Let Me Introduce You To

Now that you’re acquainted with the metaphor of blogs are kitchens (related to the metaphor ideas are food [p.470], no doubt), let me continue to expand on that idea…

This website was set up for the Melbourne Moral Psychology Lab in the last month, but the lab itself has been around since last year. We’re a group of students and staff – find us all on the People Page! - who meet once a week to discuss research in moral psychology (and related fields). Some of us also have our own kitchens.

In this weird metaphorical-kitchen-world (though it perhaps normal for a blog), my kitchen has been around since last year; as long as the lab itself. It has never been attached to any living room webpage, though, which makes me think of it more as a picnic-basket, unpacked on a blanket in the middle of a field... where twitter , like a trail of ants, leads the way to the tastiest crumbs.

Of course, this post is not just a gratuitous link to my own writing. Admittedly, the things I tend to write about are PhD related readings and ponderings, but I have also been blogging semi-regularly about the MMPL meetings. Since these weekly posts will be happening here from now on – we’re moving a regular shared meal to a communal and more accessible space – I thought I'd provide you with a summary of the past posts. You can think of them as “leftovers” if you like, but the metaphor probably fails here.

The first paper we discussed at the MMPL meeting was about power. The catch-phrase was power doesn’t always corrupt – it depends on the individual’s moral identity. Moral identity also came up later when we were discussing the dark side of creativity – turns out that more creative people can also be more dishonest. I’m not sure what that says about the creative hypothetical and real moral scenarios that researchers come up with when investigating morality… You may also be interested to know that those who claim to be experts at moral reasoning are just as susceptible to order effects as the rest of us, when making moral judgments.

Other things under discussion have been the perceived objectivity of moral “truths”, the effect of disgust on moral judgments, and the influence of social class on prosocial behaviour. The full list of topics can be found here, but that really was a gratuitous link, since I haven’t been entirely consistent in my supposed-to-be-weekly-reviewing.

The meetings continue to be held every week, and we’ll continue to summarize the discussion online.

Bon appetit!

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