Brain Pickings

Heinz Dilemma: A Hand-Drawn Interactive Animation to Test Your Moral Development

by

Would you steal to save a loved one’s life, and how would you justify doing or not doing it?

Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher Jean Piaget is arguably the most influential scholar of children’s moral development. In the 1960s, psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg built upon Piaget’s work with his own theory on the stages of moral development. Much of his reasoning was based on the Heinz dilemma, which explores how people justify and rationalize their actions when placed in similar moral quandaries.

This cleverly conceived and beautifully executed interactive video by Carlo Pisani, Andres Jud, and Maria Stalder offers a simplified version of the Heinz dilemma to test for moral development by asking you, the viewer, to choose one of several scenarios that would solve Heinz’s predicament. It then “diagnoses” you with one of the three stages of moral development — pre-conventional, conventional, or post-conventional. (For the interactivity to work, make sure YouTube annotations are set to “on.”)

For a related treat, see Open University’s six famous philosophy thought experiments, animated in 60 seconds each.

Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

Share on Tumblr