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Moral judgement is partially inherited - ongoing study  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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At the Infant Cognition Center of Yale University, since the early 1990's a series of tests were conducted to evaluate a theory that infants have a predisposition to moral patterns of behavior. Due to the limited ability of testing, a statistical approach is used to identify any biases in the behavior of infants. During the years of the study, it was observed that upwards of 80 percent of infants showed preferential treatment towards helpful characters. Originally I had a very mild inclination to post this in the "intentional community / city repair / ecovillage" because of the studies close association with culture and community. The study only scratches at the theory of genetics defining a person's moral compass and though it does not describe to what degree, it does statistically prove that we are born with a certain predisposition. Ultimately, because of the notion that genetics has a role this lead me to reflect on principles of animal husbandry which also opens additional controversy by increasing speculation on the possibility of inherited predispositions from negative patterns of behavior found in parents (e.i. selfishness, criminality or other risk behaviors).

 
steward
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It adds weight to the theory that our moral compass has a biological and not spiritual source . Either that , or babies prefer yellow to blue .
 
Mother Tree
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This reminds me of the theory of Evolutionary Stable Strategies, as described by Dawkins in The Selfish Gene.

I can't remember all the details, but from what I remember populations where individuals who help each other by default, but stop offering help to an individual who abuses the system, thrive best.

In other words be nice, but don't be a walkover.


Here's a youtube video which covers some of the same ideas.



 
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