160: Moral Outrage in the Digital Age
Published April 4, 2019
53 min
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    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
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