About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

9 in 10 Choose One Sacrificial Kill to Save Five

by Nancy Needhima on December 6, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Font : A-A+

9 in 10 Choose One Sacrificial Kill to Save Five

In an experiment participants opted to kill one person if it meant saving the lives of five others.

Researchers at the Michigan State University, USA, put participants in a 3D setting and stationed each participant at a railroad switch where two sets of tracks veered off.

Advertisement

Up ahead and to their right, five people - shown through realistic, digital characters - hiked along tracks and a runaway boxcar sped toward them. They couldn't move out of its tracks due to a steep ravine. On the opposite side, a single person hiked along in the same setting.

Participants were given the choice to either do nothing or pull the joystick that would reroute the boxcar to the tracks occupied by the single hiker.
Advertisement

About 90 per cent of the subjects pulled a switch to reroute the boxcar, suggesting that people are willing to violate a moral rule if it means minimizing harm.

"What we found is that the rule of 'Thou shalt not kill' can be overcome by considerations of the greater good," said Carlos David Navarrete, lead researcher on the project.

"I think humans have an aversion to harming others that needs to be overridden by something... by rational thinking we can sometimes override it - by thinking about the people we will save, for example," he said.

The results of the study were published in the research journal Emotion.

Source: ANI
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
×

9 in 10 Choose One Sacrificial Kill to Save Five Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests