December 10, 2014

3:27 PM | Is the "ticking time bomb scenario" a valid defence of torture?
In the wake of a report published yesterday into the CIA's use of torture, many people are shocked and appalled. Yet one defence of the practice remains popular - "the ticking time bomb scenario".This is the idea that torture is justified if a suspect knows the location of bomb in a public place, and many lives would be saved if he or she were coerced into telling authorities the location in time for it to be deactivated. The new Senate Intelligence Committee report describes how the ticking […]

Spino, J. & Cummins, D. (2014). The Ticking Time Bomb: When the Use of Torture Is and Is Not Endorsed, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 5 (4) 543-563. DOI: 10.1007/s13164-014-0199-y


December 09, 2014

10:30 PM | No, HPV Vaccines Don't Make Girls Promiscuous
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. Read more...

November 28, 2014

9:42 AM | A shocking result - people are more willing to hurt themselves than others for profit
You wait in a cubicle, electrodes strapped to your body. In a room nearby, a stranger is confronted with a series of decisions. They can choose a smaller cash reward and avoid an electric shock, or a larger sum that comes together with an unpleasant zap. The twist is that in half of the trials, the stranger knows the associated shock punishment is for them, but in the others they know it’s you who will suffer. You glance nervously at the electrodes.It's a tough spot. Surely you will […]

November 25, 2014

11:00 PM | When Should a Psychiatrist Refuse to Treat a Patient?
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.Read more...

November 24, 2014

9:20 PM | Electric Shock Study Shows We'd Rather Hurt Ourselves Than Strangers
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.Read more...

November 20, 2014

8:20 AM | Bankers become dishonest when reminded of their professional identity
The "Natwest 3" jailedfor wire fraud in 2008.Picture a banker tossing a coin ten times. She knows the more tails she gets, the more money she wins (up to $200), so long as she gets more tails than a rival playing the same game. She performs her coin tossing in private and reports her number of tails. Do you think she'll be honest?When a team of researchers surveyed the general population about the likely dishonesty of bankers and other groups in this scenario, they found the bankers had the […]
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