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Would you kill one innocent person to save five?

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Choose your answer wisely: your popularity may depend on it. New research from Oxford University shows people gauge others’ trustworthiness based on their moral judgements. The findings can help explain why snap judgements about morality tend to be based on a set of absolute moral rules (such as 'don’t kill innocent people'), even if we might make different decisions when given more time.

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Want to be popular? You’d better follow some simple moral rules

Imagine that an out of control trolley is speeding towards a group of five people. You are standing on a footbridge above, next to a large man. If you push him off the bridge onto the track below, his body will stop the trolley before it hits the five people. He will die, but the five others will be saved. Should you push the man off the bridge?

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Jim A.C. Everett and  Molly Crockett, Department of Experimental Psychology.

Oxford is a subscribing member of The Conversation. Find out how you can write for The Conversation.

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