Black-and-white judgments may be more literal than you might expect. A new study finds that people who view information on a black-and-white background are less likely to see gray areas in moral dilemmas than those who get the information alongside other colors.
The background, which participants weren’t aware was of interest in the experiment, did not push people to become either more lenient or more severe, researchers reported Friday (May 25) here at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science. Instead, it took people’s natural tendencies toward leniency or severity and intensified them — in other words, their judgments became more black-and-white.
The findings add to a number of studies that find metaphors can often translate to literal, real-world behavior. For example, people who are holding a warm beverage view strangers as warmer. And when people remember a time they got the cold shoulder, they feel, you guessed it, physically colder.
Read the whole story: msnbc