Skip to comments.Antisocial personality traits predict utilitarian responses to moral dilemmas
Posted on 10/01/2011 1:04:23 PM PDT by ransomnote
A study conducted by Daniel Bartels, Columbia Business School, Marketing, and David Pizarro, Cornell University, Psychology found that people who endorse actions consistent with an ethic of utilitarianismthe view that what is the morally right thing to do is whatever produces the best overall consequencestend to possess psychopathic and Machiavellian personality traits.
n the study, Bartels and Pizarro gave participants a set of moral dilemmas widely used by behavioral scientists who study morality, like the following: "A runaway trolley is about to run over and kill five people, and you are standing on a footbridge next to a large stranger; your body is too light to stop the train, but if you push the stranger onto the tracks, killing him, you will save the five people. Would you push the man?" Participants also completed a set of three personality scales: one for assessing psychopathic traits in a non-clinical sample, one that assessed Machiavellian traits, and one that assessed whether participants believed that life was meaningful. Bartels and Pizarro found a strong link between utilitarian responses to these dilemmas (e.g., approving the killing of an innocent person to save the others) and personality styles that were psychopathic, Machiavellian or tended to view life as meaningless.
These results (which recently appeared in the journal Cognition) raise questions for psychological theories of moral judgment that equate utilitarian responses with optimal morality, and treat non-utilitarian responses as moral "mistakes". The issue, for these theories, is that these results would lead to the counterintuitive conclusion that those who are "optimal" moral decision makers (i.e., who are likely to favor utilitarian solutions) are also those who possess a set of traits that many would consider prototypically immoral (e.g., the emotional callousness and manipulative nature of psychopathy and Machiavellianism).
(Excerpt) Read more at medicalxpress.com ...
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2786484/posts ~ a good example of the phenomenon this thread discusses. Now, how did these guys get out of med school?
What if the fat guy next to me weighs more than the total weight of all five people on the tracks?
I give ‘em another 20 minutes.
“Stop eyeing my donuts and DO SOMETHING”
Back then, I would have loved to ask such dingbats if they thought it was OK to impose American values of anti-racism on South Africa, and if so, why?
The Left is a big advocate for imposing values, as long as they are the Left's values.
AND RISK MY DONUTS????? They have a word for people like you that are so insensitive, uncaring, unfeeling...
Don’t use your donuts to divide the population into sprinkles and chocolate covered, you Liberal.
We are one! We are donut eaters!
Bizarre. But I am not a Christian, and I would try to stop them too... simply because I know that what young people consider an unbearable situation is usually something much less dramatic than they think. They’ll look back on it wryly later in life... if they survive.
Psychobabble. Limit the choices to two? Living in a black and white world there. Didn’t the Coen brothers make a movie out of this....FRIED GREEN TOMATOES FOR OLD MEN?
God bless you for the persecution you suffered in this class (even though we both know it pales in comparision to some under persecution for standing up for their faith like the pastor in Iran).
You are right, because WE both know that if these people were to die, they’d end up in hell-it would be irresponsible (and sick and twisted) ~not~ to try to stop! them. J.S.
We’ve all sinned (an “ethical athiest”, or an ethical “christan”, buddist, etc) does not exist. Only Jesus is good-and only He can give His nature to someone to change them; they cannot become “ethical” on their own.
His parents, and that culture, are long gone.
God alone is the source of all goodness. And I'm pretty sure my father came to Jesus before he died.