What Is Morality?

For a topic as subjective as morality, people sure have strong beliefs about what's right and wrong. Yet even though morals can vary from person to person and culture to culture, many are universal, as they result from basic human emotions. We may think of moralizing as an intellectual exercise, but more frequently it's an attempt to make sense of our gut instincts.

Recent posts on Ethics and Morality

Why Lending With Interest Is Felt to Be Immoral

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Cui Bono
A mismatch between evolved feelings about fairness in exchanges and modern economic practices might eventually lead to a revolution against the current political/economic system.

Does Psychology of Greed Explain Today's Crisis in Sport?

The authors of the study were surprised at how strongly greed was linked to certain aspects of psychopathy

Will Trolls Inherit The Earth?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 27, 2016 in Ambigamy
Trolls take cheap shots, any easy path to attack and self-defense. There's a troll epidemic now. Here's a possible historical explanation for their risky rise.

The Cheap Shot Use of "You Don't Know That For Certain!"

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 27, 2016 in Ambigamy
To feel right always, diagnose anyone who disagrees with you as suffering from bias and self-certainty. Perform an intervention and start treatment immediately.

Bringing Methods of "The Voice" to the Presidential Debates

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on September 27, 2016 in Just Listen
What if the Presidential debates could be cleansed of persona and personality and see what content shows through.

Matthieu Ricard's "A Plea for the Animals" Is a Must Read

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on September 26, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Matthieu Ricard's new book is one of the best in asking us to respect other animals and treat them with compassion. It is a game changer. It is indeed too late to be pessimistic.

Continue to BE Uncomfortable

By Josephine Ensign DrPH on September 25, 2016 in Catching Homelessness
On the importance of getting out of your comfort zone and confronting racism in constructive ways.
K. Ramsland

The Murder Market

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 25, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
Novelist takes readers on a very dark journey into the addictive world of the murder market.

Kaepernick Stays, Ditka Goes

By Christopher Ryan Ph.D. on September 25, 2016 in Civilized to Death
Far from being an act of disrespect, Kaepernick's protest is an expression of the best of America: moral courage and freedom of expression.

Our Anger Crisis: Self-Respect and Getting Angry

By Michael Cholbi Ph.D. on September 23, 2016 in Ethics in Question
Martha Nussbaum thinks we don't need anger in order to have self-respect. But isn't the anger-free person weak?

The Formula!

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in Ambigamy
Here's the real secret, passed down through generations of tyrants and self-proclaimed infallible know-it-alls.

When You’re of Two Minds, Admit It

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in Ambigamy
Is integrity being consistent or is it being honest about your inconsistency? It's both and the latter matters more.

Biased Publication Standards Hinder Schizophrenia Research

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in Talking About Trauma
Since most research that exists on treatment of schizophrenia is directly funded by pharmaceutical companies, a bias exists towards silencing unfavourable research.

How to Know if You Are a Good Person

By Jen Kim on September 21, 2016 in Valley Girl With a Brain
Here's how science determines whether you are a good person.

The Gig Economy

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in How To Do Life
Is that trend good psychologically? Economically? For society? A debate.

Interview: The Hidden Life of Trees

By Rachel Clark on September 19, 2016 in Mothering Nature
"To regulate the destruction of nature by law is not half as effective as loving nature." ~ Peter Wohlleben

Make it Fun?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 19, 2016 in How To Do Life
A debate between a hedonist and a work-centered person.

The Power of Contamination and Taint in Language

By Laura Niemi, Ph.D. on September 18, 2016 in Morality in Language
Do we need to distinguish between harm and purity to understand moral psychology? Contamination concepts in political rhetoric and coping suggest that we do.
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The Strange Link Between Attitudes Towards Sex and Drugs

According to evolutionary theories, people's attitudes to recreational drug use may be influenced by their preferred mating strategies.

The Challenge of Connecting Dots

By Miki Kashtan Ph.D. on September 16, 2016 in Acquired Spontaneity
What I realized in a moment of sharp and instantaneous insight that came from nowhere and hit me at the core was utterly simple: the Waltons and I see a different reality.

How To Minimize Drama

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 16, 2016 in Ambigamy
Drama is a drag on any relationship, but what is it and how does it arise? Here's a roadmap with the pitfalls marked so you can avoid them.

Pagan Perfection

By Matthew J Rossano Ph.D. on September 16, 2016 in Seeking Perfection
When humans thrive, the effort of daily life increasingly approaches a joyful ease.

How Volunteering Helps You

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on September 16, 2016 in Cravings
Want a long and happy life? Help someone else stay healthy.

The Lobby Against Medical Marijuana

By Allen J Frances M.D. on September 13, 2016 in Saving Normal
Protecting profit against patient welfare

Why I Still Don’t Like Diversity Events

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on September 13, 2016 in Feeling Our Way
Humility itself becomes a perfectionistic ideal, and it’s alarming how arrogant people can become about how self-effacing they are.

When Your Teen Has Done Something Very Bad

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in How To Do Life
Screw-ups as learning opportunities.

A Post-Racial America?

America in 2016 offers a sign post on the path from thousands of years of separation through centuries of conflict and exploitation towards a hopeful human family reunion.

On Being Practical

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 12, 2016 in How To Do Life
An underrated way to live.

The Common Descent Doctrine

While Darwin and Lincoln were born on the same day in 1809, only Darwin can be said to have shown an unwavering stance on human equality. Meet Darwin's doctrine of Common Descent.

Who Is a "Demagogue"?

By Saul Levine M.D. on September 10, 2016 in Our Emotional Footprint
In this dramatic presidential campaign, the term has often been referred to, especially in regard to Donald Trump's style and substance. Is this an accurate depiction?