Many people would like to think that, if put in a certain situation, they would always do the right thing no matter the circumstances. However, social experiments such as the Good Samaritan Experiment (Darley and Batson,1973), the Milgram Shock Experiment (1963), and the Stanford Prison Experiment (Zimbardo,1973) give psychologists results that say otherwise. The majority of the unknowing participants in these three experiments showed a surprising lack of compassion for a fellow human who (as far as the participant knew) was in pain or in a position of helplessness in which they needed the participants' mercy or aid. The subject not only ignored the needs of the individuals, but in the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milgram Shock Experiment, the participants administered physical and psychological pain upon an individuals who were innocent. Due to these finding it can be stated that moral conscience is in fact present in everyone, but one can easily not act upon it or even contradict it if put in a certain situation.
In the Good Samaritan Experiment, the subjects were students of a religious boarding school. They were recruited to a classroom to fill out a personality survey. Then after taking the survey, they would be told to go to another room for the second part of the study. The subjects were divided into three groups. One groups would be told that they were running late for the second part. The second group would be told that they were on time and the third group would be told they were ahead of schedule. On their way there, the subject would see a man slumped in a doorway who would ask for help. This is a part of the experiment the subject is unaware of. This man is an actor. Now one would expect that all students would stop to help the man and reflect the virtues and beliefs of their religion. However, the Golden Rule to do unto others as they would do unto you was easily disregarded if the student was told they were late.