Behavioral and Brain Sciences

“Stupid people deserve what they get”: The effects of personality assessment on judgments of intentional action

Berit Brogaarda1

Department of Philosophy and Department of Psychology, University of Missouri–St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63121-4400.


Knobe argues that people's judgments of the moral status of a side-effect of action influence their assessment of whether the side-effect is intentional. I tested this hypothesis using vignettes akin to Knobe's but involving economically or eudaimonistically (wellness-related) negative side-effects. My results show that it is people's sense of what agents deserve, and not the moral status of side-effects, that drives intuition.