Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • Moral psychology isn't always an easy thing to study.

  • First of all, just using a survey

  • to ask people what they think is moral

  • doesn't always reveal what they would do in real life.

  • An experiment that actually puts people

  • in what feels like a real scenario

  • may get more realistic results,

  • but researchers must always balance the benefits

  • of what we could learn

  • with the safety and well-being of the people they study.

  • Secondly, what we learn from moral psychology experiments

  • doesn't always make humans look good.

  • For example, today we're going to look at moral licensing:

  • the theory that when you do something good...

  • you subconsciously feel you've earned a license

  • to then do something bad.

  • I've been working with Dr. Kyle Stanford,

  • from the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science

  • at the University of California, Irvine,

  • on a way to observe moral licensing in the wild.

  • So I want to see moral licensing in effect.

  • I want to see people who have been led to believe,

  • through their own actions, that they're good.

  • Use that feeling

  • to do bad.

  • The thing to keep in mind,

  • it's like people are keeping tabs,

  • and they give themselves credit for the moral...

  • the good thing they did.

  • But none of that is happening consciously, right?

  • So we shouldn't imagine that a person who's engaged

  • in moral licensing is asking themselves in their head...

  • Right, pulling out their scorecard.

  • ...what should I be? Does it make me a good person?

  • But it is going on, and they don't experience it.

  • -They don't know that it's happening. -Right.

  • I think we're going to learn a lot today.

  • -I say we go get started. -Let's do it.

  • Let's do it.

  • [Michael] So here's how the moral licensing test

  • we designed is going to work.

  • First, we're going to take this beautiful park

  • and, for the purposes of science,

  • throw trash everywhere.

  • Next, we've hired some unsuspecting actors

  • who think they're going to film a public service announcement

  • about the park.

  • -Hey, Jake. Hey, man. -Hi.

  • -Nice to meet you. -Nice to meet you.

  • Once they've arrived,

  • it will be obvious that the trash is a problem.

  • We just need to clean up this little alleyway right here.

  • Will they do a good deed and earn some moral credit

  • by volunteering to help pick up the trash, or not?

  • And to make everything feel more real,

  • we did have them film our fake PSA.

  • Forget the concrete and the heat.

  • Relax in over 16,000 square feet.

  • Of outdoor space that can't be beat.

  • Right outside your door.

  • Right outside your door.

  • Right outside your door.

  • After shooting the PSA,

  • each participant will be asked to wait in a separate area

  • for some final paperwork.

  • There, our confederate Cameron, who appears to be homeless,

  • will ask them for money.

  • Meanwhile, Dr. Stanford and I will be watching

  • behind the scenes to observe how our subjects react.

  • So, will our participants

  • keep their subconscious moral scorecards balanced

  • by giving money when they didn't clean,

  • or feeling like they don't need to give money if they did?

  • -Hey! -Makaylo.

  • Makaylo, nice to meet you.

  • First up in our demo was Makaylo.

  • We used our actual Mind Field crew

  • as the crew of the fake PSA

  • who are overwhelmed with the task

  • of cleaning up all the trash.

  • We normally sort of never ask this, but...

  • we've got, like, all this stuff that we're trying to clean up.

  • I'm going to grab some gloves. I was wondering,

  • would you help me?

  • -I'm sorry... -Let's do it. Let's do it.

  • All three of us can triple-team it.

  • -and we can get this thing going. -Let's do it. Let's do it.

  • Yeah, this is just what we wanted to do today.

  • It looks like someone had a good time, though.

  • [Michael] All right, so picking up the trash.

  • How do you think that's currently sitting

  • with our actor?

  • He's thinking of himself as having done a good deed

  • that he didn't need to do, that he didn't have to do.

  • Right? And so the moral credit is high.

  • [Michael] Then it was time to shoot our PSA.

  • [man] Take it away.

  • Forget the concrete and the heat.

  • Relax in 16,000 square feet.

  • [man] That was great! All right, man.

  • -Hey, thanks so much. -Cool. No problem, man.

  • We compensated our participants for the PSA in small bills

  • so they would have plenty to give the homeless man,

  • should they choose to do so.

  • -Here's $50. -Thank you, thank you.

  • Then we asked them to wait in a nearby tent

  • for their final paperwork.

  • Will Makaylo's good deed be enough moral credit

  • for him to pass on helping the homeless guy?

  • All right, Cameron, this is Michael.

  • You can go ahead.

  • What's up?

  • -What's up? -Hi.

  • Are you with this?

  • Yeah, I'm just waiting for someone to help me out here.

  • Could you help me out with like a dollar or two?

  • Just, I can go to the vending machine?

  • Sorry, my man, I ain't got nothing but $20 bills on me right now.

  • Oh, I got nothing but $20 bills.

  • [laughs]

  • -You sure? -Yeah, man.

  • All right, well...

  • [Michael] We're going to go talk to him.

  • Hey, Makaylo.

  • -Hey. -Thanks for waiting.

  • -I'm Michael. Nice to meet you. -No problem. Makaylo.

  • -This is Kyle. -Nice to meet you.

  • Nice to meet you, Makaylo.

  • We really appreciate your help today.

  • -I just saw-- Did a guy come by? -Yes.

  • What did he ask?

  • -For a dollar bill. -[Michael] Oh, for a dollar bill?

  • Yeah.

  • Did you give him money?

  • -No. -What'd you tell him?

  • I just told him I didn't have anything.

  • So I'm going to debrief you on what we're doing here today.

  • We're doing a psychological exploratory experiment

  • on what's called moral licensing.

  • We're looking at the correlation between people

  • who do volunteer to help pick up the trash,

  • and how generous you are later

  • to a homeless person who walks by.

  • Interesting.

  • Now, you just exhibited the exact pattern

  • of moral licensing, right?

  • In that you had already done a good deed--

  • So I was good for the day. Right.

  • [Michael] Did we just see

  • moral licensing in effect?

  • Perhaps.

  • Let's see what our other subjects do.

  • Here, let me just have you hang out here.

  • Is there anybody that can help us clean up this?

  • -I'm going to go look around. -All right.

  • Okay, so this is Alex.

  • And Alex is just messing with his stuff.

  • [Kyle] He's either not really noticing,

  • or pretending not to notice.

  • But all of that is just fine.

  • The question is what he then goes on to do.

  • [Michael] So Alex didn't help pick up trash.

  • Will his guilt put him at a moral deficit,

  • and therefore motivate him to give money to the homeless man?

  • Hey.

  • Can you spare some money? Maybe help me out?

  • -You want a buck? -A buck? Yeah.

  • Can I give you a buck? Is that cool?

  • [Cameron] That's more than cool, man.

  • I just got paid to be here.

  • -Really? -Yeah.

  • Helping to shoot a PSA, yeah.

  • Where do I sign up?

  • -Thank you. -All right, take care.

  • All right. Very interesting.

  • I do wonder if he felt a little bit of guilt.

  • We got it in the opposite direction,

  • -which was going to be the hard thing to do. -Yeah.

  • I'm very happy about this.

  • [Michael] Next, we have Jake.

  • So I'm on set doing a PSA shoot.

  • [Michael] Hey, he's doing a vlog.

  • And I get here, and it appears

  • that someone had a... what could only be described

  • as a trash party.

  • I mean, they just threw trash literally everywhere,

  • all over where they want to shoot.

  • So I'm going to go help them pick up some of the trash.

  • First, I'm going to make sure that I document

  • that I'm a helper.

  • I would also like to point out, though, that he has not helped.

  • -[Kyle] Right. -He's gone back into the tent.

  • And I wonder, when it comes to moral licensing,

  • does this play an effect?

  • I can check the box. Not only am I good,

  • but the world knows I'm good.

  • Now, this is something we haven't seen before.

  • [Michael] I love this.

  • I love that he got credit for helping,

  • -but didn't. -Right.

  • What's interesting but hard to know

  • is how that'll look to him,

  • whether he'll see himself as having done a good deed,

  • or seeing himself as kind of skated on the obligation,

  • because he didn't really help.

  • Hey, do you think you could spare some money,

  • maybe help me out?

  • Here, man. Here's a dollar.

  • -Really? -Yeah.

  • Go for it.

  • All right, you're a good man. Thank you.

  • We were really curious as we were watching this all unfold,

  • because you agreed to help, and then you recorded a video

  • about how you were going to help,

  • but by the time all that was over,

  • you didn't need to help.

  • It was all cleaned up.

  • -Right. -So we were wondering,

  • did you feel like you had helped, or not?

  • No. I didn't have time to.

  • And you didn't feel guilty.

  • Like, ooh, I kind of like got out of helping.

  • No, I didn't feel bad about that.

  • I would have definitely picked up trash.

  • Erin's likely to be thinking that she's doing a good deed.

  • Yeah.

  • Could you maybe help me out, give me some money?

  • I'm sorry, I don't have anything on me here.

  • -No? -They won't let me.

  • -Oh. -Yeah.

  • -That was great. -Yes, we have a couple

  • good illustrations in both directions.

  • [Michael] We seemed to have witnessed moral licensing

  • at play in several cases.

  • But, of course, as with any demonstration like this,

  • our results weren't always cut-and-dry.

  • I'm going to go try to clean this up myself,

  • and then...

  • Gotcha. Yeah, yeah.

  • Some of the participants both didn't help clean

  • and declined to give our homeless man money.

  • Could you maybe spare some change?

  • I just want to go to the vending machine?

  • Uh...

  • However, they did find other ways to help hiim

  • that could qualify as a good deed.

  • They have snacks, maybe.

  • I'm going to take a pop.

  • [laughs] Okay.

  • Do you want a soda or something?

  • Yeah, that'd be...

  • Do you maybe have a little money as well?

  • -I don't, sorry. But... -Okay.

  • ...which one do you want?

  • So what was going through your mind

  • when you made the decision not to give

  • some of the cash that we know you had

  • to the man who was asking?