15. A Person in the World of People: Morality

15.  A Person in the World of People: Morality
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let me begin by just reminding us where we are in this course reminding ourselves of what we've done and what we have yet to do we started by talking about the brain the physical basis of thought and then we move to some general introductions to some foundational ideas in the study of psychology Freud and Skinner we spend a bit of time on more cognitive stuff development language vision memory then we took a little break and a Dean told us about love then we dealt with the emotions the emotions rationality and evolution and a lot of that what we learn particularly regarding evolution of the mind provided supporting material for what follows we learned about cognitive neuroscience using the study of face recognition as an important case study human differences behavioral genetics nature inertia sex and food my lecture was on sex dr. Brown l came and spoke to us about food today morality next week social thought and social behavior mysteries basically a series of topics that don't fit anywhere in the course and really make psychologists scratch their heads these topics are sleep laughter and religion mental illness two lectures on madness what can go wrong in your minds and the last lecture unhappiness and then you're just you're just done you know you know a lot of psychology and a lot of stuff and you're well prepared for your ultimate major in psychology ultimately graduate training at a good school how many people here are either psych majors or expect to become psych majors cognate our cognitive science though you could raise your hand to okay good it's nowhere near enough and so and so I'll ask the question again once you deal with happiness and then mysteries you're really not going to want to what is her chemistry anthropology premed give me a break okay um we're going to deal with three facets of morality we'll talk about moral feelings moral judgments and then moral action what particular focus on why good people do bad things which will lead us to review and discuss the Milgram study which was presented in the movie on Monday now moral feelings is what we'll start off with and we've already discussed this in a different context the question is how good moral feelings evolved so moral feelings we give you as feelings of condemnation shame emotions like that shame condemnation pride righteous anger but also simple affection caring for other people wanting to do well by them being upset if an injustice is to be done by them and you might think that the existence of these feelings is a mystery from an evolutionary point of view if evolution is survival of the fittest nature red in tooth and claw how could animals evolve moral feelings but in fact we know the answer to this and there are two answers to this one answer is kin selection so evolution works at a level of the genes and because of that it could give rise to animals that are themselves altruistic and are altruistic because they act to preserve other animals that share the same genes and so I'm not going to work I'm not going to spend any time on this because we've discussed in detail but we know from previous lectures that people will be generous to others and there's an evolutionary explanation for your generosity towards Kim it can be mathematically worked out your caring your moral feelings towards other creatures to the extent of the proportion of genes that you share with them the most altruistic behavior of all giving your life to help another can be explained in cold-blooded evolutionary terms animals that are altruistic even to the point of dying to help another those genes will under some circumstances be preserved over the genes of people who are less caring and that is one force towards kindness a second force towards kindness is cooperation even if animals are unrelated they are nice to one another animals would give warning Christ they will groom at one another they will exchange food and the reason for this is that animals have evolved our minds have evolved to enter into sort of cooperative situations of other people and to surmount prisoners dilemmas to surmount deception and cheating this gives rise to some emotions including emotions that could be viewed as moral emotions like guilt and anger and again grounds altruistic behavior in an evolutionary perspective this is all by means of review but the question you can now ask is fine that's why moral feelings might evolve but what do we know as psychologists about the emergence in nature of moral feelings in an individual's what's the psychology of moral feeling and this is an issue I'm going to talk about now but I'm going to return to next week when we deal with issues such as liking and disliking racial prejudice and other things but I want to deal now with a couple of interesting case studies about moral feelings from a psychological point of view the first one I want to deal with is empathy and empathy has different definitions but we can simply view it as the feeling that your pain matters to me if you are hurt that is in some sense painful for me if you are sad that affects my own mood I am NOT a selfish creature I am built I am hardwired to be attuned to your pain this is an old observation Adam Smith who is often falsely viewed as a proponent of selfishness and hardheadedness was quite explicit about the pool this has he knows when we see a stroke aimed and just ready to fall upon the leg or arm of another person we naturally shrink and draw back our own leg our arm and when it does fall we feel it in some measure and are hurt by it as well as the sufferer if you see somebody being kicked in the groin in a movie you might yourself tense up if you see somebody bang their their thumb with a hammer you might cringe here's a good illustration of somebody an anticipatory pain now it's a very British vase actually now we know certain things about this empathy some which might be surprising the pain of others is aversive even for babies we know this because if babies hear other babies crying they will get upset the crying of babies is aversive to babies now some of you may be sufficiently cynical to say that could be explained in other ways for one thing one theory is that babies hear other babies cry because babies are so stupid they think they themselves are crying if they're crying they must be in some sort of pain so they cry some more but clever psychologists have ruled this out what they did was a study where they exposed babies to tape recorded sounds of other babies crying and tape recorded sounds of themselves crying babies cry more to this pain of other babies than they do to their own pain suggesting that their response is to some extent a response to the other nests of the characters we know pain is of others is aversive for chimpanzees and we know this in certain ways but we know this in particular from a series of studies that would be unethical if they were to be done today in these studies they put a chimpanzee in a room and there's a lever and when the chimpanzee slaps to lever it gets some food trivial smart animal piece of cake but the room has a window leading to another room and in other room another chimpanzee is placed this second chimpanzee is not a relative of the sub the of the first chimpanzee and they've never seen each other before now when the first chimpanzee hits the lever the second chimpanzee gets a painful electric shock putting the first chimpanzee in a horrible dilemma in order to feed himself he has to torture another chimpanzees do not starve themselves to death it's very unlikely any of you would either but they go a long time without food suggesting they do not want to cause this other chimpanzee pain it only works within species so in another experiment they put a rabbit in the other room and the chimpanzee would slap the lever repeatedly to make a rabbit scream in pain and jump now we've known for a long time that empathetic feeling is not logically linked to morality this is a point made by Aristotle I could see you writhing in pain that could cause me pain but doesn't mean I'm going to be nice to you I could run away from you I could turn my head or I could blame you for causing me this misery but it does happen that emotional debt that this sort of empathy does lead to moral concern and action if we do an experiment and we induce you to feel empathetic to somebody we get you to feel what they're feeling you're more likely to be nice to them and people differ in the extent to which they feel empathy um people differ to the extent it will hurt them to watch me slam my thumb with with a hammer if you are high empathy you're more likely to be a nice person than if you're low empathy suggesting there's some connection between empathetic feeling and liking now empathetic feeling like any other human capacity differs across people some of us have a lot of it some of us don't have much of it there's some reason to believe that in a population known as Psychopaths a population will return to later on when we discuss mental illness this sort of instinctive empathy is broken and the pain of others just doesn't bother them very much I asked an illustrative quotes here in a Damon's book a wonderful book on psychopathy he talks about a thirteen-year-old Mugler who specialized in mugging blind people and when asked about the pain he caused his victims he responded like here I'm not her which is logically correct but in a sense inhuman the fact that it's another person should make you care the serial killer Gary Gilmore basically said the pain of others gratify him and cause him no unhappiness at all I was always capable of murder I can become totally devoid of feelings of others unemotional I know I'm doing something grossly and here there's a very bad word wrong I can still go ahead and do it and Ted Bundy when interviewed at one point said he was astonished that people made such a fuss about all of his murders because he said I mean there are so many people and if any of you here are nodding in agreement at these sentiments that's not such a good sign these are these are particularly callous and cold-blooded statements suggesting that this instinctive empathy this aspect of moral thought is not is present in most of us but not in all of us the second case study of moral feeling is in-group and out-group in our in our affections in our in our caring who we like who we feel close to whose pain bothers us we are not indiscriminate I care a lot more about my children that I do about my friends and I care more about my friends and I care about strangers we're all like that we also favor our group over others in every possible way you are a member of many groups you are men you are women your Yale students you're young you're you're white you're black you're Asian you're member of these groups and as we will discuss repeatedly when we talk about social cognition and social behavior this membership matters a lot to you what's particularly interesting is even groups that are formed that you're not born with that are formed on the fly exert a huge amount of control over your moral feelings and moral attitudes and that the best example of this is discussed in detail in the textbook and this is the robbers cave study and this robbers cave study serves as nice illustration of morality in everyday life the study was 11 and 12 year old boys at a camping program these were well adjusted pretty rich kids racially homogeneous and they were put in the separate cabins and the cabins were given leaders and they gave themselves names being unimaginative boys they call himself the Eagle errs and the Rattlers but as what happened was being separated they developed distinctive cultures and when these groups were set in competition against each other the Eagles versus the Rattlers the within group intensity grew Eagles began Eagles began to care a lot more about other Eagles than about anybody else so there's within group solidarity and then there were negative stereotypes so these groups develop different cultures it was a randomly cut apart kind of like Yale colleges actually where you get a random assortment of people but despite the fact that assortment is random the division is random cultures begin to emerge the Eagles prided themselves on being clean living not using cuss words and treating each other with respect they viewed the Rattlers as dirty and tough and kind of slovenly slobs the Rattlers viewed the Eagles as goody-goody kids it's cruel finally it all devolved into hostilities raid raids and violence the Eagles burnt a Rattlers banner cuss words were occasionally used and so Sharif the expert a psychologist designing all of this went you know excellent and and then the problem he then says now we've created we've created two different warring cultures that was fun what do we do to make them friends again and then we figured how to now we've done that and this old solve all sorts of problems so they started off they wanted to have a set a peace talks we're a representative of the eagle and a representative rattler we're set to meet and plan ways to they could you know disarm and stop using cuss words and everything like that this failed the kids who engage in the peace talks were ostracized by their own groups as treasonous that failed they decided instead of individual competitions like the Olympics where they would people wouldn't compete as Eagles or Rattlers but rather they would compete as individuals that failed to like the Olympics people the teams took the ribbit day they took their individual accomplishments as reflecting on on on the group and it devolved into Eagles versus the Rattlers they shared meals they turned it which turned into food fights and more cuss words they shared movies more fights more cuss words they shared fun with firecrackers which which was a disasterous thing which nearly brought the experiment to an end they brought in a religious figure to give them sermons on brotherly love the sermons were entirely unsuccessful what's interesting is they the ego they took them to heart these were good kids they were respectful of religious authority but the lessons they took from them is I should learn to love my neighbor if I'm a rattler learn to love my fellow rattler and appreciate him as a fellow rat as a person I love him it's love not like a scummy Eagles they all failed here's what worked Sherif told the kids all of the kids that the water line to the camp was cut and they all had to defend the camp what this dude did was it established a super ordinate goal that is a goal that everybody shared and perhaps more important a common enemy this is where the solution by the way to bringing together and you could write this down – bringing together all the warring countries and religions of this planet is an alien attack by the logic of the share even it will bring us all together as a group on different question is there in that experiment the group eNOS was established in a very powerful way they live separately they interacted with each other they had their own names the psychologist Taj felt after world war two was interesting the question of what could make a group in other words what do we have to do to you to put you in a different group from him what do I have to do to this class this side of the class to put you in a different group from this side and different from that site and and what do what I have to do for those groups to matter such that for instance if I separate you in one group and you're another group and I give you a hundred dollars will you give the money more to him or to him we give him more to your own group or to another group and what he found was you don't need much in one experiment he showed people pictures of Modern Art and based on their responses he described him as Klee lovers or Kandinsky lovers this is all made up they were just random assignment but the Klee lovers viewed themselves as more two other Klee lovers they thought the Klee lovers had to be smarter than the Kandinsky lovers and the Klee lovers would devote more resources to themselves than to others this is why it's called minimal groups you don't need much to make you into a group and in fact later experiments just flipped a coin so the line the experiment goes like this I ask everybody's got to take out a coin you all flip it everyone whose heads you're one group everyone whose tails your other group then I ask people in the heads group which group do you put yourself aside which group on average you think is smarter is it well you know kind of works out that the heads group is kind of really smear heads you know smart which could here's some money you have to distribute it you're more likely it's a subtle it's a subtle effect when you make the group so minimal but you're more likely give to your own group than to others and this suggests that moral feelings are exquisitely attuned not necessarily only to individuals but also to the psychology of groups any questions at this point about moral feelings yes it's morality at bears on morality because it bears on to the question is how does group membership how does that relate to the topic of morality an answer is the moral feelings we're talking about our feelings the empathy and caring for me to have a moral feeling towards you means you matter to me if you were to be harmed I view it as wrong and the group experiment suggests that the extent to which these moral feelings operate are partially determined by the groups to which we belong to if I'm American and you're from another country I will view myself this is a very kind of obvious finding my obligations to you will be seen as less than if you were another American if I'm Ackley loved or near a Kandinsky lover I don't think you quite deserve as much as me moral judgment is an area that is tremendously exciting and there's a lot of recent research on this by moral judgment I mean not empathetic feelings not feelings of caring and love our approval and disapproval so are not feelings of caring and love and empathy but notions like something is good or bad something like something is fair or unfair so there are three hallmarks for moral judgments so suppose I say I don't like strawberry ice cream that's an evaluation that's a judgment but it's not a moral judgment why not because I don't think it carries a sense of obligation I don't think anybody's obliged to eat or not to eat strawberry ice cream and it doesn't carry a notion of sanctions meaning I don't think anybody should be punished for reading strawberry ice cream on the other hand if I say I don't like baby killers that actually is a moral judgment in my case so it's not merit I think well I don't like baby killers you like to kill babies I actually think we are obliged not to kill babies if you disagree with me you're wrong and you should stop killing those babies should you fail to stop killing those babies I think you should be punished for killing babies and that's what my judgement about no killing babies makes it a moral judgment now some people are tempted to look at this the wrong way and say look what a weird topic morality I don't believe in morality I believe in Nietzsche I don't believe in we're I don't believe in ethics but I don't believe you if you were to say that because morality isn't morality as we talked about it in this context isn't just regarding your position on big questions like political issues or or big moral questions like abortion or capital punishment rather some sort of moral judgment happens all the time often unconsciously so as you live your life you have to answer questions like what should you eat any moral vegetarians here I'm just raising my hand to encourage people okay um anybody give to charity anybody not give to charity good different from the moral vegetarians I noticed who do you socialize with there's homeless people around Yale and New Haven what do you give to them you avoid their eyes do you um what do you want to do with your life who you have sex with under what contexts or conditions these are moral questions I view my favorite moral dilemma is as I'm walking down the street and I see somebody I sort of know do I like avoid Ike so I don't have a conversation or doing hey how you doing or do I kind of do the nod hoping that there won't be more than this nod and then after I leave and I say I should have made eye contact that person I'm such a jerk here's a homeless person and these are day-to-day moral questions we struggle with all the time and so so there's a centrality in the study of how we do more reasoning so what do we know about moral reasoning well we know that there are some universals there are some aspects of moral reasoning that show up everywhere on earth and there's some evidence though it's not particularly strong at this point that the same intuition show up in young children and in non-human primates like chimpanzees capuchins macaques and so on and these are things like anger a cheaters gratitude toward sharers the sort of things you'd expect to come out in a prisoner's dilemma feelings that some things are right and some things are wrong and these are foundational but at the same time the study of more reasoning is a fascinating fascinating issue for those of us interested in cross-cultural psychology because there are plain differences across cultures so the anthropologist richard shweder gives a list here of human differences people have found it quite natural to be spawn Dainius li appalled l rage indignant proud disgusted guilty and ashamed by all sorts of things then there's a long list masturbation homosexuality sexual abstinence polygamy abortion circumcision corporal punishment capital punishment Islam Christianity Judaism capitalism democracy flag burning miniskirts long hair no her here blah blah parents and children sleeping the same bad parents intro not sleeping the same that women being allowed to work women not being allowed to work if I put it down in a list and got people to tick it off what you all thought there will be some differences some of you think meat-eating is ok some of you do not some of you you might have different views about divorce most of you believe women should be allowed to work most of you will be will be in favor and not morally scolding of homosexuality you'll be lukewarm about polygamy nobody will like abstinence and so on but but if we gave that same list to people in a different culture they tick off entirely different things these are ways in which people vary I don't think people vary in their feelings about baby killing I don't think you people vary about the feelings of I do something for you and then you don't you don't do something for me I think that's gut level hardwired evolved to solve prisoners dilemmas but these are important issues and these vary a lot from culture to culture and a good theory of psychology has to explain how these differences arise and shweder has a theory which is quite interesting Schrader argues that there are three styles of thought three different frameworks of moral thought three different ethics there's an ethics of autonomy this is what moral philosophers within our culture view as morality notions of rights of equality of freedom but many cultures focus on an ethics of community bringing together duty status hierarchy and interdependence other cultures focus more on an ethics of divinity we're notions such as purity sanctity pollution and sin are relevant so for example when we're talking about the rights of men and women and what they should be allowed to do many people in our society following an ethics of autonomy will argue that they should have equal rights and all domains of behavior since they're sentient free creatures they should have a right to do whatever they want unless there's a compelling argument against it and the compelling argument would have to involve some infringement of the freedom of other people on the other hand if you're in an ethics of community you might argue that men and women have different rights and different responsibilities they may be born to perform certain things and as such they're duty-bound to follow them if you're from an ethics of divinity you may appeal to religious injunctions against certain actions and behaviors and these may differentially restrict the behavior of men and women you might believe for instance that women should not prepare food when menstruating because it would contaminate the food you may believe that there's hot there's severe restrictions about who could have sex with one another that don't have to do with human rights and human freedom it has to do with the way things should be because of issues of pollution and sin now Western cultures as I said are highly invested in an ethics of autonomy and so debates we have in our culture tend to be framed in terms of an ethics of autonomy if we have a debate about abortion in this class people what some people might say look the fetus is a sentient being and as such it has a right to to survive and shouldn't be killed by its mother other people would argue no a woman has full freedom over her own body and as long as the fetus is within the body they had she has a right to control it if we're argue about hate speech we could talk about the balance between the rights of freedom of speech the right to certain quality of education free of harassment and humiliation those are the way we frame things but one of the more interesting discoveries in this field is that although people think that they're governed by the ethics of autonomy even people within our culture even highly educated people within our culture even people like you show moral judgements that are not quite as simple so this is the work of Jonathan hight at university of virginia and i finds if you ask people they believe in our culture that it hold to an ethics of autonomy it doesn't harm anyone it's okay so if I was to ask you your attitudes about sex most of you not all of you come from different cultures you have different attitudes but mostly you would say sex between consenting adults is okay as long as nobody gets hurt as long as nobody gets hurt people's rights are respected so gay marriage for instance or gay sex would be okay with you because it is it is nobody as harmed and these are consenting adults high points out that there are certain problems is argument any illustrates this problem these problems with stories like this Julian mark are brother and sister they are traveling together in France on summer vacation from college one night they are staying alone in a cabin near the beach they decided would be interesting and fun if they tried making love at the very least it would be a new experience for each of them Julie was already taking birth control pills but mark uses a condom too just to be safe they both enjoy making love but they decide not to do it again they keep that night a special secret which makes them feel even closer to each other what do you think about that was it okay for them to make love who says yes I know to be able to say yes shoot your hands and look around in astonishment that no one else is with them who says no hey who's not sure you're not sure that's the weirdest of all um pipe finds that the distribution even among this if you you know look if you go home and you ask you and you ask your parents Oh what is what are you learning at Yale this is a very unusual culture and where some people will say it's okay what hide finds is most people say it doesn't and then he simply ask them being a good psychologist okay what's wrong with it and this is the brother/sister case and the responses are interesting because people view themselves as committed to an ethics of autonomy they can't just say it's disgusting so they exhibit what height describes as moral dumbfounding meaning that they struggle to find an explanation they say it's terrible because they'll have a kid and a kid I'll grow up freaky and then the experimenter it's an interview situations as well no remember they're both using a lot of birth control uh maybe she's underage no not underage and finally it's just wrong similarly another one of the scenarios this isn't as bad as you might expect the family dog is playing outside and gets hit by a car they bring it in and they say all fidos dead fidos dead but what's for dinner so they cook it and eat it who says it's okay good who says it's not okay okay then they notice then they notice that their toilet is kind of dirty but whoa there's an American flag they then use the toilet to clean the flap who says that's okay anyway think it's not okay and this keep in mind we're getting rid of even responses here here on all of these the majority of people who are not college students in elite university say oh that's so wrong finally there's this one and this really is as bad as one might expect the guy's lonely so he purchases a frozen chicken from the supermarket brings it home and has relations with it then he cooks it and eats it look this is this is a scientific paper in psyche review okay who says that's okay good and I notice and I noticed there's consistency among among people the people think it's okay have every right to say that they believe if they really sincerely believe it's okay they are committed to an ethics of autonomy those of you who think it's not okay none of these should ask yourself why and should then scrutinize your reasons people are very smart and they could present easily present reasons why they can say oh disease but these reasons tend not to be sincere if you take away the considerations that the reaction stays and these are then interesting case studies of how our moral judgment is governed by factors that we might not be conscious of our moral intuitions can surprise us Milgram's the motivation for Milgram's work and this is the final thing we'll talk about in the context of morality the motivation for Milgram's work was the Holocaust and he was interested in exploring why such a thing could happen I should know by the way you know from a movie that Milgram was uh was a Yale professor he he left Yale when he didn't get tenure moved to Harvard didn't get tenure there too he was he had a reputation by then as a mad doctor he ended up at City University of New York became a full professor Adam at age 33 died in his early 50s did not lead a good life but had extraordinary discoveries another discovery which we'll talk about next week is has anybody heard the phrase six degrees of separation Milgram and we'll talk about that later Milgram had a powerful imagination okay so we know this is all review there's the guy how many of you laughed when you saw the movie interesting question why and we'll talk about that a little while shox slight shock to xxx there's this is just repeating what you've seen the Lerner protest as he's being shocked more and more but the experimenter continues to request obedience for those of you haven't seen a movie again the set up is someone is a subject they don't know they think that they're teaching somebody in a memory game but actually the person who is being shocked is a Confederate Confederate who is trained to react in certain ways as he's being increasingly shocked and the finding is that the majority of people we'll deliver fatal shocks at his person who they had never met based on the instructions of another person now there's some immediate bad explanations for this one explanation is these are really strange people these are a normal group of psychopaths but we know that's not true it's been replicated with many subjects there's no reason to believe that the subjects in Milgram's original study were in any way unusual it's also misleading to say that people are in general sadistic you remember from the movie nobody got pleasure from giving the shocks they felt acutely uncomfortable embarrassed conflicted under a huge amount of stress they weren't liking doing this there were follow-up studies this is the original study if you take it away from Yale some of the authority goes away and similarly the extent to which there are fatal shocks goes down as a teacher is with the learner next next to him it goes down if you have to put the guy's hand on it you're less likely to kill them if the experimenter gives you instructions by phone you're less likely to do it if an ordinary man not the guy in a white lab coat but an ordinary guy says hey keep shocking him that's okay you're less likely to do it and if there's a rebellion if somebody else were bells is I won't do it you are much more likely not to do it yourself there are some oh sorry yeah and if you could get to choose your own shock level you can keep look then very very few people go all the way so these are an important list of factors as to the factors that can make somebody less likely to bring it up to the killing level and as a rule we can look at those factors and think about what is the perfect situation for making somebody do something like this and the perfect situation not to some more serious critiques of Milgram Milgram's experiment is why we have human subjects committees this is a terribly stressful experiment to do to people and as I say now but a lot of studies I described in this class it would not today be done people did say they were happy to have participated and only two percent said that they were sorry but um but still serious damage could have been done and perhaps was done these people left the lab having learnt about themselves that they'll kill another person if someone tells them to and as psychologists I don't think we have any right to do that to people I think people can learn this new things about themselves we have no right to put you in a circumstance where you believe you killed somebody and then tell you it was just pretend we just made you kill somebody and that's a serious ethical criticism historians and sociologists have brought things back to the questions that um that Milgram was interested in and argued and this is controversial the extent to which obedience really is a good model for acts of genocide so just to take one example among many Goldhagen argued that the participants in in Nazi Germany and in the Holocaust were actually not people who were obediently following orders but rather were enthusiastic people who volunteered to do it still Milgram's work is interesting in many for many reasons in large part because he provides an illustration of the perfect situation for getting somebody to do a terrible thing and a perfect situation has certain ingredients it includes Authority in this case the authority of Yale and the authority of science this is an must go on the notion of a self-assured experimenter the results will be very different if the experimenter himself seemed nervous unwilling to proceed confused but he was confident and he kept saying that he will take responsibility there was distance between a learner and experimenter recall you get less of an effect if you have to touch the guy but distance makes it easier for you to kill them and finally there's a new situation and no model of how to behave one of the reasons why the Milgram experiment is so nice to know is that if this ever happens to you not as an experiment but in real life it will no longer be new to you you'll know what sort of thing this is and you'll be able to examine it in that light I want to end this lecture summing up drawing a lot upon Milgram and some other work and talk first about two forces for evil and then the end by talking about two forces for good the first force for evil is deindividuation of self and what this means is one reason why people are so bad in groups is because you could diffuse your responsibility if I'm running through the street alone with a baseball bat smashing through windows it's me and I know it's me if I'm with twenty other people it's not me anymore it's part of the group and I don't feel as bad responsibility becomes diffused one of the powers of a group then is it diminishes responsibility you could diminish responsibility in other ways another way of diminishing responsibility is you could accept orders it's not me I'm just an instrument of somebody else telling me what to do and yet another way of diminishing responsibility is anonymity here's a question in so many violent acts and so many people go to war what they do is they paint their faces or they put on masks why well there's anonymity from others if I'm wearing a mask as I do my terrible stuff nobody will know it's me but there's also a psychological liberating effect if I'm anonymous it's not me and I could do terrible things without feeling the same moral responsibility this analysis has explained why people don't always help others in need if there is a group responsibility to help decreases and this is captured in different ways but the main idea is we all think someone else will help so we don't there's a diffusion this just summarizes some studies some famous studies supporting this and the classic example which is discussed in detail in the textbook is the cat kitty Genovese case where somebody was murdered in the common law that apartment building surrounded while dozens of people watched dozens of good normal people watch and did nothing if there's some advice I've heard on this which is pretty good advice if you're ever in a predicament on a city street you know you have a heart attack you broke your leg you're being mugged and everything and there's this is based on the research screaming help is often not very successful because if I'm with ten people and there's somebody screaming help I look up to other nine people they're not doing anything they're looking at me I'm not doing anything we keep walking what is useful is point to somebody and say you in the green sweater call the police and the psychological evidence is if you if somebody's if I'm wearing the green sweater and somebody asked me to call this I will call the police I'm a good guy I wouldn't I wouldn't sit aside when somebody's being harmed on the other hand if somebody says somebody called the police well I've got things to do and so if you of responsibility explains both when we're willing to do terrible things and also when we're willing to help people who are in trouble denigration of others there's a lot of ways to make other people matter less so this is the flip side the way to do terrible things one way to do terrible things is to lose yourself as so you're not an individual anymore but another way to do terrible things is so that the person you're doing it to isn't an individual how do you do that well you have psychological distance or physical distance I'm more likely to kill you if you're very far away than if you're close I don't I could describe you and start to think about you not as a person and language can be used for this instead of people you can use terms like cargo instead of murder extermination humor is very powerful in denigrating and demoting people when you start laughing at somebody you think of them as less of a person and we'll get to that a little bit more when we talk about laughter you would take away their names one of the more interesting things in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is a very interesting right it says every person has a right to a name and you might think what a strange right but there's a cleverness to it when you take away somebody's name they matter less people have named people have distinct individual names that that that mark them as people and once you know somebody's name you're less likely to do bad things to them and another option which I'm interested in from the standpoint of my own research is you could see them as disgusting disgust is what Paul Rozan has called the body and soul emotion and we know certain things about disgust it is a human Universal it is a basic emotion with a characteristic facial expression remember Paul Ekman's work on the basic emotions and universals of emotional expression disgust is one of them and it is universally elicited by certain things like this list wherever you go feces urine blood vomit rotten flesh and most meat will be disgusting now if that was all we had to say about disgust it wouldn't affect morality very much but we know that people can be seen as disgusting in Charles Darwin actually who was an astute observer of human behavior tells a nice story that illustrates this how a native touch with his finger some cold preserved meat and plainly show disgusted a softness whilst I felt utter disgust in my food being touched by a naked savage those hands did not appear dirty people can be disgusting and if people are seen as disgusting they matter less the philosopher and legal scholar Martha Nussbaum nicely summarizes this thus throughout history certain disgust properties have repeatedly even honestly been associated with Jews women homosexuals Untouchables lower-class people all of those are imagined is tainted by the dirt of the body any I won't read this but this is a typical bit of Nazi propaganda any genocide a movement that has left behind a written record has been shown to use the mechanism of disgust to dehumanize people and make them easier to kill I'll skip that I want to end though on a positive note and a positive note our forces for good so forces for bad or our to lose yourself as an individual lose yourself in a crowd lose yourself because there's some Authority using you as an instrument lose yourself because you're anonymous plus treat others not as people as numbers as objects as disgusting things but there are some forces our good these include contact and interdependence with this often it what is can be viewed as as an extended version of Selfish Gene theory which is that to the extent you're interconnected with other people you care about the more for purely selfish reasons Robert Wright presented us in a very blunt way but I think his quote is quite moving one of the many reasons I don't want to bomb the Japanese is that they built my minivan and the idea is he has economic codependence these people they're a different group he might want to kill them under normal circumstances but the interdependence gives rise to a moral connection Thomas Friedman / bruit proposed the golden arches theory of human conflict which said that no two countries which each have a McDonald's will ever go to war because McDonald's forces global interdependence this was falsified in a NATO bombing of I think Serie A Voe but still his hearts in the right place the idea that interconnection makes you more likely to get along with other people more generally there's what's been called the contact hypothesis so interdependence is one thing but what's maybe more interesting is that simple contact with other people particularly if you're of equal status you have a common goal and you have social support makes you like people more there are now dozens probably hundreds of studies that show that people who would otherwise show animosity towards one another like blacks and whites United States like each other more if they're brought together and there's a lot of social psychology research as to the conditions which you have to bring them together the robbers cave study talked about before it's a nice example it was not easy to bring them together but when they had a common goal that brought them that that caused the interconnection and in the act led to moral feeling the military is a superb example the military United States was a situation which brought together people wouldn't otherwise have any contact and they liked each other there's been study after study showing that people in the military or otherwise for instance racist after working with people of different races like the more because you had all of the right ingredients you had they have to work together for a common goal the military supported bringing these people together and they were brought together on an equal and fair footing there's of course a lot of debate about universities like Yale to the extent which they promote interdependence sorry if they promote positive contact between groups and you can think of yourself as an exercise if these are the conditions for for for contact to what extent are they met in a university setting between say blacks and whites people from American South versus people from American North people from other countries versus people from the United States and I know there's debate on campus about the extent to which there's segregation within the Yale community and you could ask yourself to extend extend it at segregation and how that reflects what role that should play with regard to the contact hypothesis finally and this is the last thing I'll say if you take another's person perspective you'll care more about them this is the final force for good from a moral perspective JFK when making the plea for equal rights didn't produce an abstract philosophical argument but rather are try to invite his listeners who were white to engage in perspective-taking if an American because the skin is dark cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public and so and so and so on then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin change and stand in his place who among us would be content with the counsels of patience and and delay again Nussbaum goes on and talks about how in Greek dramas Greek dramas invited people to take the perspectives of those who they would never imaginably be or even be in contact with and argue that this gave led to an empathetic expansion I think one of the greatest circles for moral good is storytelling where you're invited to take the perspective of another and see the world as they do finally through our direct ways you can ask people and this is a way which we talk to our children when we try to get our children to expand their moral concern of compassion we say try to see it from their point of view how would you feel if then there's indirect ways you can for instance use the power of metaphor there could be familiar things that you are close to and you could bring in together new things as falling under rubric of these familiar things so if I wanted to cause you to feel moral concern for a fetus I would do well to describe it as a preborn child if I wanted you to care about an animal I would do well to describe it as if it were human if I wanted to think about all of you and get you and and establish more of a connection with you I would not describe you as you know unrelated strangers rather you were my brothers and my sisters and of course any political movement it tries to bring together people together just uses a family metaphor finally when Steven Spielberg tried to get us to to entertain the notion that computers and robots are sentient moral beings he did not show us one that looked like this he showed us one that looked like that okay the reading response for next week is a simple one I know I've been giving difficult reading responses this is simple you could write it up very short and that will be a passing grade if you just write up very short you could also write it up a bit long suppose the Milgram experiment unn and it was being done for the first time here what would you do what do you think everyone else would do okay I'll see you next week

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