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When researchers at Texas A&M University tested people’s beliefs about luck, what they found was that Spock was right – humans are “highly illogical.” Psychology Professor Heather Lench and her team found that a person who acts immorally or recklessly but is “lucky” by escaping dire consequences, is judged less harshly than an “unlucky” person, even when both have committed the same act.
The study, “Beliefs in Moral Luck: When and Why Blame Hinges on Luck,” is co-authored by Lench, along with Rachel Smallman and Kathleen Darbor, also of Texas A&M, and Darren Domsky of Texas A&M at Galveston, and will be published in an upcoming edition of the British Journal of Psychology.
“Moral luck” is a term used in philosophy that describes situations in which a person is subjected to moral judgments by others despite the fact that the assessment is based on factors beyond his or her control, i.e. “luck.”
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