Testing Virtue

TitleTesting Virtue
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsFunke, RD, Dillard, B, Potthast, A, Boxall, SF, Carr, E, Carr, S, Diaz-Sprague, R, Elliott, D, Funke, MB, Price, C
PublisherAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics
Publication Languageeng
AbstractIn recent years, social psychologists have begun to study how people overestimate their ability to act on their principles. In the Good Samaritan Experiment, seminary students participating in the project were asked to prepare and present a report on the parable of the Good Samaritan. On their way to their presentation, each seminary student passed a man on the sidewalk in obvious distress. Ironically, the majority of seminarians in a hurry did not stop to help the man. Critics of the experiment claim that there is something unethical about using deceptive means to test to the good character of others. However, one may argue that critics are only reacting to the poor performance of the test subjects. Research that uncovers an uncomfortable but important truth is likely to be seen as harmful to test subjects, but reveals important character trends.
NotesCase Study from the 2009 Regional Ethics Bowl. Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, 2009 http://www.indiana.edu/~appe/ethicsbowl.html
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