The experimental philosophy lab: the normative implications of the identified victim bias

An interdisciplinary research project funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland (National Programme for the Development of the Humanities) between 2016 and 2019, no. 0068/NPRH4/H2b/83/2016; principal investigator: Dr Tomasz Żuradzki; main co-workers: Prof. Małgorzata Kossowska, Prof. Wojciech Załuski.


Most people prefer to rescue identified individuals rather than statistical. The main aim of this two year interdisciplinary project is to analyze psychological mechanisms underlying the identified victim bias and the influence that bias has on moral judgments and legal regulations. During research conducted by the scholars working within the humanities and social sciences (psychologists and legal scholars) we plan: 1) to propose new research methods in experimental philosophy; 2) to conduct new experiments on the identified victim bias; 3) to propose new ways of using the results of experimental research in philosophy and other normative social sciences (law, economy).


T. Żuradzki (2018), The normative significance of identifiabilityEthics and Information Technology, DOI: 10.1007/s10676-018-9487-z

W. Ciszewski, T. Żuradzki (2018), Conscientious refusal of abortion in life-threatening emergency ​circumstances and contested judgments of conscience, American Journal of Bioethics 18 (7): 62-64

J.K. Malinowska, T. Żuradzki (2017), The practical implications of the new metaphysics of race for a post-racial medicine: biomedical research methodology, institutional requirements, patient-physician relations, American Journal of Bioethics 17 (9): 61-63

T. Żuradzki (2017), The normative implications of the preference for identified people (in Polish), Diametros 51: 113-136

T. Żuradzki, K. Marchewka (2016), Organ donor registration policies and the wrongness of forcing people to think of their own deathAmerican Journal of Bioethics 16(11): 35-37

W. Załuski, The Moral Status of Helping and the Identified Victim EffectPrincipia 65

M. Kłusek, The Identified Victim Effect – Utilitarian Analysis and Policy Recommendations, Principia 65

Sz. Osmola, Promises to Unidentified Individuals, Principia 65

Papers under review or under preparation

E. Szumowska, A. Czernatowicz-Kukuczka, M. Kossowska, P. Szwed, The identifiability effect and motivational readiness theory

P. Bystranowski, B. Janik, M. Próchnicki, An experimental study on the abstract/concrete paradox in judicial reasoning in Poland and Brazil

A. Głos, Identified victim effect and the limits of responsibility

M. Juzaszek, Tort Liability without Taking Responsibility

P. Nowak, Moral complicity neither with causal contribution nor with intention to participate in wrongdoing: the case of organ transplantations


T. Żuradzki, The Axiology of the Cost–Benefit Analysis in Rescue Medicine – Values and Uncertainty, Lisbon, 6-7 December 2018

T. Żuradzki, The identifiability effect in the allocation of health care resources – the conference The Value of Health. New Trends in Public Health and Health Equity Research in Odense (Denmark), 4-5 October 2018

P. Szwed, The role of motivational readiness in identified victim effect and its implications for public policy makers, Silver School of Social Work, New York University, 1 October 2018.

M. Kossowska, Many faces of dogmatism, University of Maryland, Department of Psychology, 12 September 2018

T. Żuradzki, The conceptualization of vaccination refusals: between science denial anda violation of rational choice – The Hastings Center, Garrison (NY), 11 September 2018

M. Kłusek, Nudging for the Most Good – Comments on Effective Altruism and the Identifiability Effect – the 15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, Karlsruhe, 24-26 July 2018

T. Żuradzki, The normative significance of the identifiability effect (poster) – the 44th Annual Meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, University of Michigan w Ann Arbor, 11-14 lipca 2018.

T. Żuradzki, The normative significance of identifiability – the 92nd Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society & the Mind Association (Open Session), Oksford, 4-6 July 2018

A.E. Czernatowicz-Kukuczka, M. Kossowska, E.A. Szumowska, P. Szwed, and T. Żuradzki, Identified Victim Effect: The Role of Motivational Readiness (poster) – the 11th anniversary meeting of the Society for the Science of Motivation (SSM), San Francisco, 24-27 May 2018

M. Kłusek, Identifiability Effect and Public Policy: A Case of Percentage Tax Designation”  – Prague Conference on Behavioral Sciences, 4-5 May 2018.

A. Czernatowicz-Kukuczka, M. Kossowska, E. Szumowska, P. Szwed, The identifiability effect and motivational readiness theory – Winter Seminar on Social Cognition and Intergroup Relations, Poronin, 2-4 March 2018

T. Żuradzki, The conceptualization of vaccination refusals: between science denial and violation of rational choice –conference Issues in Medical Epistemology, Cologne, 14-16 December 2017

P. Bystranowski (Faculty of Law, Jagiellonian University), References to the Kuhnian Philosophy of Science in Law and Economics Literature: A Critical Analysis – MetaLawEcon Workshop: Law and Economics: Theoretical and Practical Dimensions of Interdisciplinarity”, Helsinki, 8-11 November 2017

T. Żuradzki, The normative significance of identifiability – a talk at the Tilburg Center for Logic, Ethics, and Philosophy of Science, 5 October 2017

E. Szumowska, The role of motivational reediness in the context of an identified victim – XIV Congres of the Polish Society of Social Psychology, Toruń, 15-17 September 2017

Sz. Osmola, Is Justice Really Blind? The ‚Identifiable Victim Effect’ and Judicial Reasoning, the XXVIII World Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR), Lisbon, 17-21 July 2017

P. Bystranowski, And what if the retributivist understanding of the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard results from a cognitive bias? – XXVIII World Congress of the IVR, Lisbon, 17-21 July 2017

T. Żuradzki, The normative implications of the preference toward identifed people (invited lecture) – Institute of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University, 20 March 2017

T. Żuradzki, The ex ante Pareto optimal in healthcare – conference Bioethics & Healthcare, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, 9-10 December 2016

T. Żuradzki, The preference toward identified victims in ethics (invited lecture) – Uniwersytet Hradec Králové (Czechia), 19 October 2016

T. Żuradzki, The Preference Toward Identified Victims and Rescue Duties (poster) – Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, Boulder (Colorado), 11-14 August 2016

T. Żuradzki, Ducking harm and killing an innocent bystander in self-defence. Comments on Chris Marshall’s Killing, sacrificing, and ducking: Self-defence and moral equivalence – Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, Boulder (Colorado), 11-14 August 2016

Popular science articles

L. Tomala (2018), Szczepionki a intuicja. Filozof bada błędy myślowe w osądach dotyczących medycyny, PAP “Nauka w Polsce” 11 October 2018

T. Żuradzki (2016), Szczepienia obowiązkowe a efekt ofiary zidentyfikowanej, “Filozofia w Praktyce” 2 (4)