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Latest Morality Stories

2009-12-29 13:12:51

2009 may well be remembered for its scandal-ridden headlines, from admissions of extramarital affairs by governors and senators, to corporate executives flying private jets while cutting employee benefits, and most recently, to a mysterious early morning car crash in Florida. The past year has been marked by a series of moral transgressions by powerful figures in political, business and celebrity circles. New research from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University explores...

2009-12-29 09:00:00

EVANSTON, Ill., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- 2009 may well be remembered for its scandal-ridden headlines, from admissions of extramarital affairs by governors and senators, to corporate executives flying private jets while cutting employee benefits, and most recently, to a mysterious early morning car crash in Florida. The past year has been marked by a series of moral transgressions by powerful figures in political, business and celebrity circles. New research from the Kellogg School of...

2009-12-14 15:45:07

Picture the following hypothetical scenario: A trolley is headed toward five helpless victims. The trolley can be redirected so that only one person's life is at stake. Psychologists and philosophers have been using moral dilemmas like this for years asking, would you redirect the train? Is it morally acceptable to do this? Experts usually switch up the details to see how different sub-scenarios affect moral judgment. Many researchers have come to the conclusion that an individual's moral...

2009-10-26 23:46:09

The rationale behind torture is that pain will make the guilty confess, but a new study by researchers at Harvard University finds that the pain of torture can make even the innocent seem guilty. Participants in the study met a woman suspected of cheating to win money. The woman was then "tortured" by having her hand immersed in ice water while study participants listened to the session over an intercom. She never confessed to anything, but the more she suffered during the torture, the...

2009-09-14 13:51:27

In a world filled with dogma, doctrine and discipline, it is accurate to say most of us strive to do what we believe is "right." These convictions and beliefs permeate every aspect of our lives, including education, ethics and even common law. Psychologists Daniel C. Wisneski, Brad L. Lytle and Linda J. Skitka from the University of Illinois at Chicago explored this interplay of moral convictions and religious beliefs as it relates to our trust in authority. Specifically, the researchers...

2009-09-06 23:08:24

Altruism costs time and energy, if not money, with no promise of payback, but humans seem to be hard-wired to be helpful, German researchers said. Harriet Over and Malinda Carpenter of the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, found that priming infants with subtle cues to affiliation increases their tendency to be helpful. The researchers showed a large group of 18-month-old toddlers photographs of household objects, such as a teapot or a shoe. The household objects were always the...

2009-09-02 23:55:00

Newly published research suggests that government use of torture has increased worldwide despite international norms discouraging it. The study, published in The Journal of Legal Studies, found that between 1985 and 2003, reports of state-sponsored torture collected by the U.S. State Department and Amnesty International increased, even as a growing number of countries signed on to the United Nations Convention Against Torture. "The results could not be clearer: there is no evidence that as...

2009-08-25 14:25:00

Researchers from Portugal and Indonesia describe an approach to decision making based on computational logic in the current issue of the International Journal of Reasoning-based Intelligent Systems which might one day give machines a sense of morality.Science fiction authors often use the concept of "evil" machines that attempt to take control of their world and to dominate humanity. Skynet in the "Terminator" stories and Arthur C Clarke's Hal from "2001: A Space Odyssey" are two of the most...

2009-08-06 21:39:30

People say they have more restraint than they actually possess -- leading to poor decisions when tempted with greed, lust or drugs, U.S. researchers said. Study leader Loran Nordgren of the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Ill., examined how an individual's belief in his or her ability to control impulses -- such as greed, drug craving and sexual arousal -- influence responses to temptation. People are not good at anticipating the power of their urges, and those who are the most...

2009-08-06 00:34:20

The American Psychological Association voted at a meeting in Toronto to have its ethics committee draft language to prevent the Nuremberg defense. The APA council of representatives voted to direct the committee to propose language by fall that will appropriately and effectively amend Ethical Standard 1.02 in response to concerns about a possible following orders or following the law defense to violations of human rights based on the current language of its Ethics Code, APA officials said in...


Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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