Category Archives: psychology

Time magazine takes note of moral injury

Mark Thompson on Time’s Battleground blog has a nice blurb up today about my Miller-McCune story on moral injury. I think the issue of moral injury needs to be discussed far more than it is today, so I’m pleased to … Continue reading

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Wounded Souls and Moral Injury

My story about moral injury is finally out in Miller-McCune magazine. This is one of several articles to come out of my work on the Goodness Project.

Posted in Articles and Essays, psychology, Publications from the Quest | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Trust and The Golden Rule

I did a fantastic job following the Golden Rule yesterday, largely because the only people I saw were my eightysomething mother and the twentysomething barista at the coffee bar. And, yes, I was able to be nice to both of … Continue reading

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Marc Hauser Resigns from Harvard

This blog doesn’t usually keep track of news, but I did want to note that Psychology Professor Marc Hauser has resigned from Harvard. Hauser is the morality researcher who has been accused of scientific misconduct, and I covered the investigation … Continue reading

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Falling Off the Empathy Cliff Into Evil

Simon Baron-Cohen argues that evil should be defined as the absence of empathy. In his new book, The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty, the University of Cambridge professor of developmental psychology proposes replacing the “unscientific … Continue reading

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Cramming Goodness into a Box

My story on Duke Professor Ruth Grant is now online at the University of Chicago Magazine. An excerpt: “There is no form of goodness that’s good in every situation,” Grant says. “Nobody is a perfectly good person.” Whether someone can … Continue reading

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Today’s Read Tells Us Nobody’s Good or Bad

Two psychologists say in a new book that we’re flat out wrong if we believe that a person’s character is unchangeable. In other words, nobody’s either good or bad; we can all be manipulated to act out of character. Author … Continue reading

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19 Days Left and More on Bradshaw

I’m down to 19 days on this quest. Tick. Tick. Tick. There’s not enough time. I’m panicking, but I’m also relishing the deadline because I can’t avoid or ignore the Goodness Project now. I have to make this work. Today, … Continue reading

Posted in Becoming Good, Practicing Goodness, psychology | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Dancing on Osama’s Grave, ctd.

My good friend Susan Cooper sends these thoughts along: Wondering what, where, how this event will be part of your examination of “Good.” Another friend of mine on here likened the death of Bin Laden to the death of Hitler. … Continue reading

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Dancing on Osama’s Grave

I believe in the Golden Rule and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. I abhor the death penalty, which I think does more harm than good. Last night when I heard the news that Osama … Continue reading

Posted in good vs. evil, morality, psychology | Tagged | 4 Comments

Projecting Ourselves Onto Others

Miller-McCune’s story about conspiracy theorists got me thinking about projection. That’s the psychological mechanism wherein we each think the other guy is us. We believe that he/she has the same motives, same ideas, same approaches that we do. In other … Continue reading

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Pain May Ease Guilt

Morality, goodness and guilt appear to me to be mixed together. Regular run-of-the-mill guilt might help regulate our actions and make us more ethical. Over-sized guilt might lead us to act out against ourselves or others. So, is this University … Continue reading

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Metaphor as Reality

Hmmm. Don’t know what I think about this, but I guess anything that helps us be better people can’t be bad. New research shows that thinking elevating thoughts or moving up — even through an act as mundane as riding … Continue reading

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Rules and Incentives are Strangling Society

Barry Schwartz, Swarthmore College psychology and economics professor, tells us how rules and incentives undermine society and make us feel like we’ve got to shower the grime of immorality off our skins at the end of every day. “Rules and … Continue reading

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Yet Another Fellow Traveler: John Bradshaw

On the recommendation of a friend, I just started reading John Bradshaw’s book, Reclaiming Virtue, and may I say that it’s such a relief after wading through the casual cruelty and skim-the-surface rigidity of Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape.

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