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  • Why We Have Moral Rules, But Don't Follow Them

    From New Scientist WHY do we sometimes wrestle with moral dilemmas? A twist on a classic psychology experiment suggests that our minds have two parallel moral systems, and they don't always agree. In the trolley experiment, participants are told that a runaway tram trolley could kill five people...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Yuck Factor Explained

    By Tiffanny O'Callaghan, in The New Scientist Disgust can be a bewildering emotion. In her new book, That's Disgusting, research psychologist Rachel Herz points out that our tendency to react by pulling away is based on a combination of self-preservation and learned behaviour. When we are grossed...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Moral Foundations of Occupy Wall Street

    By Jonathan Haidt, Reason Magazine From a rational perspective, joining a protest rally is like voting—a complete waste of time. The odds that your voice or your protest sign will make a difference are no better than the odds that your vote will change an election. And yet, people do join protests and...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Moral Choice or Tug of War?

    The Vexing Mental Tug-of-War Called Morality By Kristin Ohlson, Discover magazine Would you kill a crying baby to save yourself and others from hostile soldiers outside? Neuroscience offers new ways to approach such moral questions, allowing logic to triumph over deep-rooted instinct. You arrive at the...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • Can Babies Teach Us About Morality?

    By Jenny Mardner, The Rundown- PBS/Science Nation Summary: What can one baby, three puppets and a tricky Tupperware lid tell us about the roots of morality? Can infants distinguish between good and bad at such a young age? NewsHour science correspondent Miles O'Brien reports on research being conducted...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Evolution of Prejudice

    By Daisy Grewal, Scientific American Mind 4/5/11 An excerpt: Psychologists have long known that many people are prejudiced towards others based on group affiliations, be they racial, ethnic, religious, or even political. However, we know far less about why people are prone to prejudice in the first place...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • The Social Animal

    By David Brooks, The New Yorker 1/17/11 Harold and Erica got their first glimpse of each other in front of a Barnes & Noble. They smiled broadly as they approached, and a deep, primeval process kicked in. Harold liked what he saw, from the waist-to-hip ratio to the clear skin, all indicative of health...
     Posted by: agomberg
  • An Unconventional History of Human Rights

    PBS By David E. Anderson An excerpt: In a provocative and contrarian new book, “The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History” (Harvard University Press, 2010), Columbia University professor Samuel Moyn outlines the moral and political dilemmas in which the movement currently finds itself, describing his...
     Posted by: agomberg
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