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Moral Sensitivity: Investigating Implications, Justifications, and Means of Improvements

English title Moral Sensitivity: Investigating Implications, Justifications, and Means of Improvements
Applicant Christen Markus
Number 159279
Funding scheme Interdisciplinary projects
Research institution Ethik-Zentrum Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.02.2016 - 31.01.2020
Approved amount 545'382.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Psychology
Philosophy

Keywords (8)

Moral Sensitivity; Moral (Ethical) Decision Making; Moral Competences; Moral Intelligence; Serious Games; Moral Enhancement; Behavioral Business Ethics; Medical Ethics

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
TITEL: Wie kann und warum soll man moralische Sensitivität fördern?Mit moralischer Sensitivität ist die psychologische Fähigkeit gemeint, moralische Aspekte eines Problems im Alltag überhaupt zu erkennen. In diesem interdisziplinären Forschungsprojekt (Ethik & Psychologie) wird mittels Videospielen untersucht, ob und über welche Strategien moralische Sensitivität gefördert werden kann, und welche ethischen Fragen sich durch den praktischen Einsatz solcher Förderinstrumente für Berufsleute in verschiedenen Bereichen stellen.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziele des Forschungsprojekts: Jede moralische Entscheidung im Alltag setzt voraus, dass man die moralischen Aspekte des jeweiligen Problems überhaupt einmal als solche erkennt. Diese psychologische Fähigkeit nennt man moralische Sensitivität. Im Forschungsprojekt wird u.a. untersucht, über welche Strategien moralische Sensitivität gefördert werden kann. Dazu soll unter anderem ein Videospiel entwickelt werden, in dem diese verschiedenen Strategien eingebaut und nach ihrer Effektivität experimentell untersucht werden. Parallel zu dieser empirischen Forschung wird aus philosophisch-ethischer Perspektive reflektiert, welches Vor- und Nachteile von moralischer Sensitivität sind, und welche Fördermassnahmen warum gerechtfertigt sind oder nicht.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext: Das Forschungsprojekt untersucht die Förderung moralischer Sensitivität in der Medizin und im Business- & Finanzkontext – also in zwei gesellschaftlichen Bereichen, in denen die Bedeutung ethischer Verhaltensweisen unbestritten ist. Es soll damit auch ein Beitrag zur Moralpädagogik und zur Förderung ethischer Verhaltensweisen im beruflichen Alltag geleistet werden.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 11.05.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
An Advanced Measure of Moral Sensitivity in Business
Schmocker David, Tanner Carmen, Katsarov Johannes, Christen Markus (2019), An Advanced Measure of Moral Sensitivity in Business, in European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 1-10.
Entwicklung von Serious Games als Lernmethode im Hochschulunterricht. Ein Praxisbericht
SchmockerD, GötzA (2019), Entwicklung von Serious Games als Lernmethode im Hochschulunterricht. Ein Praxisbericht, in Berendt B (ed.), DUZ Verlags- und Medienhaus, Berlin, 1-30.
Promoting the Moral Sensitivity of Police and Military Personnel
KatsarovJ, ChristenM (2018), Promoting the Moral Sensitivity of Police and Military Personnel, in Olsen OK, Waaler G (ed.), Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, Oslo, 114-120.
Serious Moral Games – Videospiele als Werkzeuge der Ethikbildung
ChristenM, KatsarovJ (2018), Serious Moral Games – Videospiele als Werkzeuge der Ethikbildung, in Junge T, Schumacher C (ed.), Institut für Bildungswissenschaft, Hagen, 1-12.
Training Moral Sensitivity Through Video Games: A Review of Suitable Game Mechanisms
Katsarov Johannes, Christen Markus, Mauerhofer Ralf, Schmocker David, Tanner Carmen (2017), Training Moral Sensitivity Through Video Games: A Review of Suitable Game Mechanisms, in Games and Culture, 14(4), 344-366.
Moral Sensitivity as a Precondition of Moral Distress
Christen Markus, Katsarov Johannes (2016), Moral Sensitivity as a Precondition of Moral Distress, in The American Journal of Bioethics, 16(12), 19-21.
UMED: YOUR CHOICE. Conception of a Digital Game to Enhance Medical Ethics Training
KatsarovJ, Biller-AndornoN, ChristenM, EichingerT, SchmockerD, UMED: YOUR CHOICE. Conception of a Digital Game to Enhance Medical Ethics Training, in Groen M, Kiel N, Wessel A, Tillmann A (ed.), Springer, Berlin, 1.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Institut für Biomedizinische Ethik, Universität Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
E-Learning Stelle der Universität Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Executive MBA University of Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Center for Responsibility in Finance, Institut für Banking & Finance, Universität Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Zeppelin Universität Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Studienvertiefung Game Design Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
ETH Zurich, Bachelor Humanmedizin Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Universität St. Gallen via Bachelor Medizin «St. Gallener Track» Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Universität Luzern via Bachelor Medizin «Luzerner Track» Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Serious Games for Ethics Training in Medicine Workshop Talk given at a conference "uMed: Your Choice” First Findings & Outlook 16.01.2020 Zürich, Switzerland Katsarov Johannes;
Special JASAG Track on Ethics of Simulation and Gaming, ISAGA Talk given at a conference Stealth Strategies in Game-based Learning – Where Do We Stop? 28.10.2019 Warsaw, Poland Christen Markus; Katsarov Johannes;
Ethik Learning Workshop Talk given at a conference Zum Training von moralischer Sensitivität – Ergebnisse eines systematischen Reviews 25.09.2019 Göttingen, Germany Schmocker David; Christen Markus; Katsarov Johannes;
AOW-Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie Talk given at a conference Serious Moral Game: Training Moralischer Sensitivität im Wirtschaftskontext 25.09.2019 Braunschweig, Germany Schmocker David; Christen Markus; Katsarov Johannes;
Workshop mit der AEM-AG Sprache & Ethik Individual talk uMed-Medizinethik-Videospiel: Sensibilisierung für ethische Aspekte der medizinischen Kommunikation? 18.05.2019 Mannheim, Germany Katsarov Johannes;
Association of Moral Education Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Promoting leader’s moral competences through video games? A systematic assessment of the potential of Serious Moral Games for training moral sensitivity 09.11.2018 Barcelona, Spain Schmocker David; Christen Markus; Katsarov Johannes;
Association of Moral Education conference Poster Training Moral Sensitivity. A Systematic Review of Empirical Studies 09.11.2018 Barcelona, Spain Schmocker David; Christen Markus; Katsarov Johannes;
51. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie Talk given at a conference Serious Moral Game: Training Moralischer Sensitivität im Wirtschaftskontext 15.09.2018 Frankfurt, Germany Schmocker David; Katsarov Johannes; Christen Markus;
Kongress Ethik in der Medizin Talk given at a conference Konzeption eines Videospiels für den Ethikunterricht im Medizinstudium 13.09.2018 Cologne, Germany Katsarov Johannes;
Clash of Realities 2017 Conference / Ethics Beyond Gameplay Summit Talk given at a conference Conception of a Video Game to Enhance Medical Ethics Training 07.11.2017 Cologne, Germany Christen Markus; Katsarov Johannes; Schmocker David;
48th International Conference of the Simulation and Gaming Association Talk given at a conference uFinance: Serious Moral Game 10.07.2017 Delft, Netherlands Katsarov Johannes; Schmocker David;
PhD Project Presentation and Poster at the Zeppelin University Summer School (Advances in Behavioral Ethics), Individual talk Training Moral Sensitivity with Video Games 23.06.2017 Friedrichshafen, Germany Katsarov Johannes;
Ph.D. Thesis Outline. Poster presented at the Zeppelin University Summer School (Advances in Behavioral Ethics) Individual talk Moral Sensitivity in Business 23.06.2017 Friedrichshafen, Germany Schmocker David;
International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS) Poster Counteracting Moral Blindness in Business: An Advanced Measure of Moral Sensitivity 23.03.2017 Vienna, Austria Katsarov Johannes; Schmocker David; Christen Markus;
Inaugural lecture (Antrittsvorlesung) Individual talk Serious Moral Games – Mit digitalen Werkzeugen Moral verstehen und beeinflussen 18.03.2017 Zurich, Switzerland Christen Markus;
50. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie Talk given at a conference Moralische Sensitivität in der Wirtschaft messen 18.09.2016 Leizpig, Germany Schmocker David; Katsarov Johannes; Christen Markus;
Morality Play, 2016 DiGRA/FDG Workshop on the Design of Games for Moral Engagement Talk given at a conference Game Mechanisms for Training Moral Sensitivity: A Research Design 01.08.2016 Dundee, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Katsarov Johannes; Christen Markus;
Designing Moral Technologies-Conference, Monte Verita, Switzerland Talk given at a conference Developing Moral Sensitivity Through Serious Moral Games 13.07.2016 Ascona, Switzerland Schmocker David; Katsarov Johannes; Christen Markus;
Designing Moral Technologies-Conference, Monte Verita, Switzerland Talk given at a conference Measuring Improvement: A New Method to Quantify Moral Sensitivity on an Individual Level 12.07.2016 Ascona, Switzerland Katsarov Johannes; Schmocker David; Christen Markus;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Panel “Thematic Session on Serious Moral Games” 10.07.2017 Delft, Netherlands

Knowledge transfer events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
Executive MBA, Zurich: Zurich University 19.09.2019 Zurich, Switzerland
Transparency International Switzerland: Anti-Corruption (Practitioners’ Circle) 11.11.2018 Bern, Switzerland
uFin: The Challenge. Lernziele & Spielmechanismen. Modul Ethik / MAS/CAS für Werdende Berufsfachschullehrpersonen 01.11.2018 Zürich, Switzerland
Einsatz im EPI Berufsethisches Kaderseminar 2017 des EPI WohnWerks: Wie soll ich entscheiden? Theoretische und praktische Aspekte guter Entscheidungen 12.09.2018 Weissenstein, Switzerland
Executive MBA. Zurich: Zurich University 23.08.2018 Zürich, Switzerland
Workshop «Spielerischer Ernst. Computerspiele zum Training moralischer Kompetenzen». Veranstaltung „Mit Weitblick: Austausch und Vernetzung zu Ethik und Leadership“ 03.07.2018 Bern, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Game presented at the Study Information Days of University Zurich German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Talks/events/exhibitions Serious Games: Experiencing Sustainable Banking and Behavioral Ethics / Forum Zukunft Bildung German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Talks/events/exhibitions uFin: The Challenge – Ein Serious Moral Game für die Finanzbranche / LTG Bank German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Feature des Spiels im «Schwerpunkt Spielen für die Wissenschaft» Horizonte German-speaking Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Game presented at the First Swiss Digital Day German-speaking Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Videogames mit Moral UZH-Magazin, 03(17), 46-47 German-speaking Switzerland 2017

Awards

Title Year
Fellowship of the Digital Society Initiative to Carmen Tanner 2019

Use-inspired outputs

Software

Name Year
Game Editor (software to generate games) 2019
uFin - The Challenge (videogame) 2019
uMed - Your Choice (videogame) 2019


Abstract

Moral sensitivity is defined as the ability that enables professionals to recognize that a moral issue or problem is at stake. It includes being responsive to the need of others, envisaging whether a course of action can harm or help others or violate internalized moral standards or codes of conducts. As such, moral sensitivity plays a significant role in many professional practices, such as nursing, medicine or business. Yet, despite being long identified as a key component of moral decision-making and being a core psychological competence of moral intelligence, research on moral sensitivity is still scarce. In addition, research and daily experience alike suggests substantial individual differences: while some people may be quite good in identifying moral dimensions when they arise, others appear to be morally blind. Not surprisingly, moral sensitivity has recently emerged as a concept considered as having much potential utility in research and practice, though our understanding of moral sensitivity, how it affects moral behavior, why and how it can and should be approved is still severely limited. Such questions are relevant for theory and practice alike.In this research proposal, we will address such issues both from an empirical and normative perspective. We believe that the recent moral enhancement debate offers a promising field of practicing interdisciplinary collaboration (between psychology and ethics). In terms of mechanisms underlying moral sensitivity, we rely on social cognition theory and dual-process models. In order to assess moral sensitivity, the project will rely on a domain-specific, vignette-based moral sensitivity scale that was developed and validated by us in previous re-search, and which captures both, explicit and implicit aspects of moral sensitivity. Furthermore, in terms of training moral sensitivity, the project will make use of new media (Serious Moral Game) - a development that enjoys increasing popularity in recent years - creating a unique opportunity to further develop our understanding of moral behavior and to facilitate learning. In this regard, we can also draw from own past work that was designed to make first steps in setting up such a novel game-based learning tool for research and educational purposes.This proposed research serves three main purposes: First, one goal is to examine implications of moral sensitivity (What are the consequences of moral sensitivity? Why should moral sensitivity be enhanced?). Second, another main goal is to investigate various strategies to promote moral sensitivity, again from a normative and empirical perspective (How to enhance moral sensitivity in ethically acceptable ways? How effective are various strategies?). Building on previous work, this proposal also aims to develop a moral sensitivity enhancement tool (MSET) to examine the role and usefulness of various interventions strategies in enhancing moral sensitivity. The third issue will be to investigate, whether implications and improvements of moral sensitivity are domain-specific or not. Since moral sensitivity is mainly discussed in business and medicine, our studies will focus on these two social domains to make a comparative analysis. Overall, this research is designed to improve our understanding about the “why” and “how” of moral sensitivity, within and across two relevant practical fields. Of course, it is also designed to contribute to moral education by linking basic theory to applications in the fields.
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