Posts

February 26, 2015

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8:11 PM | SPSP 2015: The world thinks that atheists are immoral
At the self and identity pre-conference this morning Will Gervais presented a series of studies (available open access right here) suggesting that people seem to automatically associate atheism with a lack of moral character.Read More->

February 25, 2015

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10:56 AM | The six forms of resistance shown by participants in Milgram's notorious "obedience studies"
When discussing Milgram's notorious experiments, in which participants were instructed to give increasingly dangerous electric shocks to another person, most commentators take a black or white approach.Participants are categorised as obedient or defiant, and the headline result is taken as the surprising number of people – the majority – who obeyed by going all the way and administering the highest, lethal voltage.A new study takes a different stance by looking at the different acts […]

February 06, 2015

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9:58 AM | Our brains respond to corporations as if they are people
Do corporations, like people, have moral rights and responsibilities?The US Supreme Court has recently made a number of rulings that suggest it sees corporations as having similar rights and responsibilities to individual human beings, such as that they have the right to free speech, and can be exempt from laws that contradict their owner’s religious beliefs. Can a new neuroimaging study help us determine whether the Court’s approach is justified?Forty participants viewed written […]

February 04, 2015

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5:01 PM | Moral Time: Does Our Internal Clock Influence Moral Judgments?
Does morality depend on the time of the day? The study "The Morning Morality Effect: The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical Behavior" published in October of 2013 by Maryam Kouchaki and Isaac Smith suggested that people are more honest in the mornings, and that their ability to resist the temptation of lying and cheating wears off as the day progresses. In a series of experiments, Kouchaki and Smith found that moral awareness and self-control in their study subjects decreased in the […]

January 28, 2015

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9:50 AM | A face that could get away with anything
First impressions lead to a multitude of assumptions, and trustworthiness is one of them: faces with v-shaped eyebrows and frowning mouths are consistently judged as less trustworthy than others with ^-shaped brows and mouths with upturned corners (this may be related to the former betraying a hidden anger and the latter having positive undertones). Now a study by Brian Holtz suggests that a person's looks can colour perceptions, not only of how trustworthy their character […]
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