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  • 1.
    Hallin, Nathalie
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Cognitive Dissonance: Neural Correlates and New Theoretical Approaches2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Cognitive dissonance has traditionally been defined as the negative affective state which accompanies inconsistent cognitions and motivates one to make the cognitions consistent. This thesis critically evaluates two theories about cognitive dissonance. The action-based model of dissonance argues that inconsistent cognitions have the potential to interfere with effective and unconflicted action. The new look model of dissonance, contradicting the traditional definition of dissonance, argues that it is aversive consequences rather than inconsistent cognitions that cause dissonance. Recent studies investigating the neural correlates of dissonance show that parts of anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex seem to be involved in the dissonance process. One of the major predictions of the new look model of dissonance has been undermined by recent evidence. In contrast, the action-based model of dissonance is supported by recent studies.

  • 2.
    Hallin, Nathalie
    University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    FROM GUILT TO REGRET: The impact of neuroscientific evidence upon our ideas of libertarian free will and moral responsibility2012Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In this essay I will investigate some different opinions about how or whether we should change our views concerning moral responsibility if neuroscience shows that contra-causal free will is implausible and also argue that holding people morally responsible is not the best method of making people act morally. A common approach is to argue that we can hold people responsible in a non-absolute sense and many argue that this has practical benefits (i.e. that people would act more morally). I evaluate different alternatives and conclude that there are different beliefs and opinions that cause disagreement in this question. I argue that moral responsibility is implausible without the existence of contra-causal free will (because it is then just a question of luck what actions you will perform) and that it is more practical to shift our focus to other ways of changing people and not blaming them.

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