Crowdsourcing moral psychology
Author(s)Dsouza, Sohan Savio.
Program in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
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Ethical trade-off surveys have played a key role in building a data-driven understanding of human moral psychology. They have been conducted all over the world for decades, eliciting assessment of ethical dilemma outcomes from populations as diverse as those of rural, tribal settlements, and industrialized, information-age, cosmopolitan cities. While much data has been gathered through these surveys, attempts to compare what people across cultures consider ethically justifiable have been hindered by the fact that the surveys used have been reformulated for different cultures in the scenarios they depict, and in their framing. The objective of this thesis project is to build a survey tool with global reach and internationalized surveys, in order to collect survey data from around the world using consistent scenarios and framing. Building on the precedent and success of the Moral Machine tool for surveying people around the world regarding ethical dilemmas involving autonomous vehicles, I built and deployed a tool for conducting surveys with scenarios of the classic action/omission trolley problem, to collect ethical dilemma survey data internationally, in ten languages, for three variants of the trolley problem - one for remote action/omission with no double effect consideration, one for double effect consideration with direct action/omission, and one for double effect consideration with remote action/omission. Analyzing data from this experiment, I conclude that differences in preferences across the variants are confirmed across populations, and that they are universal across populations in order of preference.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, February, 2021Cataloged from the official PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-58).
DepartmentProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program in Media Arts and Sciences