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脑与认知科学 » 麻省理工学院1999春季课程:演化心理学   

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脑与认知科学 » 麻省理工学院1999春季课程:演化心理学

作业


 
底下的作业包含读后上台报告和一篇学期论文。对道德观方面的思考试验及其问

题的例子是这门课程的一些独特观点。

报告和论文


1. 上台报告的主题须基于所列之读物或经由课堂讲师许可的题目。
2.论文为经课堂讲师许可的题目,于期末前缴交。

参与者必须在两堂关于幻想两难的课中做出决定。

1. 电车难题。 例子∶ Example

一列电车正沿着轨道急驶。在电车前面的轨道上有五名无辜者,如果电车继续直

驶,他们将被辗毙。轨道上有另一条支线通往其他方向。有一名无辜者在那条支

线上。电车的刹车已经失灵,但有一个转辙器能被启动,使电车驶往支线上。你

是一名无辜的旁观者。你可以按下转辙器救那五名无辜者,但那将导致那名在支

线上的无辜者遭辗毙。你会怎么做?

2. 救生艇难题。 例子∶

一艘船已经沉了,在一只救生艇上有六个生还者。因为大小的限制,救生艇只能

支撑五个生还者,且你必须做出决定。这六个生还者中,有五个是一般的成人,

第六个是一只牧羊犬。其中一个势必被丢弃而遭溺毙。你会怎么做?

a. 丢弃狗

b. 在五个人中抽签并丢弃抽中者

c. 六个生还者公平抽签并丢弃抽中者

参与者被给于这两道难题的不同样式,亦即对不同的观点作变化。建构出的这些

难题可让不同观点在重要性上可被互相比较。不同的观点包括 (全部例子都是有

关于电车的难题)∶

1. 行动-不行动:所有设计的难题允许参与者去做(启动转辙器)或不做(让电车

继续行驶) ,以了解这观点本身是否重要。

2. 数目:轨道上个体数目的改变。例子一∶五个人对一个人。例子二∶五个人对

你的兄弟。

3. 社会契约:改变个体的涉入情境。例子∶轨道上无辜的旁观者对在修理铁轨的

铁路员工。

4. 纳粹分子:包含检视一种引人憎恶哲学观点的影响。例子∶纳粹分子在一条轨

道上而无辜者在另一端。

5. 总亲缘适应度:参与者和铁轨上的人之间的亲缘程度。包括生物上的亲属以及

朋友和相同社群的成员。

6. 精英:拥有高社会地位的人。例子∶无辜的旁观者在一条铁轨上,另一条铁轨

上则是正着手发明一种治疗癌症药的著名科学家。

7. 物种:例子∶一个人类在一轨道上,五只大猩猩在另一轨道上。

8. 濒临绝种的: 相配的物种观点,比较濒危物种与没有濒危物种与人类。

结果∶

透过上述两个不同的研究,比较四种不同的参与族群∶三组不同的美国心理学学

生和一组台湾学生。
就堕胎、节育、死刑、医学实验、宗教加入等的个人信仰而言,发现族群间有许

多差异。
然而,在操控的幻想两难问题上的道德观点,不同的群体仅有很细微的差异。不

考虑取样的话,个人可能会有极相似的决定。换句话说,个人偏爱自己物种的成

员胜过其他物种;家庭(以及朋友)胜过陌生人;任某人死亡比杀死他在道德上是

更能被接受的;宁可选择拯救更多而不是更少的人;利用社会契约的讯息于他们

的决定;并且谴责那些是纳粹分子的人。精英主义和濒危物种对决定则没有影响


不同观点的重要性顺序是∶物种、总亲缘适应度、行动-不行动、数目、社会契

约、精英主义(纳粹分子和濒危物种不包含在台湾人族群的取样里)。除精英主义

之外,所有这些观点在决定两难的结果方面有着重要性。
结论∶

在衡量个人信仰所发现的差异与幻想两难的回应上并不相关,此意味着道德直觉

的本质比个人信仰存在于更深,更基本的层面。这些研究作者推断在这些幻想两

难的回应模式的普遍性上显示至少有部分的生物成分逐步演化成人类的道德。
Petrinovich, Lewis (1995),《人类的进化、生殖和道德》(Human evolution,

reproduction, and morality)em,纽约∶Plenum出版社。

Petrinovich, L.O Neill,P. 和Jorgensen, M.(1993),〈道德直觉的经验研究∶

进行中的和演化的伦理学〉(An empirical study of moral intuitions Toward

and evolutionary ethics),《人格和社会心理学期刊》,64 ,467 - 478。

问题讨论


1. 什么是幻想两难方法学的限制?一些讨论的可能性包括∶
有限的参与者样本(甚至用交叉文化的数据,全部都是学生)
纸和笔,问卷方法学(回应偏见)?
我们能从这些回应概括多少真实行为(而多少是要紧的)?
2. 就生物学和演化所提出的问题而论,这样数据有多少说服力?一个社会文化的

解释能说明这些结果吗?

3. 在道德直觉研究所提出的普遍性上,我们能表现出多少现实世界的道德观?

在个人信仰问题上的不同回应是否意味着现实世界的道德判断可能比这些提出的

普遍性所暗示更多的变化?

4. 有其他的证据能促进阐明生物学和道德之间的环节吗?

道德的现代研究方法


道德直觉和幻想两难
对人类道德的现代演化研究方法背后的基本概念是我们的道德信仰和直觉至少在

某些方面有生物学上的基础。换句话说,演化生物学的原理(例如总亲缘适应度

的概念)能够把许多我们视为道德的行为倾向解释清楚。
在道德直觉的研究上已经阐释了几个道德议题,包括∶
1. 数目 -一个受决定所影响的个体数量应该能左右建议行为的本质吗?(亦即

,你有权利选择拯救一个人或五个人的生命

2. 行动和省略 -任某人死亡比杀死他是更被允许的?

3. 社会契约 -一些社会契约能影响一个行为判断的道德观,例如∶

a. 是否一个先前的允诺帮助一个人而不是另一个人。

b.人权和所有权

c. 社会成本和利益

d.生物学上的关联-是否我们对家族或者同种族的成员负有一种道义责任?

一种探索基于生物学道德观的方法乃是透过幻想两难的运用,并针对评估人类关

于道德判断的直觉作假设情境。例如∶
你有使用一种救命药的机会。有一个人,如果他不服下整份的药,他将会死。而

另有五个人,每人只需服下五分之一的药便能存活。你会选择把药给:那个人或

那五个人?

The assignments below range from presentations on readings to a term

paper. Examples of some unique aspects of this class are the thought

experiments on morality, and the thought questions.

Presentation and Paper


1. Presentation of lecture topic based on the readings or a topic

approved by the instructor.
2. Paper on a topic approved by the instructors, due end of semester.

Participants had to make decisions on two different classes of fantasy

dilemmas.

1. Trolley problems. Example

A trolley is hurtling down the tracks. There are five innocent people

on the track ahead of the trolley and they will be killed if the

trolley continues going straight ahead. There is a spur of track

leading off to the side. There is one innocent person on that track.

The brakes of the trolley have failed and there is a switch which can

be activated to cause the trolley to go to the side track. You are an

innocent bystander. You can throw the switch saving the five innocent

people, which will result in the death of the one innocent person on

the side track. What do you do

2. Lifeboat problems. Example

A ship has sunk and there are six survivors on a lifeboat. Because of

limits of size, the lifeboat can only support five individuals and you

must decide what to do. Five of the six are normal adult human beings

and the sixth is a collie dog. One individual must be thrown over to

drown. What would you do

a. Throw the dog over

b. Draw lots among the humans and throw the losing human over

c. Draw equal lots and throw the loser among all six over

Participants were presented with different varieties of these two

dilemmas, varying on a number of dimensions. The dilemmas were

constructed to allow the dimensions to be compared in importance with

one another. The dimensions were (all examples are in reference to the

trolley problem)

1. Action-Inaction All the dilemmas were constructed to allow the

participant to act (throw the switch) or avoid acting (let the trolley

continue on its path) to see if this dimension was important in and of

itself.

2. Numbers The number of individuals on the tracks were varied. Example

One Five people versus one person. Example Two Five people versus your

brother.

3. Social contract Varied the individuals’ involvement in the

situation. Example Innocent bystanders on the track versus railroad

employees working to repair the track.

4. Nazi Included as a dimension to examine the effect of an abhorrent

philosophical perspective. Example Nazis on one track and innocent

individuals on the other.

5. Inclusive Fitness The degree of relatedness between the participant

and the people on the track. Included biological relatives as well as

friends and members of the same social group.

6. Elite Individuals who have attained a high status in society.

Example innocent bystander on one track, famous scientist working on a

cure for cancer on the other track.

7. Species Example One human on one track, five gorillas on the other

track.

8. Endangered Matched with species dimension, compared endangered

species versus nonendangered versus humans.

Results

Across two different studies, four different subject populations were

compared three different groups of U.S. psychology students and one

group of Tiawanese students.
A number of differences were found across groups in terms of personal

beliefs on issues such as abortion, birth control, capital punishment,

medical experimentation, religious affiliation, etc.
On the moral dimensions manipulated in the fantasy dilemmas, however,

there was very little difference across groups. Regardless of sample,

individuals made very similar decisions. In other words, individuals

favored members of their own species over other species; family (and

friends) over strangers; found it more morally acceptable to let

someone die than to kill; preferred to save more rather than fewer;

utilized social contract information in their decisions; and condemned

those who were Nazis. Elitism and indangered had no effect on

decisions.
The overall order of importance of the dimensions was Species,

Inclusive Fitness, Action-Inaction, Numbers, and Social Contract,

Elitism (Nazi and Endangered were not included in the Taiwanese

sample). All of these, except Elitism, mattered in determining the

outcome of the dilemmas.
Conclusions

The differences which were found on measures of personal belief were

uncorrelated with responses on the fantasy dilemmas, suggesting that

the nature of moral intuition lies at a deeper, more fundamental level

than personal belief. The authors of these studies conclude that the

universality of the response patterns on these fantasy dilemmas suggest

at least a partial evolved, biological component to human morality.
Petrinovich, Lewis. (1995). Human evolution, reproduction, and

morality. New York Plenum Press.

Petrinovich, L., O'Neill, P. and Jorgensen, M. (1993). An empirical

study of moral intuitions Toward and evolutionary ethics. Journal of

Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 467-478.

Questions for Discussion


1. What are the limitations of the fantasy dilemma methodology Some

possibilities for discussion include
Limited participant sample (even with cross-cultural data, all are

students)
Paper and pencil, questionnaire methodology (response bias)
How much can we generalize from these responses to actual behavior (and

how much does this matter)
2. How convincing is this data in terms of addressing issues of biology

and evolution Can a sociocultural explanation account for these results

3. How much of real-world morality can we map on to the universals

proposed by the moral intuition research Do the differing responses on

questions of personal belief imply that real-world moral decisions

might show greater variability than suggested by these proposed

universals

4. Are there additional types of evidence that might help illuminate

the link between biology and morality

A modern approach to morality


Moral Intuition and Fantasy Dilemmas
The basic idea behind the modern evolutionary approach to morality in

humans is that at least certain aspects of our moral beliefs and

intuitions have a biological basis. In other words, the principals of

evolutionary biology (for example the concept of inclusive fitness)

might shed light on many of the behavioral tendencies that we consider

moral.
Several moral issues have been addressed in the study of moral

intuition, including
1. Number - Should the number of individuals who are affected by a

decision influence the nature of the recommended action (i.e. You have

the option of saving the life of 1 person or 5 people)

2. Action and omission - Is it more permissible to let someone die than

to kill the person

3. Social contracts - A number of social contracts can affect the

morality of a behavioral decision, such as

a. Whether a promise has previously been made to help one individual

over another.

b. Personal rights and ownership

c. Costs and benefits to society

d. Biological associations - Do we feel a moral obligation to kin, or

to members of our own species

One way to explore this idea of a biological-based morality has been

through the use of fantasy dilemmas, hypothetical situations aimed to

assess people's intuitions about moral decisions. For example
You have access to a lifesaving drug. There is one individual who will

die if he does not receive all of the drug. There are five other

individuals each of whom only need one-fifth of the drug to survive.

Who do you choose to give the drug to the one person or the five people
 

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