Rethinking moral decision-making: Navigating the Trolley Problem in Virtual Reality

Moral decision-making is traditionally assessed using text-based vignettes derived from philosophy, enabling systematic comparisons of moral principles. However, these scenarios are often contextually impoverished and fail to elicit the emotional reactions that might occur in real-life counterparts of the same moral conflict. To address this limitation, we have used Virtual Reality (VR) and Haptic VR technologies to recreate these dilemmas, finding a striking contrast between moral judgments in text-based scenarios and moral actions in VR scenarios. In this talk, I explore the implications of this work for models of moral decision-making and I reflect on the transformative potential of VR in moral psychology research.