How Might Feeling Invisible Affect Our Moral Thinking?


I personally don’t think invisibility will affect our moral nature. But it’s an open question that we now can test by using this illusion, and I’m excited to see the results. 

It’s probable that individuals who gain the power of invisibility will tend to act more immoral, because they wouldn’t have to fear getting caught. However, I find it unlikely that they would suddenly actually believe that stealing, for instance, is right, just because they’re invisible.

In one of our follow-up studies, we are planning to test this issue by exposing the participants to a number of moral dilemmas under the illusion that they are invisible, and compare their responses to a context in which they perceive having a normal physical body. As such, we can empirically test whether invisibility influences our moral nature.

Arvid Guterstam is a doctoral student in the department of neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.