Research

Experimental

MyBioethics application aims to teach bioethics to all those who are interested in learning more about real bioethical challenges. To generate data on the app’s potential benefits to the users, we empirically study how the use of the app impacts users’ deliberative and moral competencies. In our experimental research setting, we will study whether the use of the app increases users’ ability to justify their decisions in moral dilemmas, search for the common good and recognize various ethical principles related to moral dilemmas. We will also make various changes to our research setting to study the impact of different design choices.

In-App

MyBioethics application has built-in research capabilities that are used to advance empirical exploration of moral intuition, ethical deliberation, and decision-making. With the approval of the authors of selected research instruments, we work to uncover interesting connections between relevant psychosocial constructs and detectable trends in the dilemma answers.

Research findings

The surveys listed below can be found in the application. Our users can utilize these for ethical self-reflection whilst anonymously contributing to a new form of empirical ethics research.

So far, three of our surveys, Existential Quest, Need for Cognition, and Nature Relatedness have received over 100 entries. This sample already gives us an idea of the score distribution and enables us to make preliminary guesses about connections to specific ethical dilemmas.

Existential Quest

Openness to changes in one’s worldview

Items: 8
Scale: 0-48

Average score:

32.07 Points (of 176 submissions)

Distribution

Need for Cognition

Tendency to engage in effortful thinking

Items: 6
Scale: 0-24

Average score:

16.95 Points (of 126 submissions)

Distribution

Need for Affect

Tendency to approach or avoid powerful emotions

Items: 10
Scale: 0-30 (x2)
Factors: Approach, Avoidance

Average scores:

24.92 Points (of 71 submissions)

13.34 Points (of 68 submissions)

Nature Relatedness

Sense of connection with nature

Items: 6
Scale: 0-24

Average score:

16.45 Points (of 165 submissions)

Distribution

Life Orientation

Dispositional optimism or pessimism

Items: 6
Scale: 0-24

Average score:

14.67 Points (of 51 submissions)


More coming soon…

Survey references

The table below displays the present selection of surveys as well as a few prospective additions.

Research instrumentOriginal publicationVersion publicationAdded
Need for Cognition scale (NCs)Cacioppo & Petty 1982de Holanda Coelho et.al. 2020Yes
Existential Quest scale (EQs)Van Pachterbeke et.al. 2011Rizzo et.al. 2019Yes
Need for Affect scale (NAs)Maio & Esses 2001Appel et.al. 2012Yes
Nature Relatedness scale (NRs)Nisbet et.al. 2008Nisbet & Zelenski 2013Yes
Life Orientation test (LOt)Scheier & Carver 1985Scheier et.al. 1994Yes
Need for Closure scaleWebster & Kruglanski 1994Roets & Van Hiel 2011
Moral Sensitivity scaleKim Lützén et.al. 2006
Connectedness scaleWatts et.al. 2022
Intolerance of Uncertainty scaleBuhr & Dugas 2002Carleton et.al. 2007
Maximization scaleSchwartz et.al. 2002Nenkov et.al. 2008
Last updated Aug 17, 2023

Preliminary findings on the statistical relationships between dilemma answers and surveys scores can be viewed HERE.

To explore findings in detail, download the free application.

More findings will be released once a statistically significant number of entries has been submitted and we have sufficiently analyzed the data. Every new answer helps to improve the results. Already, we have hundreds of registered users from 55 countries; these are shown below.

Update sign-up

If you wish to stay up to date on the experimental and/or in-app research attached to MyBioethics you can write your email address in the field below to get semi-annual updates and occasional invites to virtual presentations. All previous update posts can be found below. You can ask to be removed from the email list at any time.

To request restricted access to the anonymous database stewarded by the research team for a legitimate study purpose, please contact us through support.

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Our warmest thanks!

We want to express our warmest thanks to all our research collaborators. You can also review our team, advisors, and sponsors here.

Existential Quest
Need for Affect
Need for Cognition
Nature Relatedness
Life Orientation