How Do You Respond To The Moral Dilemma In The Trolley Problem?

How Do You Respond To The Moral Dilemma In The Trolley Problem?

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.

06:21

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The trolley problem asks if you would pull a switch to redirect a train from hitting five people to hitting one person. (0:09)

  • 2

    Researchers have found that the brain responds differently to impersonal and personal dilemmas. (2:35)

  • 3

    Psychopaths seem to respond the same way to personal and impersonal dilemmas. (3:57)

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