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NWU-EECS-09-21

NWU-EECS-09-21

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: eecs.northwestern.edu on Jun 02, 2010
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Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department
Technical ReportNWU-EECS-09-21Dec 25, 2009A Cognitive Model of Recognition-Based Moral Decision Making
Morteza Dehghani
Abstract
The study of decision making has been dominated by economicperspectives, which model people as rational agents who carefullyweigh costs and benefits and try to maximize the utility of everychoice, without consideration of issues such as cultural norms,religious beliefs and moral rules. However, psychological findingsindicate that in many situations people are not rational decisionmakers as defined by the economic theories. One of the domains inwhich traditional cost-benefit models fail to predict humanbehavior is the domain of moral reasoning.This work presents the first computational model of recognition-based moral decision making, MoralDM, which integrates severalAI techniques in order to model recent psychological findings onmoral decision making. MoralDM uses a natural language systemto produce formal representations from psychological stimuli,reducing tailorability. The impacts of secular versus sacred valuesare modeled via qualitative reasoning, using an order of magnituderepresentation. MoralDM uses a combination of first-principles
 
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reasoning and analogical reasoning to model the recognition-basedmode of decision making.The results of MoralDM experiments provided the impetus tofurther examine the role of cultural narratives and analogicalreasoning on moral decision making. This work examines whetherthe processes by which core cultural narratives are applied in
 people‘s lives follow the principles of analogical retrieval and
mapping. In particular, it examines how analogical accessibilityand alignability influence the use of canonical moral narratives.The results of a series of experiments performed among Iranianand American participants are reported and these results aresimulated using MoralDM.The last contribution of this thesis is regarding the use of structured qualitative representations and analogical generalizationin modeling the similarities and differences in causal reasoning forbiological kinds. The individual models built from transcript dataare used to construct generalizations, which are tested both byinspection and by creating a classifier to distinguish models basedon the culture and the level of expertise of the participants.Overall, this thesis argues for the importance of highly structuralrepresentations in conjunction with analogical reasoning forcapturing and modeling some effects of culture on cognition.
Keywords:
Decision Making, Moral Reasoning, AnalogicalReasoning, Cognitive Modeling, Integrated Reasoning
 
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NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITYA Cognitive Model of Recognition-BasedMoral Decision MakingA DISSERTATIONSUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOLIN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTSfor the degreeDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYField of Computer ScienceByMorteza DehghaniEVANSTON, ILLINOISDECEMBER 2009

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