Theory and Decision

, Volume 85, Issue 3–4, pp 389–406 | Cite as

Moral judgments, gender, and antisocial preferences: an experimental study

  • Juergen Bracht
  • Adam ZylbersztejnEmail author


We study questionnaire responses to situations in which sacrificing one life may save many other lives. We demonstrate gender differences in moral judgments: males are more supportive of the sacrifice than females. We investigate a source of the endorsement of the sacrifice: antisocial preferences. First, we measure individual proneness to spiteful behavior, using an experimental game with monetary stakes. We demonstrate that spitefulness can be sizable—a fifth of our participants behave spitefully—but it is not associated with gender. Second, we find that gender is consistently associated with responses even when we account for individual differences in the propensity to spitefulness.


Moral dilemma Moral judgments Experiment Gender Antisocial preferences Individual differences 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Aberdeen Business SchoolAberdeenUK
  2. 2.Univ Lyon, Université Lumière Lyon 2EcullyFrance

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