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Mortality salience and the trolley problem in medical students

Published in West University of Timisoara Publishing House & The Euroregional Center for Applied Psychology
2018
Volume: 20
   
Issue: 2
Pages: 45 - 48
Abstract

Terror Management Theory predicts that when subjects are exposed to mortality salience (i.e. they are reminded of their death), they develop higher levels of anxiety and have stronger holdings for their cultural worldviews. Mortality salience also makes subjects more cautious in many daily activities. These premises lead to the hypothesis that, under mortality salience, subjects are more deontological in their moral judgments. To test this hypothesis, medical students from a Caribbean school were presented with two classical versions of the Trolley Problem. Subjects were placed in two groups, on the basis of a computer random generator. One group was not exposed to mortality salience, the other group was. Results came out showing that being under mortality salience does not significantly increase the probability that subjects have a deontological approach to ethics. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

About the journal
JournalRomanian Journal of Applied Psychology
PublisherWest University of Timisoara Publishing House & The Euroregional Center for Applied Psychology
Open AccessYes