Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Your Happiness Is Like a Rocking Chair

Definitely worth reading.  Should get Jim Davies’ book.

Your Happiness Is Like a Rocking Chair

Jim Davies | Mar 23, 2016 | Nautilus

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March 27, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, genes, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

The End of Morality

A neuroscientific look at morality incorporating the most recent research. Fascinating read. From Discover magazine, July-August 2011 issue:

The Vexing Mental Tug-of-War Called Morality

Would you kill a crying baby to save yourself and others from hostile soldiers outside? Neuroscience offers new ways to approach such moral questions, allowing logic to triumph over deep-rooted instinct.

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September 12, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, neuroscience | | 1 Comment

Magnetizing away your morality

Experiment showing how your sense of right and wrong changes when certain part of your brain are disabled.  From the January-February special issue of Discover magazine; published online December 16, 2010:

Magnets Can Change Your Moral Values

by Daniel Lametti

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March 27, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making | , | Leave a comment

Wearing counterfeits? You’ll cheat more.

I was surprised by the conclusions of a study that showed that the tendency to cheat increases just by wearing a fake designer item.  Seems that people’s sense of right and wrong influences the way they feel and behave.  So if you don’t want to compromise your moral values, stay away from counterfeits.

From The Economist, June 24th, 2010 :


Rose-coloured spectacles?

Cheats may or may not prosper, but they despise themselves for cheating

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January 24, 2011 Posted by | behaviour, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

Windex-induced morality

Nice experiment showing how scent affects behaviour — in this case, citrus-scented Windex induced charity (not sure though whether it was the Windex or the citrus or the combination).  But the best part was the effects of the fart-scented spray (not kidding!).  Another strike against the economic assumption of rational behaviour.

From, Friday, Oct. 23, 2009:

Do ‘Clean’ Smells Encourage Clean Behavior?

By Catherine Elton
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August 21, 2010 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, economics, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

Moral thinking

Human evolution

Moral thinking

Feb 21st 2008 | BOSTON
From The Economist print edition

Biology invades a field philosophers thought was safely theirs

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July 22, 2008 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, emotions, evolutionary psychology | , | Leave a comment