The origins and effects of morality

The Moral Experiment is a revolutionary social networking concept; it has the potential to make history. It has been designed to harness the power of a participant’s online social network and can be many things to many people: fun, insightful, controversial, charitable or profitable.

If you came into some money that was not meant for you, what would you do with it? Would you keep it all, or would you give it to a worthy cause? Or possibly both? The Moral Experiment is designed to try and understand our choice. Do demographics (religion, race, age, sex, education, etc) influence our decisions?

It works as follows:

· Jane joins up and pays a small subscription fee.
· Jane then encourages her friends to join the Experiment.
· When Jane’s friends join the Moral Experiment, she earns their subscription fee.
· Jane can then decide whether to keep the money or donate all or part of it to charity.

The process is anonymous but her choice and her general demographics are recorded.

The data could help answer various questions such as whether younger people are more charitable? Do women give more than men? How does race affect giving? The Moral Experiment is designed to be insightful, fun, and possibly even controversial. But above all it could be a unique and effective way to raise money for charity, and ultimately become a force for good.

Bushell tells me that, “Across the religious groups that have joined, morality is very similar on average, also race. The big differences come into play with social situation. Retired participants being the most moral and students being the most immoral. Surprisingly, participants with higher education seem to be less moral than participants with just school education or none at all.”

He is keen to have experiment validated scientifically and is happy for the growing database of results to be audited and open to scrutiny. If someone would like to take that on, please get in touch.

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