You find a time machine and travel to 1920. A young Austrian artist and war veteran named Adolf Hitler is staying in the hotel room next to yours. The doors aren't locked, so you could easily stroll next door and smother him. World War II would never happen.If the findings held up, it would seem to have significant consequences even within a given culture in which those findings held. It would be more interesting by far, though, if it proved to hold in non-WEIRD countries. Then you'd have enough difference in nurture to have pretty good reason to suspect a difference in nature.
But Hitler hasn't done anything wrong yet. Is it acceptable to kill him to prevent World War II?
This is one moral dilemma that researchers often use to analyze how people make difficult decisions. Most recently, one group re-analyzed answers from more than 6,000 subjects to compare men's and women's responses. They found that men and women both calculate consequences such as lives lost. But women are more likely to feel conflicted over what to do. Having to commit murder is more likely to push them toward letting Hitler live.
"Women seem to be more likely to have this negative, emotional, gut-level reaction to causing harm to people in the dilemmas, to the one person, whereas men were less likely to express this strong emotional reaction to harm," Rebecca Friesdorf, the lead author of the study, tells Shots.
This sounds right, but I wonder if the results would hold up in a non-Western country?
By Grim on Friday, April 03, 2015