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Magnets 'can modify our morality' - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Mar. 30th, 2010

04:06 pm - Magnets 'can modify our morality'

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The key area of the brain is a knot of nerve cells known as the right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ).

The researchers subjected 20 volunteers to a number of tests designed to assess their notions of right and wrong.

In one scenario participants were asked how acceptable it was for a man to let his girlfriend walk across a bridge he knew to be unsafe.

After receiving a 500 millisecond magnetic pulse to the scalp, the volunteers delivered verdicts based on outcome rather than moral principle.

If the girlfriend made it across the bridge safely, her boyfriend was not seen as having done anything wrong.

In effect, they were unable to make moral judgments that require an understanding of other people's intentions.

via news.bbc.co.uk

Posted via web from crasch's posterous

Comments:

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From:pasquin
Date:March 31st, 2010 11:41 am (UTC)
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I heard of this study. The experimenter, I believe, went on to add that this shows that morality is subjective.

I will warrant that morality is more programmed that reasoned in some cases, but the insinuation that a magnetic pulse, or shot of tequila, makes right, is repulsive.
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[User Picture]
From:gustavolacerda
Date:April 3rd, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
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Rebecca Saxe's TED Talk
http://www.ted.com/talks/rebecca_saxe_how_brains_make_moral_judgments.html
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