475 How To Be Popular: Your Stance On Moral Judgment Determines How Trustworthy You Seem To Others

Speech Materals

trust

An out-of-control trolley car is speeding toward a group of five people. By pressing a button, you can switch the trolley to another track where one person stands. Do you allow the trolley to continue as is or do you press the button so that it hits and kills just one person instead of five?

It turns out your answer is crucial to how popular you will be, researchers behind a new study say. People who uphold moral absolutes — “killing is always wrong, no matter what the consequences” — are also considered more trustworthy, a person you want in your life and in your posse.

The Oxford and Cornell study examines two schools of moral thought. Consequentialist theories say we should always aim to maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of people, even if this means causing some harm: in this case, killing one person in order to save five. By contrast, deontological theories focus on moral rules, rights, and duties. This approach describes certain actions as wrong — and always wrong — no matter the consequences, even when more lives might be lost, as in the example of the trolley.

I – Word Understanding

Posse – group
Consequentialist – focusing on consequence as basis for judgement
Deontological theory – ethics based on rules

II – Have Your Say

  1. Please describe the type of people that you trust.
  2. What are your observations on popular people?  What do you think make them popular?
  • Celebrities
  • Politicians
  • Popular friends / co-workers
  1. Let’s reflect and discuss the situation in the above article.

An out-of-control trolley car is speeding toward a group of five people. By
pressing a button, you can switch the trolley to another track where one person
stands. Do you allow the trolley to continue as is or do you press the button so
that it hits and kills just one person instead of five?

475 How To Be Popular: Your Stance On Moral Judgment Determines How Trustworthy You Seem To Others

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