A recent survey shows that people want self-driving cars to be programmed to minimize casualties during a crash, even if it causes the death of the rider. Trouble is, the same survey shows that people don’t actually want to ride in cars that are programmed this way. That’s obviously a problem—and we’re going to have…
Do your charitable donations suck? Are you failing to save lives due to greed you don't even realize you have? Do poor people have the right to take all of our stuff? One of the world's most famous philosophers talked about these very topics with us.
Facts are great, except when they undermine our worldview. As a new study shows, when confronted with factual challenges, we often retreat by presenting weak explanations that are difficult — if not impossible — to disprove. More proof that you just can't win.
A Canadian study shows that HPV shots don't make girls promiscuous, as some parents have feared. But given that HPV causes about 70% of cervical cancers, this is hardly something we should be worrying about.
If you were a psychiatrist assigned by the government to make torturers feel better about their lives, what would you do? That's not a rhetorical question. Back in the 1950s, the psychiatrist and philosopher Frantz Fanon was forced to answer that question, in his own life.
How much money would you pay to prevent a complete stranger from being administered an electric shock? And how would that compare to what you'd give up to prevent your own pain? A fascinating new experiment suggests we may be more altruistic than we think.
I love it when I find studies with results that directly contradict each other. In this case, two studies on how handwashing affects moral judgment draw two completely opposite conclusions. So it's kind of fitting that we judge them!
Here's a delicious little experiment that give us a look at the seedy immorality of its research participants. No, it's not the Milgram Experiment or the Stanford Prison Experiment. It's as simple as a coin toss.
There's a famous moral thought experiment, the Heinz Dilemma, that is supposed to tell us about a person's moral development. What it might actually tell us is that moral development doesn't matter.
Every day of our lives, there is the potential for us to learn new and wonderful things. Today I learned that there is such an invention as fart spray. I also learned that I can use it to manipulate people!
This past Monday, people who have the Dalai Lama as a Facebook friend found this little gem in their newsfeed.
Are creative people more adept at justifying immoral behavior, and thereby more likely to transgress ethical boundaries? Or does unethical behavior require people to be more inventive, causing them to be more imaginative?
Babies are already way more adorable and beloved than other humans, but at least we old-timers could scoff at infants and proudly declare, "My senses of fairness and altruism are way better developed than yours!" Well...I've got some bad news.
Yesterday the Guardian ran an intriguing article by Amelia Hill about the rise of drugs that could enhance our moral sensibilities. And by "moral," what is generally meant is non-violent and empathetic to strangers, as well as future generations. Here's a chunk of interesting observations from it:
Most humans are grossed out by things like oozing sores or rotten meat, and there might well be an evolutionary basis for staying away from these harmful things. But it might go deeper: that disgust might have created our morality.
Psychology has a bad habit of turning up unpleasant truths, and this is one of them. If you make doing the wrong thing easier than doing the right thing, then most people will just go with the immoral flow.
An op-ed in The Register poses an interesting and contentious question: is American moral conservatism ruining the internet? Is the American prudish aversion to nudity, explicit language, sexual deviance, drugs—at least in public—stifling the rest of the world?
Harvard's media-friendly evolutionary psychologist Marc Hauser, famous for his 2006 book Moral Minds, is under investigation for misrepresenting research on morality in primates. Students asked Harvard officials to raid Hauser's lab three years ago; they didn't like what they found.