Do you pull a lever to rescue 5 people on a runaway trolley, yet in doing so, you will take the life of an innocent bystander?
I’m writing my thesis on moral decision making. Basically, I want to investigate if exposure to certain types of media content can shape certain (cognitive) aspects of decision making, especially when it comes to moral dilemmas.
I was hoping that some of you would have 5-10 minutes spare to participate in my experiment, which involves judgement on dilemmas like the one above, except with some further elaboration, of course.
Click here to participate.
This isn’t about what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ from an philosophical perspective. Instead, there are psychological theories which suggest that many decisions are based on quick, unconscious decision making. Of course, we sometimes also weigh and rationalize choices, although this occurs with a certain deliberative, conscious and slower cognitive processing. Depending on the different aspects of the dilemma, it may or may not engage more cognitive processing. This is why it is important to measure the time taken to respond to dilemmas.
Media effects is a highly contested area of research. Most of the research is focused on violence, tested directly after exposure. This is why I am aiming to measure if there are cumulative effects from increased exposure to certain types of media, as this area of research is lacking. The main focus is to determine if media are able to change the processing of judgements – so, for example, if you often see people getting killed, does it then become intuitive to kill?
Also, the particular media and the characteristics examined are not mentioned, as I do not wish to prime any of you into thinking about your exposure beforehand. You will however be given further information upon completion of the survey.
Thanks for your time 🙂