Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An investigation into the effects of social influence on moral behaviour using immersive virtual reality
Author: Thorn, Jacob Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 2961
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Much of the research surrounding social influence investigates its effects in specifically non-moral situations while almost no research has looked at its effects during moral emergencies. At the same time, studies of moral psychology tend to focus on the intricacies of moral decision-making during the responses of individual participants. This thesis aims to bridge this gap between social influence and moral psychology by having participants respond to moral dilemmas while under the duress of social influence. In order to investigate the effects of social influence on moral behaviours, immersive virtual reality (IVR) was used, allowing participants to be placed in a life-like virtual simulation of events that they would normally only read about in a text-based vignette, probing their observed moral behaviours instead of just their abstract moral judgments. The benefits of using IVR include the ethical and controllable nature of questionnaires along with the verisimilitude of real-life. Another focus of this thesis is to compare moral judgments to moral behaviours. In two out of the three studies presented in this thesis, the virtual moral dilemma was replicated in a text-based questionnaire in order to compare the results from the two media. Moral judgments in response to text-based moral dilemma can miss out key contextual information such the motoric feedback of having to physically act out a movement. These factors can lead to a divergence between moral judgments and behaviours. The thesis starts with a literature review on IVR technology and moral decision-making and social influence research. After this, the three studies conducted as part of this thesis are described. The major findings from these studies include the demonstration of a preference to take action regardless of outcome only when in IVR and the inability for compliance attempts to influence specifically moral behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available