BEST OF THE WEB FLASHBACK: Moral Outrage is Actually Self-Serving, NOT Altruistic, Say Psychologists

Perpetually raging about the world's injustices? You're probably overcompensating When people publicly rage about perceived injustices that don't affect them personally, we tend to assume this expression is rooted in altruism — a "disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others." But new research suggests that professing such third-party concern — what social scientists refer to as "moral outrage" — is often a function of self-interest, wielded to assuage feelings of personal culpability for societal harms or reinforce (to the self and others) one's own status as a Very Good Person. Outrage expressed "on behalf of the victim of moral violation" is often thought of as "a prosocial emotion" rooted in "a desire to restore justice by fighting on behalf of the victimized," explain Bowdoin psychology professor Zachary Rothschild and University of Southern Mississippi psychology professor Lucas...

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Why evolutionary psychologists are wrong about COVID-19 leading women to cheat

Is it really true that, as a recent column in a psychology magazine claims, women are more likely to cheat during the COVID-19 crisis? An evolutionary psychologist thinks so; let's explore this a bit. First, philosopher Subrena E. Smith (right) has recently pointed out that evolutionary psychology (EP) is a doubtful enterprise in science, maybe an "impossible" one. EP's basis is modern folklore: The claim that we inherited modules from the Stone Age that govern our behavior with respect to "predator avoidance, mate selection, and cheater detection" — which sold paperbacks in the 1980s — do not correlate with neuroscience findings about the human brain. We have not found any such modules. We have no way of knowing whether the neural correlates of our behavior are the same as those of humans who lived under very different circumstances 50,000 years...

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SOTT FOCUS: The World Desperately Needs The Wisdom of Bobby Kennedy, Now More Than Ever

Today's fires which have spread across America in the wake of George Floyd's murder at the knee of Minnesota police officer Derick Chauvin has presented America with the chance to do some serious soul-searching. It has also presented certain Deep State opportunists, color revolutionaries and anarchism-financing billionaires a chance to unleash what some are calling an "America's Maidan" in the hopes of accomplishing what four years of Russiagate failed to do. The fact that these riots have occurred at a moment when America finds itself seriously reviving the spirit of JFK's space vision is an irony that in many ways parallels the earlier "pregnant moment" of 1968. (In case you are not aware, NASA has officially revived manned space launches on May 28 for the first time since Obama killed the Saturn rocket program in 2011, establishing a new program...

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Music synchronizes brains of audiences with their performers

The more people enjoy music, the more similar their brain activity is to that of the musician When a concert opens with a refrain from your favorite song, you are swept up in the music, happily tapping to the beat and swaying with the melody. All around you, people revel in the same familiar music. You can see that many of them are singing, the lights flashing to the rhythm, while other fans are clapping in time. Some wave their arms over their head, and others dance in place. The performers and audience seem to be moving as one, as synchronized to one another as the light show is to the beat. A new paper in the journal NeuroImage has shown that this synchrony can be seen in the brain activities of the audience and performer. And the greater the...

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New research shows for the evolution of intelligence, parents matter

Humans are not the only species that enjoy prolonged childhoods: elephants, whales, dolphins and some bats and birds do also. Is this what makes us smart? And if so, how important are long-suffering parents? Exploring this with corvids - songbirds that hang around their parents in and out of the nest and have large brains relative to body size - researchers found those that spent more time with parents learned faster and lived longer. How intelligence developed has long fascinated evolutionary scientists, with several theories such as brain-to-body size ratio. But, considering large brains take a long time to grow, not many theories have given due credit to parents for shaping their offspring's cognitive development. Michael Griesser, from the University of Konstanz, Germany, recognised there must be an evolutionary perk to extended parenting. "Brains are weird adaptations - they come...

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