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


Looking Ahead to the Olympic Games

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on January 21, 2018 in The Meaningful Life
Where the spirit of nationalism, meaningful collaboration, and healthy competition meet.

Big Little Lies

By Stephen Gray Wallace on January 17, 2018 in Decisions Teens Make
Despite uniformity among children, teens, and adults about the importance of honesty, it often seems in short supply.

Millennials Can't Afford to Not Be Political Anymore

By Mariana Plata on January 17, 2018 in The Gen Y Psy
Are you tired of your government? An active change is necessary and newer generations hold the key to making this happen.

Swedish Zoo "Zoothanizes" Nine Healthy, "Useless" Lion Cubs

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 16, 2018 in Animal Emotions
An email asking, "Do zoos really kill healthy animals?" didn't surprise me at all. Many zoos routinely kill healthy "surplus" animals as business as usual but it's not euthanasia.

Homer Simpson as Parent

Humor is very often a sneaky way to engage with cultural and moral issues that would meet with resistance if they were discussed in a more serious way.

#MeToo—Changing Brains, Relationships and Power Dynamics

By Amy Banks on January 15, 2018 in Wired For Love
Neuroscience has something to add to the #MeToo movement.

Inspiration Point

Sternberg wrote: "My entire future trajectory changed, as a result of just one teacher."

MLK: Expanding Compassion to All Brothers and Sisters

 “I am moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart.”

Solitary Confinement: Torture, Pure and Simple

Placing individuals in solitary confinement is both inhumane and unethical.

Self and Will

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on January 13, 2018 in One Among Many
In Joseph in Egypt, Thomas Mann describes a splendid but flawed character. Or is he just human?

Up with the Wealth Gap!

The tax cut locked in a 21.5% increase in the value of U.S. stocks, the majority of which are owned by the wealthiest 2% of U.S. households. Do Americans get it?

For Richer or Poorer: Kids Version

What is the status of the American dream in the minds of children? Do they have a sense of their place on the economic ladder? Do they see the rungs as easy or hard to climb?

Individual Differences

People come in all shapes and sizes, physically and psychologically. Here are nine of the core personality dimensions on which we vary from each other.

Stand Strong in Your Beliefs

If you seek authenticity and want to bring alignment to your beliefs and your actions, some of these ideas might work for you.
Source:  blog eshet

How Can a Modern Woman Integrate Religion Into Her Life?

How one Israeli, Orthodox woman lives a modern life.

The Naked and the Nude

By Robert J Landy Ph.D. on January 11, 2018 in Couch and Stage
A lecturer shows a slide at a conference, a self-portrait as DaVinci's Vitruvian Man, with the genitals removed. He discusses the implications of revealing and concealing the self.

What Would It Take?

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on January 11, 2018 in Peace and War
Could we have another early 1980s-style, grassroots movement today? It’s not impossible.

Good Manners in Evolutionary Perspective

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on January 09, 2018 in The Human Beast
Why have the habits of the Upstairs Downstairs world departed? What are they for? Have they always existed?

A New Way to Understand Procrastination

You may think you’ll never get over your tendency to put off the tasks you’d rather not complete, or even the ones you’d like to start, but new research suggests how to try.

How and Why to Diagnose Psychopathic Narcissism

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Evil Deeds
When are mental disorders defined and diagnosed by the suffering inflicted on others?

Saving the Planet Feels Good

Can positive emotions help save the environment? New research suggests that a warm-glow from engaging in virtuous moral behaviors can encourage green behavior.

How to Spot a Psychopath: Three Traits You Should Look For

By Melissa Burkley Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in The Social Thinker
Research on the "Dark Triad" suggests that psychopaths exhibit three distinct traits.

Constructing Modern Selves 1: Dangers of the Class System

How do less wealthy people maintain a worthy self-concept in a class-based society, a place where people are encouraged to think of themselves as equal to anyone else?

"Touch Me There," Said the Robot

Are we physiologically activated when touching robots' bodies? Research begins to sketch out how we respond to humanoid robots.

Never in Vain

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on January 06, 2018 in Bear in Mind
One man's work from the ground up helps to unchain elephant minds and bodies.

An Evolutionary Fable

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 05, 2018 in Ambigamy
Adaptation got much more complicated once we gained the power of language.

Why Early Experience Matters: Famous Scholars Know

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on January 05, 2018 in Moral Landscapes
We know what humans need in early life to develop well, and the effects of early experience are no longer a mystery.

Desperately Seeking Human

The inadequacy of digital connection has left us yearning for the felt presence of other people. Why this is a step in the right direction...

Research Shows Higher Hostile Sexism among Trump Supporters

Research shows that hostile sexism won the day in the 2016 election. Will we continue to permit our society to be governed by bias, leading to avoidable suffering and inequality?

Yes, Humans and Animals Are 'Not So Different'

By Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. on January 03, 2018 in Beastly Behavior
My book has drawn some predictable creationist criticism. Here I respond and invite dialogue.