How do human beings decide what is right and wrong?

March 9, 2010

Moral Sense Test Image

Nothing captures human attention more than a moral dilemma. Whether we are soap opera fanatics or not, we can’t help sticking our noses in other people’s affairs, pronouncing our views on right and wrong, justified or not. For millennia, philosophers have speculated about how people make moral decisions, what decisions they make, and what decisions they ought to make. To this rich history of theory the Psychology Department at Harvard University hopes to contribute some data — with your help. Their aim is to use data from the Moral Sense Test,(MST) as well as other experiments, to characterize the nature of our moral psychology, how it evolved, and how it develops in our species, creating individuals with moral responsibilities. The MST has been designed for all humans who are curious about that puzzling little word “ought” — about the principles that make one action right and another wrong.

You have the opportunity to participate in the Moral Sense Test right now. The test is short, and your responses are completely confidential. For more information, read the privacy statement.

Source: Cognitive Evolution Laboratory, Harvard University

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