , you should eval uate another student’s side and provide feedback. To complete this task, you will need to analyze the paper in the same way as you would for an argument analysis. You will read, summarize, and evaluate each paper. However, here you will chose to analyze t he overall claim (the broad claims such as “violent media causes aggression” or “media violence doesn’t cause aggression”). Then, you will need to decide, based on your evaluation of all the evidence in the paper, which pieces of evidence provide the stron gest and weakest support for the claim and why When you post your answer please use the format below: 1. Issue Name_________________________________ 2. Your Name_________________________ 3. My position is pro or anti____________________________ Position 1: _____ _____________ (describe the main claim) At best __________________________________________________________ (describe the strongest evidence in support of this side , and describe why the evidence is strong ) At worst_________________________________________________________ (describe the weakest evidence in support of this side , and describe why the evidence is weak ) Position 2: __________________ (describe the main claim ) At best ______________________________ ____________________________ (describe the strongest evidence in support of this side , and describe why the evidence is strong ) At worst_________________________________________________________ (describe the weakest evidence support of this side , and describe why the evidence is weak ) Here is an example: 1. Violence causes aggression. 2. Jamie Hughes 3. My position is that violent media causes aggression. Position 1: Violent media causes aggression. The best evidence in favor of Bushman and Anderson’s (2001) claim was the study that was conducted…….blah…blah…blah. This provides strong support because the study was…..blah, blah At worst, Bushman and Anderson (2001) presented evidence that ……blah…blah…blah. This evidence was particularly weak because…… Po sition 2: Violent media does not cause aggression At best, Freedman (2002) argued convincingly that the research conducted on this subject lacked…….blah blah blah. This is problematic for those who think media causes aggression because …. At worst, Freed man (2002) discussed blah blah which did support his main thesis because…… When you provide feedback to another student : 1. Issue Name_________________________________ 2. Your Name_________________________ 3. My position is pro or anti____________________________ 1 N.B., a discussion board post is due in week 3 and week 4 only . 4. Describe why you agree or disagree with the student’s position by challenging the students claims with evidence (if you disagree) or by adding evidence for the student’s claims (if you agree). Grading c riteria for argument analysis Your argument analysis will be evaluated as follows . Category Unacceptable (D) Problematic (C -) Satisfactory (C, B) Good (B+, A) Identified and described main claims o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Identified and described supporting evidence o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Evaluated supporting evidence o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Interpretation & Integration o Improper format for question o Several grammatical/spelling errors o Unclear or haphazard organization o Proper format for question o Few grammatical/spelling errors o Focused and integrated organization The debate activities are written to give you practice with thinking critically about research evidence. For each debate paper, the same three basic, inter -related indicators of quality are applicable: – The extent to which the ideas are ap propriate and relevant to the question – The extent to which the statements made or work shown is correct and accurate – The extent to which a complete or thorough answer is given Put simply, a good answer clearly communica tes a clear, insightful, and elegant answer to the question at hand. A concise, but thorough, statement is always the ticket to a good grade; an unnecessarily lengthy answer gives the reader the impression that you are not organized and that you do not ful ly grasp the topic. Similarly, instructors can only judge the quality of an answer by what is explicitly written, not by what the student “had in mind” when writing the answer. In general, your level of performance in achieving these indicators of quality can be judged on the following general rubric. For each task involved in an answer, performance on that task will be rated as being one of the following: – Performance does not meet the quality expectations for the task (65%) – Performance meets low quality expectations for the task (66 -73%) – Performance meets normal quality expectations for the task (74 -87%) – Performance meets high quality expectations for the task (88 -100%) The specific criteria that the instructor will look for when reading your debate papers are:  Identify and describe the main claims: I expect that you will identify and explain the main claims clearly (article comprehension).  Identify and explain the supporting evidence: I expect you identify and describe the main evidence used to support each claim clearly (comprehension)  Evaluate the supporting evidence: I expect that you will analyze empirical evidence by evaluating internal and external validity. To examine evidence in this way yo u must distinguish between correlational and causal evidence, you must consider the robustness and relevance of empirical evidence, and you are expected to find flaws or strengths in the empirical evidence used to support a claim.  Interpretation and Integ ration : Finally, your responses should be more than a bulleted list or disorganized jumble of statements and claims. You should concisely integrate the concepts and examples to answer the question at hand. I want to see that you are able to organize your a rgument and justifications into a coherent and elegant written piece of work Rubric for discussion posts is below Unacceptable or problematic (60 – 70%) Satisfactory (71 -88%) Good (89 -100%) Content: Use of claims and evidence 9 to 12 points 11.75 to 13 points 14 to 15 points o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Organization and Grammar 4 to 5 points 6 to 8 points 9 to 10 points o Improper format for question o Several grammatical/spelling errors o Unclear or haphazard organization o Proper format for question o Few grammatical/spelling errors o Focused and integrated organization o Proper format for question o No grammatical/spelling errors o Focused and integrated organization

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