I should preface my remarks by indicating that I did not complete the test.
I detected a pattern in the questions. They appear to have been designed to establish circumstances under which you would be willing to compromise your moral principles. I am not really comfortable answering hypothetical questions that are intended to trick me into compromising my principles. It is very different clicking a measured response vs. performing the acts suggested by these questions. I would hazard to say that my real life response would be very different from the responses to these questions. Since I suspect this is true for others, I am not sure what value could be derived from examining the collected responses to this survey.
Here is how they characterize the product of this survey in the context of their study.
How can we learn about morality from hypothetical examples?
At first it may seem odd to test real-world moral intuitions with hypothetical examples, especially since the hypotheticals sometimes make unrealistic assumptions. But research in the biological and social sciences has revealed that unrealistic situations sometimes yield the best insights into real-world phenomena. For instance, humans have strong grammatical intuitions about nonsense sentences and strong visual intuitions about impossible optical illusions. The MST is exploring analogous intuitions about moral situations.
“unrealistic situations sometimes yield the best insights into real-world phenomena”
Should I read this similarly to the ill-advised manner in which people react to unrealistic scenarios portrayed on the Television show 24? If so, how is this valuable?
“humans have strong grammatical intuitions about nonsense sentences and strong visual intuitions about impossible optical illusions”
Ok, so what does that have to do with the price of eggs?
Maybe I have become too cynical as a result of having been the victim of telephone surveys that appear to be motivated by people who have an outcome predetermined and are looking for confirmation of their beliefs. The questions regarding religion, and the differences in the questions asked as a result (as pointed out by others in this thread), make me suspicious.
I have been queried regarding my feelings about offshore drilling, universal health care and other topics by telephone. I have noted in each case that the questions, and the multiple choice responses, often did not provide me an opportunity to answer in a way that was representative of my opinion on the subject. Regardless of the motivation of the group(s) sponsoring the survey, which I may or may not agree with.
I’d be interested in seeing the results, but I am suspicious of the motivation, and would be critical of the quality of the responses based on my own reaction to the questions. I suspect many others would have reservations about the responses they make to these questions. My own reservations are not necessarily related to any moral questioning of my own feelings on the subject, It has more to do with the limited range of responses offered by the survey, or the nature of the premise on which the question is based.