Essential Reads

Steve Albini Shows That Punk Rock Ethics Are Good Business

Record Engineer and Musician Shows Truly "Alternative" Path in Business

The Road Let's Travel: Why David Brooks Should Start a Cult

How the things you say pave the road to character.

What Not to Say to a Depressed Person

Depression isn’t just a matter of moral weakness or willpower

Six Ways to Create a Culture of Ethics in Any Organization

Good ethics is good business: Why have so few gotten the memo?

Recent Posts on Ethics and Morality

A Few Confederate Flags Down, But Many Trappings Remain

By Robert Klitzman M.D. on July 07, 2015 in Am I My Genes?
Symbols of the Confederacy -- not only flags, but uniforms, and portraits of Robert E. Lee and other leaders -- persist in the South as potent symbols. Removing flags from state offices is important, but these other symbols, and the pervasive psychological attitudes they represent and reinforce, need to be eliminated as well.

How Betrayal Saps Your Self-Esteem

Whether you’ve been lied to, cheated on, or otherwise made to feel a loss of trust, it’s always painful when someone betrays you. How you respond may depend as much on the nature of the betrayal as on your personality and values. Whatever the cause, one of betrayal's most painful aspects is the cost it takes on your self-esteem.

Steve Albini Shows That Punk Rock Ethics Are Good Business

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on July 07, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Steve Albini is known as one of the greatest recording engineers of his time. He shares how punk rock ethics and transformational leadership are important to a good business.

What Being a Magician Taught Me About the Importance of Lies

My story is the same as every magician's story. I discovered magic when I was a scrawny, socially-awkward, unpopular middle school student (I've since graduated middle school). I since learned a lot about lies and here's my confession: I truly believe that deception and illusion are important and possibly even noble.

The Smart One or the Pretty One? Pretty Is as Pretty Does

"'She’s really pretty, but it’s like she doesn’t even know it!' people would say admiringly of certain girls. Only then can you forgive a girl for being pretty: if she’s an idiot or a liar." Maggie Mitchell

The Confederate Flag: Heritage or Hate?

Do Confederate soldiers deserve monuments, flags, glory, and honor? Or is it time to dismantle Confederate monuments and remove the flag from the public arena?

The Road Let's Travel: Why David Brooks Should Start a Cult

How does what we say pave the road to character? David Brooks has some words of wisdom.

Dogs and the Death Penalty

Serious attention is being given to the human death penalty right now—both its overall constitutionality and morality, and also the particular methods by which it is carried out. This is a good opportunity to reexamine the use of death penalty language in relation to companion animals and assess whether it helps or harms.

Why the sky won't fall even if gay marriage spurs polygamy

Does same-sex marriage lead the way to multiple-partner marriage? If so, what kind of impact might that have on society? This blog introduces the Supreme Court decision and its relationship to plural marriage, puts polygamy in social, cultural, and historical context, and identifies differences between polygyny and polyamory.

Evil Geniuses Need Not Apply

Novel research demonstrates that being a team player can not only be nice, it can also be smart.

White Supremacy and Dream Weddings

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on July 02, 2015 in Love, Inc
Dylan Roof's sister is upset because she couldn't have her PERFECT wedding in the wake of her brother's racially motivated murders of nine innocent people. We could read this as another sign that the Roof family is crazy, but in fact Amber's selfishness is part of the ideology of romance.

The Truth About Cremation

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on July 02, 2015 in Creating in Flow
You know we all have to die, right? If you're willing to learn what happens afterward, whether in traditional burials or the more sensible cremation industry, you will enjoy this memoir of a quirky writer who worked for several years in the American funeral industry.

What Not to Say to a Depressed Person

By Jean Kim M.D. on July 01, 2015 in Culture Shrink
What isn’t helpful and remains a huge hurdle for the lay public to understand about depression is that it isn’t just a matter of moral failure or weakness or lack of willpower. The following comments are worth avoiding when talking to people you know going through a depressive episode:

Six Ways to Create a Culture of Ethics in Any Organization

Often we hear about unethical and egregious behavior of organizations and their leaders that seem intent on screwing their customers, lying and cheating, and laughing all the way to the bank.Yet, there are many ways that organizations can create a culture that supports and nurtures ethics. And good ethics is good business in the end. What have so many not gotten the memo?

What Would America's Founding Mothers Want?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
When the philosophical foundations of America were being set by the "Founding Fathers", where were women's voices? How can we design a world that honors and integrates the unique value of women's perceptions of what society can be? What would you personally want to see in a global discussion of what the future can be?

Paying it Forward

Imagine someone does something nice for you. You then see someone else that needs help. Are you more likely to help that person? What if you were mistreated by someone, are you more likely to then mistreat a person unrelated to the situation?

Humanism: To Think Is to Act

Humanism: Moving towards pre-frontal cortex functioning and moving away from reptilian brain functioning

Commitments the APA Should Make Today

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
It is reasonable to expect that the soon-to-be-released Hoffman Report will provide further evidence of grave collusion between the American Psychological Association and government agencies involved in the torture and abuse of war-on-terror detainees. This is an opportune time for the APA’s leadership to commit to specific actions if this indeed proves to be the case.

The Truth Behind Your Rainbow Profile Picture

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on June 29, 2015 in Friendship 2.0
In a spontaneous and beautiful display of support, many people rainbow-tinted their profile pics to celebrate marriage equality. What many did not know was how much cold, hard data analysis goes on about their decision to do so.

Do You Forgive and When Should You?

From our partner not doing their share of the chores to infidelity, brutal mass murder and everything in between, there are many times in life when we are called on to forgive (or not). Consider these psychological facts before making your personal decision about forgiveness.

#Love Wins . . . Marriage Equality Is for Real

It's about love and equality. That's about as simple as it can get.

Same-Sex Marriage Needed to Be Decided by the Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court decided that marriage is a right for all, same-sex and opposite-sex couples alike. Some would rather this has been decided by popular vote, but it's more appropriate and just that the courts should decide. But why?

How Do You Feel About Giving Human Rights to Corporations?

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on June 26, 2015 in So Sue Me
People do not realize this, but the United States Supreme Court has been treating corporations increasingly like human beings — by giving them fundamental rights. Is this crazy? Is this dangerous?

Memory Doesn't Always Deceive

Psychology has some horrible experiments on its conscience - or ought to have.

The Psychology of Competition

Competitions are fun, let’s be honest. At one point or another, you probably have enjoyed being part of some kind of competition. Of course, competitions are more fun if you actually “win” (but for you to win, someone else must lose). Given this basic inequality: can competitions promote pro-social behavior?

Conceptual Chicks & Experiential Eggs: Teaching Philosophies

Last spring I helped design a training program for aspiring college teachers. I had great fun being on the small planning committee; our disagreements were especially enlightening. My favorite disagreement was about whether we should have our students develop and write their teaching philosophy.

Bringing Down the Confederate Flag

Morality and its requirements explain how people are now thinking about the Confederate flag.

When to Sue Your Psychiatrist for Malpractice

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on June 24, 2015 in So Sue Me
Many cases of psychiatric malpractice are never reported because the victims are already emotionally unstable. What exactly does it mean for a psychiatrist to commit malpractice?

Can Changing a Symbol Change People's Attitudes?

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 in BrainSnacks
Maybe the attachment that some Southern people feel toward the Confederate flag is less an expression of overt racism (which it certainly seems to be, in part), and more an expression of a lingering cultural/historical sense of loss and defeat they feel for the disastrous outcome of the Civil War. Could abolishing the flag lead to a new sense of Southern identity?