THE MORAL SENSE TEST [8.22.03]
"Our new web site is up and running," writes Marc D. Hauser of Harvard's Primate Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. "We are interested in understanding people's moral intuitions. The web site, includes background information and importantly, The Moral Sense Test. I would very much appreciate it if you would not only take the test, but also spread the word to your friends and colleagues, of all ages. We are particularly interested in getting cross-cultural data as well as developmental information, so even young children who can read would be terrifically helpful. The more the word spreads, the better for us. Thanks a lot for your help. — Marc"
the MST Website:] "The
Moral Sense Test is a Web-based study into the nature of moral
intuitions. How do humans, throughout the world, decide what
is right and wrong? To answer this question, we have designed
a series of moral dilemmas designed to probe the psychological
mechanisms underlying our ethical judgments. By putting these
questions on the Web, we hope to gain insight into the similarities
and differences between the moral intuitions of people of different
ages, from different cultures, with different educational backgrounds
and religious beliefs, involved in different occupations and
exposed to very different circumstances. Participation in the
study is easy, quick and completely confidential. Click above
to learn more about our research, and to take to the test.
"As in every modernly held view, there are significant historical antecedents. The origins of our own perspective date back at least 300 years to the philosopher David Hume and more recently, to the political philosopher John Rawls. But unlike these prescient thinkers, we can now validate the intuitions with significant scientific evidence. Over the past twenty years, there has been growing evidence for a universally shared moral faculty based on findings in evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, anthropology, economics, linguistics, and neurobiology. This evidence has created a powerful movement directed at the core aspects of human nature. It is a movement that has the power to reshape our lives by uncovering the deep structure of our moral intuitions and showing how they can either support or conflict with our conscious, often legally supported decisions.
have the opportunity to participate in the Moral Sense Test right
now. The test only takes about 10 minutes, and your responses
are completely confidential. For more information, read our our
MARC D. HAUSER, an evolutionary psychologist, is Harvard College Professor, Professor of Psychology and Program in Neurosciences, and Director of Primate Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. He is the author of The Evolution of Communication, and Wild Minds: What Animals Think.