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40% of Young Children Prioritize the Lives of Animals Over Humans in the Trolley Problem: Study Finds

It turns out that 40% of young children “prioritize the lives of animals over humans” in the trolley problem

Overview of the trolley problem
Overview of the trolley problem / Credit:wikipedia

Will you save five people and kill one, or save one person and kill five?

The trolley problem has long been used as a question of human ethics.

In this problem, many people choose to “save 5 people and let 1 die”.

But there are many variations to this problem, such as 5 strangers and 1 family member, or 5 healthy young people and 1 old man with terminal cancer. It is also possible to assume various situations such as when

In addition, there are many variations that compare non-humans, and in recent years, there has been an increase in attempts to investigate whether human life or animal life should be prioritized.

In fact, an ethics survey of self-driving AI, which surveyed millions of people in 233 countries, yielded predictable results.

In this survey, when there are only two types of collision destinations, humans and dogs, people’s attitudes are surveyed about autonomous driving AI directing the car to the dog (that is, saving the human and killing the dog). I was.

As a result, most people answered that they “agree” with the decision to help humans at the expense of dogs, and it seems that the weight of the lives of humans and animals has been clearly settled before the trolley problem.

But surprisinglyIn recent years, research has begun to report “groups” who answer this question by saying that the lives of animals should be prioritized.

With that said, you might imagine the group to be “extreme animal rights groups” or “extreme egalitarians.”

But this is neither.

It was the “ordinary young children” who demonstrated the ethics that animal life should be prioritized over human life.

If true, young children have different criteria for choosing between human and animal life than adults.

Therefore, this time, researchers from Harvard University and others asked 170 Polish children aged 6 to 9 years old and 178 adults aged 18 to 50 years old to choose between human life and animal life. I decided to answer.

The trolley problem was shown using Lego so that children could easily understand it
The trolley problem was shown using Lego so that children can easily understand it / Credit:Mariola Paruzel-Czachura et al . Children Value Animals More than Adults do — a Conceptual Replication and Extension . PsyarXiv (2023)

In addition, in order to elicit the children’s intuitive choices in the actual survey, Lego as shown in the above figure was used.

(*Practical information, such as complaints from bereaved families of train accidents, can hinder children’s purely intuitive judgments.)

result,When comparing the lives of humans and dogs, 42% of children answered that they prioritized dog lives over human lives.It turns out that.

on the other hand,In the case of adults, 17% of the total answered that they prioritized the dog’s life.It was nothing more than

When comparing humans and chimpanzees, 28% of the children said they preferred chimpanzee lives over human lives, while only 11% of adults said they preferred chimpanzee lives. I answered.

This result isJudgment that human life is prioritized for young children is considerably weaker than adultsindicates that

In addition, it was also revealed that both adults and children prefer dogs over chimpanzees, depending on the type of animal.

(*It is believed that the bias towards different types of animals is due to differences in the degree of familiarity that children feel. In fact, children who own dogs are more likely to give priority to dogs than children who do not. rice field)

That’s the reason why I’m worried about it.

Why do children make decisions that place less value on human life than adults do?

#young #children #prioritize #animal #life #human #life #trolley #problem #Nazology
2023-05-15 09:01:04

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