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Manic patients exhibit more utilitarian moral judgments in comparison with euthymic bipolar and healthy persons

 Sung Hwa Kim  ;  Tae Young Kim  ;  Vin Ryu  ;  Ra Yeon Ha  ;  Su Jin Lee  ;  Kyooseob Ha  ;  Hyun-Sang Cho 
 COMPREHENSIVE PSYCHIATRY, Vol.58 : 37-44, 2015 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Adult ; Bipolar Disorder/diagnosis ; Bipolar Disorder/physiopathology ; Bipolar Disorder/psychology* ; Case-Control Studies ; Female ; Health* ; Humans ; Judgment* ; Male ; Morals* ; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales ; Reaction Time/physiology ; Young Adult
Both emotional and cognitive processes are involved in moral judgments. Ventromedial prefrontal lesions are related to impaired prosocial emotions and emotional dysregulation, and patients with these lesions exhibit increased utilitarian judgments of emotionally salient personal moral dilemmas. Bipolar patients experiencing manic episode also have impaired emotional regulation and behavioral control. We investigated the characteristics of moral judgment in manic and euthymic patients with bipolar disorder using the 50 hypothetical moral dilemma task (17 non-moral, 20 personal, and 13 impersonal). Our study included 27 manic bipolar patients, 26 euthymic bipolar patients, and 42 healthy controls. Subjects were instructed to determine whether or not each dilemma was morally acceptable, and their reaction times were recorded. Manic patients showed significantly greater utilitarian judgment than euthymic patients and normal controls for personal moral dilemmas. However, there were no significant between-group differences for the non-moral and impersonal moral dilemmas. Our results suggest that increased utilitarian judgments of personal moral dilemmas may be a state-related finding observed only in manic patients. This difference in moral judgment assessments may reflect the decision-making characteristics and underlying neurobiological mechanisms of bipolar disorder, especially during the manic state.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Sung Hwa(김성화)
Cho, Hyun Sang(조현상) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1019-9941
Ha, Ra Yeon(하라연)
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