Shocking experiment shows talk is cheap | Science News

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Shocking experiment shows talk is cheap

Most people swear they'd never hurt anybody for money, but many do just that

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3:41pm, April 6, 2011


SAN FRANCISCO — When faced with a thorny moral dilemma, what people say they would do and what people actually do are two very different things, a new study finds. In a hypothetical scenario, most people said they would never subject another person to a painful electric shock, just to make a little bit of money. But for people given a real-world choice, the sparks flew.

 The results, presented April 4 at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, serve as a reminder that hypothetical scenarios don’t capture the complexities of real decisions.

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