Tuesday January 28, 2020

Study Claims, Your Moral Decisions Link To Brain Activity

"Our results demonstrate that people may use different moral principles to make their decisions, and that some people are much more flexible and will apply different principles depending on the situation"

0
//
values
The study showed that people used different moral principles to make their decisions and also changed their moral behaviour depending on the situation. Pixabay

What makes our decisions morally just or objectionable? It is the brain activity that is responsible for the differences in our moral behaviour, reveals a new study.

“Our study demonstrates that with moral behaviour, people may not in fact always stick to the golden rule. While most people tend to exhibit some concern for others, some others may demonstrate ‘moral opportunism’, where they want to look moral but want to maximize their own benefit,” said lead author Jeroen van Baar, a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University, US.

For the study, published in Nature Communications journal, researchers developed a computational strategy model to examine the brain activity patterns linked to the moral strategies.

guilt
The study’s findings revealed that “unique patterns” of brain activity underlie the inequity aversion and guilt aversion strategies. Pixabay

The team tried to determine which type of moral strategy the participant was using — inequity aversion (where people reciprocate because they want to seek fairness in outcomes); guilt aversion (where people reciprocate because they want to avoid feeling guilty); greed or moral opportunism (where people switch between inequity aversion and guilt aversion depending on what will serve their interests best).

The study showed that people used different moral principles to make their decisions and also changed their moral behaviour depending on the situation.

“In everyday life, we may not notice that our morals are context-dependent since our contexts tend to stay the same daily. However, under new circumstances, we may find that the moral rules we thought we’d always follow are actually quite malleable,” said co-author Luke J. Chang, Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College, US.

“This has tremendous ramifications if one considers how our moral behaviour could change under new contexts, such as during war,” he added.

brain
For the study, published in Nature Communications journal, researchers developed a computational strategy model to examine the brain activity patterns linked to the moral strategies. Pixabay

The study’s findings revealed that “unique patterns” of brain activity underlie the inequity aversion and guilt aversion strategies.

Also Read: Know Which iPhone Features Will Now Be Available in MacBook Series

“Our results demonstrate that people may use different moral principles to make their decisions, and that some people are much more flexible and will apply different principles depending on the situation,” said Chang.

“This may explain why people that we like and respect occasionally do things that we find morally objectionable,” he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s how People Themselves Become the Source of Misinformation

People can self-generate their own misinformation

0
Misinformation
Sometimes, you yourself can become the source of misinformation. Pixabay

Do not blame partisan news outlets and political blogs for feeding you fake news as there’s another surprising source of misinformation on controversial topics — it is you.

A new study has found that people, given accurate statistics on a controversial issue, tended to misremember those numbers to fit commonly held beliefs.

For example, when people are shown that the number of Mexican immigrants in the US declined recently – which is true but goes against many people’s beliefs – they tend to remember the opposite.

And when people pass along this misinformation they created, the numbers can get further and further from the truth.

“People can self-generate their own misinformation. It doesn’t all come from external sources,” said Jason Coronel, lead author of the study and assistant professor of communication at The Ohio State University.

“They may not be doing it purposely, but their own biases can lead them astray. And the problem becomes larger when they share their self-generated misinformation with others”.

The researchers conducted two studies to confirm this.In the first study, they presented 110 participants with short written descriptions of four societal issues that involved numerical information.

Fake news
People generate fake news in order to fit commonly held beliefs. Pixabay

The researchers found that people usually got the numerical relationship right on the issues for which the stats were consistent with how many people viewed the world.

In the second study, the researchers investigated how these memory distortions could spread and grow more distorted in everyday life. Coronel said the study did have limitations.

For example, it is possible that the participants would have been less likely to misremember if they were given explanations as to why the numbers didn’t fit expectations.

The researchers didn’t measure each person’s biases going in – they used the biases that had been identified by pre-tests they conducted.

But the results did suggest that we shouldn’t worry only about the misinformation that we run into in the outside world, Poulsen said in a paper published in the journal Human Communication Research.

Also Read- Machine Learning Can Help Doctors to Improve End-Of-Life Conversation with Patients

“We need to realize that internal sources of misinformation can possibly be as significant as or more significant than external sources,” she said.

“We live with our biases all day, but we only come into contact with false information occasionally”. (IANS)