Today it’s a pleasure to have Molly Crockett on the podcast. Dr. Crockett is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University and a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics. Prior to joining Yale, Dr Crockett was a faculty member at the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology and a Fellow of Jesus College. She holds a BSc in Neuroscience from UCLA and a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cambridge, and completed a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship with economists and neuroscientists at the University of Zürich and University College London.
In this episode we discuss:
- The discrepancy between outrage in real life vs. online outrage
- Cultural evolution and the selection and amplification of online content
- How basic reinforcement learning principles drive the design of online systems to maximize the amount of time we spend on the platforms
- Is the “habitual online shamer” addicted to outrage?
- Habitual behavior vs. addiction
- Is “outrage fatigue” happening en masse?
- Should we be thinking about rationing our outrage (reserving it for issues we find most important)?
- The costs and benefits of outrage
- Why people punish and the discrepancy between the actual reasons why we punish (inferred from behavior) vs. self-reported motives
- The difficulty doing science on topics that are incredibly heated in public social discourse
- The intractably intertwined nature of science and social justice
- What technologies might be doing to the way that young people construe the social world
- The human capacity for forgiveness
- Twitter Q & A