Who: All periods

Set-up: While most people think that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is simply a ‘monster story’, it’s really a ‘morality tale’.

Ultimately, readers are faced with determining if the creator (Dr. Frankenstein) or his creation (his monster) is more morally ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in terms of what ‘sparks’ their actions/choices.

Challenge: With that in mind, let’s take an on-line morality test — sponsored by Harvard University — that asks us to consider whether ‘morality’ is based on a) the specific situation and/or b) choosing between the ‘lesser of two evils’.  Do the following:

  1. Take this test.  It’ll take approximately 5-10 minutes (depending on how long you take to read the various questions.  Note, some of them seem similar, but the final ‘question’ or some of the details will change from question to question).
  2. Write a response to what the test is trying to determine in terms of how you view ‘morality’.

Length: 5+ sentences (after you take the test).


40 responses to “W11, #8: MORAL SENSE TEST

  1. The test is trying to see what percentages of people view morality based on different factors. Some people think hurting people no matter what, is morally wrong. Some people think that if you hurt one person to save twenty, that’s morally right. Some people only think a person should help themselves, or as close as they can get to that, all the time. And some people think that determining morality is different based on every different situation. This test is trying to determine how many people each of these, and what kind of people tend to think each certain way. Then they are looking for trends and patterns in results to see what kind of factors of someone’s life determines their moral outlook and what kind of decisions they will make.

  2. This was a very interesting test. I found it extraordinarily intriguing that several times, they produced the results of this poll from another group. They stated that x % of such-and-such a group said so-and-so. The thing that was interesting was that each time they gave me these results, my answer was that of the minority. Such as, for one question I answered ‘no’, but the results showed that 89% said yes. I have no idea whether this was true or not, but it would be interesting to know. This could have been a device used to frighten me into changing my answer. Would we do something different than what we believe in, just because the crowd disagrees with us? Very interesting.

  3. The test is trying to determine how people view morals. They want to see what the majority of the population thinks is right in very difficult situations. They are trying to figure out what different people think is morale in different situations. They gave several different types of questions that most likely each had a group of people that would answer a certain way. They wanted to tell that if you answered with the minority of the people each time or if you only answered with the minority on certain questions in a certain type of situation.

  4. I think this test shows how differently people think about the world and what goes on in it. Some people may think one thing is worse than another, even if someone gets hurt in both. It just depends on their basic principals. If someone finds it funny that a situation happened they may not care if someone got hurt. However if someone gets hurt in a serious situation people probably are going to think the choice was more morally wrong. I believe that everyone is going to feel differently about these situations. On my test I was about average in the end. I guess I have the same general morals as a lot of other people. I think some of this is because of someone’s upbringing, and maybe because of what schools they attend and whom they hang out with. There are many factors that go into who people are and what they believe.

  5. I think that this test is trying to determine what we, as people, deem morally obligatory. One of the most interesting things about this test is the surveys after a particular question. It would seem that they were trying to see how many people’s opinions are swayed by others. What I really liked was that after a particular question (I think it was the one about pushing the guy into the fire) they asked 2000 tribesman what they would do. I think almost all of them thought they were obligated to push the man into the fire, and it was cool that they were asking people of all cultures about these sorts of decisions.

    Basically, we were asked to play God on each question, and whether or not we would change the course of fate to save lives. One way you could view it would be that the five people that were on the raft were fated to die, and you could interfere and kill the one “innocent” man that wouldn’t have died to save the others. How do we value those lives? Is it “one death is better than five”, or do we say “if the five were going to die and the one be spared, it was for a reason.”? I’m really interested to see the results of this.

  6. This test is here as a survey. The test was made to see how people judge others. The creators want to see if people are harsh or nice when it comes to stupid things that they would most likely do themselves. This test really is here to help people make better judgments. However its good intentions it your result could come off offensive and rude.

  7. The test that I have just taken is for the betterment of me and my morality. I’m guessing that the lower your score the better your morality will be. The test gave who ever too the test a series of questions that seemed like very ordinary scenarios. I thought that these scenarios were pretty obvious and that there was all ways an obvious choice. But, now that I think about it, my choices that I made were judgmentally based on what the character was doing at that moment. Instead,
    I should have looked at the bigger picture, and chosen the more morally correct answer.

  8. I realized that my sense of morality was rather complicated. Depended on the situation I was willing to sacrifice the life of one person to save others, but in other cases I wasn’t. I was really against tricking or pushing a person to save the lives of others. In those cause it is much more better to take your own life. In the cause of the injured sea-drifter it would be better to convince to get off instead of shoving him off. If doesn’t want to then you go down with him. For some reason that didn’t make me feel good. However, I was fine with messing with the floodgates to kill one person, but save five others. I was really for breaking the terrorist’s son’s arms. I don’t understand how that would be immoral in anyway. It’s just two arms, not to mention a terrorist’s son’s arms, against the lives of thousand’s of people. It would be wrong not to do it. The terrorist probably doesn’t think about killing thousands of innocent people, including children.

  9. I honestly had no idea what to think when I was taking this quiz. At first I was confused because the answers seemed so obvious, but then I started to wonder if that one person who was in danger was me. This immediately caused me to think differently. I sound EXTREMELY selfish when I say this but I honestly would choose myself over the five other people who were in danger if faced with a split-second decision like the ones in the quiz. I was a little disappointed that the video wouldn’t load on my computer, but also a bit relieved. I was so scared about what would be on that video because the main topic of the quiz was death. For some reason, the quiz continued and I didn’t understand how the railroad question was supposed to change my view of the quiz at all. It seemed just like all of the other questions except I was involved. I would understand why it would change my view of the quiz if MY life was in danger, but it wasn’t . Overall I was confused and scared by this quiz.

  10. This was a very, very hard test for me, partly because those were questions that I know I honestly don’t know the answer to. I believe that everyone has the right to live, and everyone is just as important as everyone else. It was different being asked if taking a life was ‘okay.’ If materials were the only thing involved, life is so much more important than anything, so in that case, I would definitely pass it off as morally permissible. I think that good intentions count, but in today’s society, it’s all about guilt, and the better story. Saving 5 people? or killing one? I think we all struggle with seeing which topic is bigger, death for life, wrong for right.

  11. This test is trying to determine a person’s morality. It gives you different scenarios with life and death situations. All of the questions are generally the same, determining who should live and who should die. I personally found it very difficult to do because I believe everyone’s life has equal value. I don’t think that one person’s life could ever be more important that someone else’s. When the test asked me to choose between one person’s life and five others, it was a complicated choice. The people who run the test are trying to establish how many people would choose what choice given the circumstances. The test was trying to decide the percentages of what moral choices people make.

  12. I thought that the morality test was really interesting. Some of the answers were really difficult to make because you were being forced to choose whether you would want five people to die or just one. I thought it was really curious, that none of the questions asked whether the main character should sacrifice themselves so all the other people could live. I think morality is very subjective and depends on each situation; what is morally ‘correct’ in one circumstance is morally ‘bankrupt’ in the next. In addition to this, no one can make the ‘correct’ decision every time; it’s too difficult. Who decides what is moral; is shoving someone into a river to save five other peoples’ lives ethical or is that evil? How can you tell? If morality was black and white then everyone in the world would be moral or unmoral, just as there would be a fine line between the ‘good’ people and the ‘bad’.

  13. This test was out of the ordinary. The first question was easy because it seemed so obvious, but the next question made the test harder and confusing. After a question that gave you a scenario there was a statistics question that asked if you wanted to change your answer to the previous question. This made the next questions harder to answer. This test also makes you think what is and is not morally right. Questions like “What if I was that one person” or “What if that one person was the president” came up after I finished the test. I’m interested in the hypothesis that is produced after the experiment is done.

  14. This test was a difficult challenge, and it really made me think about “what if?”. What if I was one the people that died because someone was trying to save many others? What if that person didn’t make it in time and everyone ended up dying as well? What if there was a better way to stop a terrorist from setting off a bomb instead of hurting his loved one? What if theres a better solution than pain and suffering and death? The morality of it all takes a wide toll in diverse directions, and looking at it in a big picture like that really gets you wondering, like I did.

  15. This test is trying to determine if a person’s decision is influenced on what he personally thinks, the current situation, or if the person’s decision is being influenced by the majority/minority percentage of what all of the other people say. I found it somewhat annoying when, after I answered a question, the next one asked if I wanted to change my answer because of some poll that they had on other people about the same exact question. Sure the results may be interesting, but my opinion’s my opinion! I don’t want it to change just because some other people disagree with what I have to say. It’s my own choice and I don’t believe that other people have the right to change that. I also think that a person shouldn’t be intimidated of his own answer just because of what the papers say about the majority/minority pecrentage.

  16. This morality test was most surely a perplexing conundrum. I believe that everyone’s lives are equal in value. Pain for one individual can be just as great as pain for the other individual. In thinking of these decisions, one must ask themself this: what if I were being pushed into the fire/ pushed before the demolition ball/ run over by the trolley/ drowning in the canal/ having my arm torn? Sacrificing a single life for many others would be the choice mostly answered. But, in consideration, one person’s agony is just as great as the others’ each agony. So sure, one is left to choose to sacrifice a single life for others, for there is no choice to save both; but do keep in mind that that one person is in great agony too. With this retained in mind, it would not make sense for a person to be so definite about one answer over the other.

  17. I thought that this test was challenging because of the life and death scenarios. What would you REALLY do if you were in that situation? Although my answers were mostly ‘yes – it is morally permissable’, I wonder if I would actually do it if I was in that situation. Also, it was annoying that they kept asking if I wanted to change my answer based on the minority/majority’s answer. I guess they are also testing how many people will change or question their moral views because of what the majority deemed moral.

    I believe most of the questions were moral simply because the death of one person would help save all those other people… but what if that one person who died was me? What IS the moral decision for something that deals with life and death? What would be the best choice to make? This test determines how we view things… how selfish we are (because if I had been the person who would have died to save the other people, I will admit that I would have rathered them dying than me).

    I honestly had no idea what the video clip’s purpose was for. It was about farming, a completely and totally random clip to be associating with morality. The only thing that somewhat related was a 30 second span that talked about how the flowers or plants took nutrients from one another to help each other along. It’s vague, but kind of deals with how someone has to give something to help other people out… (give courage by sacrificing someone else’s life to save other people) The last question changed the viewpoint because I was the person faced with the dilemma, but I still didn’t change my answer (‘yes, it is morally permissable’). However, if I really had been in the situation I don’t know what I would have done. This test gets you thinking and really questions your morality. What would you do in a situation like that? What is right and SHOULD be done?

  18. This here was the easiest test I’ve ever taken. All I had to do was say what I would do in different situations. As long as I tell the truth I can’t get it wrong right? Tests should be like this in school. About opinion instead of right answers. I was curious why they had those questions about tne percentage of people who said otherwise. If you say one thing you should stick with it. Non should have changed their answer.

  19. This test is trying to determine if people of diffrent cultures and backrounds view morality the same way. That is why it asked those questions at the very beginning, to determine your religious affiliation, culture, and living situation. the test is also trying to see how many people are influenced by the majority. The test would say how a % of someone answerd this and see if by viewing the majority, if you wanted to change your answer. It also just wanted to see how diffrent people would react in certain situations and what people think is morally sound. Some think that hurting anyone is wrong and some think it is okay to kill one to save five, and that is what the test is trying to gage.

  20. I found this test to be much more difficult than I expected it to be. Like you said, the test was sort of a measure of whether people viewed morality as the lesser of two evils or if it varied depending on the situation. At the beginning of the test, it said that some choices might be obvious, but I found myself going back and forth on almost all of them. I seemed to consistently go with sacrificing one to save many, but I still think that with both there would be tremendous guilt. In most questions, no single choice would allowe everyone to live and be saved which I guess reflect real life. Sometimes the greatest heros are those who sacrificed the most. However, even after taking this test, if I was ever literally in any of these situations I absolutely have no earthly idea what I would do.

  21. This test was very intriguing. It, in a way, had super-hero like decisions. One of them was about getting a train in safely that had needed medical supplies. However, a worker may get injured. The man thought that the train with the needed medical supplies was more important, because there was a disaster. Neither of these are wrong, it all depends on their choice. Most of these were split-second decisions.

  22. This test was a difficult challenge for me. It really showed me how selfish I was. Some of the questions were pretty hard to answer. It asked you if you wanted five people to die or just one person. I wouldn’t want any casualties if I were to make that kind of decision. I think that everyone should survive and no one die. I think everyone’s life is valued equally.

  23. I believe the test is trying to determine factors that cause people to do things morally right or morally wrong. Someone never knows how one will react until they are put in the situation. Some people might rather hurt someone else in the pursuit of a loved one, or some might believe hurting anyone no matter what is wrong. Others might believe that its okay to hurt others for their own sake, its what they have been brough up to believe. The test is just trying to figure out what causes people to do the things they do.

  24. Student #15 (follow-up)

    After thinking this moral thing over, I realized something that’s sad. All those choices, whether moral or not, are still used every single day. Our president sends a million troops to Iraq to die so the 100 million living in the states can live. It’s no different. A life for some lives.

  25. I really didn’t enjoy that test. I don’t think questions like that should have to be asked unless that situation should occur. The test may be able to help people in the field studying this, but having to choose wether one person or another person should die? Isn’t that a bit personal? I am really quite shocked that they would ask that. Why not save all the people, why must one die? It may be “better” if only one person dies but that generally doesnt stop the suffering of other people. The question about the terrorist and his son, well, I’m not quite sure but isnt hurting an innocent kid just as bad as trying to blow up thousands? Yes, a broken arm will heal, but that still doesnt make it right.

    I didn’t like this test, and quite frankly it didn’t teach me anything.

  26. This test was really difficult. In almost all my questions it was should I let one person of many people die. It is hard because either way someone dies and someone’s family loses one they loved. This test seemed to be trying to determine what people saw as morally acceptable and what the requirements were when it came to sacrifice. I found it interesting that they would tell us the results of the test taken somewhere else or at a different time. It seemed like they were also looking at the affects of how people reacted when there answer was not the majority. They wanted to see if people would change their answer or if they would stick to what they believed was morally permissible.

  27. This test suggests only two possibilities to very unlikely situations. Some questions propose choosing to save a large group of people and instead killing one person. This just poses the question of sacrifice, not really morality so much. Some of the questions gave you a statistic of what others chose, hoping to influence your opinion. This only shows how someone can be swayed by the opinions of others. I don’ t think this test demonstrates someone’s morals very well. Morality is a code of conduct established by a society, determining if an action is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. I’m not exactly sure how a test can prove or disprove your morality, because each situation brings out different characteristics of person, revealing instincts that show true morality, or lack thereof. Only experience can determine morals of an individual. There is only real life to survey morality.

  28. When I took this test, I rated the ‘character’s’ morality in each situation from 1, not immoral at all and 7, completely immoral. The average statistic was a 3.9. I scored 1.6 points higher with a 5.5. I think this is saying that I believe things are immoral easily. In most of the situations, I was shocked at how the characters reacted. In most of them, the characters seemed incredibly selfish to me and I would never reacted the way they did. And while I would never respond the way they did, I understood their decisions. I have wanted to respond they way the characters would have but I would rather deal with how my decision would affect me rather than feel guilty about my decision affected someone else.

  29. This was pretty hard to do. I was sure of myself at first but as the quiz kept asking more and more questions I was more and more uneasy. All of the questions are of the same nature in that it asks you if it is more morally sound to kill five people or one, to change who was originally going to be killed or let something happen the way it was going to happen. What’s really interesting is that they would give you the opinion of another surveyed group and ask you if you wanted to change your answer. The purpose in this, I think, is to see if your answers were really what you thought was right, or what you thought society thought was right. That then brings up another question. How do you determine what is morally right? Is it just what is commonly believed to be good? Is it something else? Maybe that’s the real point of the study. They could be trying to find out how people determine what’s morally sound, and then what people think is morally sound to then speculate on human values and what is really ‘right.’

  30. That was a very interesting test. I actually enjoyed taking it. It was trying to compare me with other people and see how we react in certain situatios. We all react very differently and it was very interesting. You don’t really think about how different peoples decisions can be just based on their ethnicities and backgrounds. I’m very interested on seeing these results.

  31. This test is a survay on people’s view on the concept “Kill one, save a tousand.” It may not literally mean a thousand, but it is posing the question “Is it morally right to intentionally murder somone so that others will survive?” I have been taught that it is morally wrong to intentionally kill any innocent person to save others. Letting people die is bad, but it is worse to be the direct cause of someone’s death. It is only ok to kill this person if they are one of the causes of the ponentially death of someone else, or not an innocent person.

  32. This test had some pretty hard questions. This test tried to determine our morality, in the most unmoral situations possible. None of the results or decisions were good, moral ones. That is why I struggled. One person had to die, no matter what. This test truly determines our moral behavior in “real-life situations” and what we do.

  33. I did not like this test, not at all. As I answered each question I found them all repulsive. I did not like to think about someone being put in this kind of situation and being selfish. That is not okay at all. Sure people do it, but I did not like to think about the mere fact that some people really would do that.. It was quite depressing to say the least to think about someone having a dilema and putting someone else’s life at risk just so they wouldn’t get caught. That’s not good at all and should in all circumstances be morally wrong. I don’t know why this test was even created, but I did not really like it.

  34. This moral sense questionnaire made me think hard about what was right or wrong. Of course, as with many things in life, there is no clear answer. With each choice, even though most of them were either yes or no, I was forced to think about the consequences and weigh what was more or less right in each situation. The main question on this test revolved around whether it was worth sacrificing one person in some way to save a group of people. I personally believe that it is necessary at times to sacrifice that one person. However, in the actual questions, each situation ended with sacrificing one person without the person aware of his sacrifice, such as pushing that person off a bridge, or leaving a 100 dollar bill at a certain spot. In those cases, I would never sacrifice that person in such a cruel way. In those kinds of situations, I would either sacrifice myself to save a group of people, or let the group die. No man deserves to die without first knowing why he is going to die. That person would not die nobly, and that would haunt my conscience even more than letting a group of people die when they already know they could die. I did not know this before, but the test made me see that I view morality is more important than my own life or death.

  35. The test is a look at how people judge morals. It does not seem to be an examination of how moral people are, but how they judge morality. Instead of asking what would you do in ____ situation, it asks how moral was this decision. Even though people project what their own choice would have been, it should have been easier to judge the fictional character. All of the questions asked were frankly pretty messed up. I find it very interesting that the average score was a 3.9. I do not understand whether this is because people could excuse fictional acts more easily, because they felt guilty of their own selfishness which promted them to be less judgemental, or because they find such selfish but more importantly dangerous acts genuinely permissable. I scored a 6.7, which seems incredibly judgemental. However, as I see it, I judged the acts, not the people; as instructed. I answered while thinking of what I would have done, or rather, what I hope I would have done. Morality in the end is the choices we make in the various situations life puts us in, not how we judge others.

  36. Based on different scenarios this test is trying to find out how harshly you would view the persons moral. To see if the person picked the right choice in your own opinion. My opinion is based on wether you would have to do something bad to do the right thing. If the bad over weighs the good then you wont be doing any good. But what people have to understand is that with out some sacrifice or some equal action taking place you won’t get anything good done.

  37. I really liked taking the test. it just showed how different people in the world would act in certain situations. Its amazing how my score was a 6.2 and the average is 3.9 It goes to show that sometimes it does depend who you on what you will do. You always here you would be crazy to do that no one does. Well this tests shows that someone obviously does what everyone else thinks is crazy. The test was a fun test because it made you think but it was also a really easy test so kind of like an out of the ordinary type thing. Tests like that, to me, are created to show that world that everyone is different and is built with different mind sets.

  38. I took the test and did not think it was that hard. I am also unsure what student #11, #13 and some others were talking about a statistics question that asked if you wanted to change your answer to the previous question. I only got an option of whether I wanted to see the statistics of the whole test after I was finished taking it. I found out the average of my answers and the average of everyone elses answers. My screen however won’t let me maximize so some of the words got cut off to the side but it was still readable. Was the question at the bottom? Maybe my screen also cut of parts at the bottom too. Obviously, I am quite dissappointed that I did not get that question or option. This computer is not exactly working too well either. Maybe I go try taking the test on the other computer as soon as the no one is using the computer anymore. I also did not get to see the average of each group of people got like asians or christians. Therefor, I am also confused of what some other students were talking about like student #2. I also did not get a life and death scenario. All of mine were about someone getting hurt but it did not say that someone died. I also found out that there were more than ten questions because I went back for a second time to check on the asking if I wanted to change my answer part. At first I thought maybe they were going out of order then I realized I had not been asked the second question before. I also did not get a video clip for any of my questions.

  39. This test went through many different situations in which I had to think about alot. The test showed the percentage of people who chose what was morally right or wrong and comapres your statistics to everyone else. I liked my overall morality level at the end of it. Morality can be me looked at in many different ways, it depends on the person. One person might think getting hurt to save something might be right while the other says its not. This test had showed many possible ways you could look at the problem and figure out what to rate it.

  40. This test is trying to see how you view human life. Every question involves somebody getting hurt in order to protect something of value. Then it judges you based on your decision of which is the more valuable. There isn’t a score, so you can’t be totally judged. However, it does sort of judge you it just doesn’t tell you if that choice was right or not. It does ask about human life, because there’s a question were the kid gets thrown into the middle of a lake to save some camera equipment.

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