Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Would you kill one innocent person to save five?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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.

Read more

Related article

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.

Similar stories

Oxford vaccine reaches one billion doses released

The University of Oxford’s and our partners AstraZeneca have today announced that one billion doses of the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 coronavirus vaccine have been released, to more than 170 countries, marking a key milestone as part of the University and AstraZeneca’s joint vision to make the available to the world, on a not-for-profit basis for the world during the pandemic, and in perpetuity for low- and middle-income countries.

Phase I trial begins of new vaccine against the Plague

Researchers at the University of Oxford today launched a Phase 1 trial to test a new vaccine against plague.

New therapeutic targets identified in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis

Researchers identify two inflammatory-driving proteins, osteopontin and CCL2, highly expressed in psoriatic arthritis joints.

Treatment choice for rotator cuff disorders could create efficiency and savings for the NHS

A trial that evaluated the clinical and cost effectiveness of physiotherapy treatments for rotator cuff disorders suggests cost savings can be made while maintaining positive patient outcomes.

Neutrophil molecular wiring revealed: transcriptional blueprint of short-lived cells

Researchers publish the first blueprint of transcriptional factors that control neutrophil-driven inflammation in Nature Immunology.