Trolley Problem Experiment Run IRL

Link post


Neat show. Claims to be the first time the Trol­ley Ex­per­i­ment was ac­tu­ally run in the real world.

The host of this show set up a Trol­ley Prob­lem. Sub­jects were con­vinced they were part of a fo­cus group about com­muter rail. They’re placed in a switch­ing sta­tion, that moin­tors tracks re­motely via CCTV, while wait­ing for the fo­cus group to be­gin. A kindly old con­duc­tor shows them the ropes, and even has them switch a train com­ing down the tracks from one track to the other just for fun. Then he’s called away.

While he’s gone, con­vinc­ing video footage is played of a 5-and-1 con­struc­tions work­ers sta­tion­ing them­selves on the two tracks. And then footage is played of an on­com­ing train that will hit the group of 5. The sub­ject must choose to throw the switch or not, they don’t have a lot of time, maybe a minute?

Test was run 7 times. How many peo­ple do you pre­dict flipped the switch to save net-4 lives IRL? (an­swer in com­ment be­low)