Honors Projects


Humans are constantly making decisions. Often times, the rules or “heuristics” that guide our decisions are not explicitly known to us simply because their formation within our mental processes is ambiguous. These heuristics can be multiply activated when concerning moral issues. Although our decisions are evident in such cases, the origins of justifying such decisions are not. It is essential to parse out the sociocultural variations that may contribute to moral decision-making. This project aims to present the findings of participants who reacted to the morally-challenging Trolley Problem. Participants were tested on one of eight conditions that examined aspects of social consciousness. Results showed situation-specific significance related to College of Participant and Gender, but a more powerfully demonstrated decision to not push when Eye Contact with the stranger is present.



First Advisor

Paul Moore

First Advisor Department

Biological Sciences

Second Advisor

Anne Gordon

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date

Spring 2014