The trolley problem is a famous ethical thought experiment. It was first proposed in 1967 by Philippa Foot, but remains a hot topic in psychology and philosophy. The difference between the two scenarios we describe here is that the first is an impersonal dilemma, whereas the second is a personal one. These dilemmas activate different areas of the brain: the prefrontal cortex is more active when we consider impersonal dilemmas, and the amygdala is more active when we consider personal ones.
Key Facts In This Video
The trolley problem asks if you would pull a switch to redirect a train from hitting five people to hitting one person. 00:09
Researchers have found that the brain responds differently to impersonal and personal dilemmas. 02:35
Psychopaths seem to respond the same way to personal and impersonal dilemmas. 03:57
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