Category Archives: Society

Ethical liars

(featured image: Will Temple/Flickr CC BY 2.0) Our morality is not quite so black-and-white as we sometimes like to believe One of my earliest memories, I must have been four or five, is when my mother, to her embarrassment, forgot … Continue reading

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Like me

(featured image: Goran Has/Flickr CC BY 2.0) Is it irrational to favour people with whom you have something important in common? Imagine the prime minister of your country is not someone you naturally align with: in fact, you’d rather see … Continue reading

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A right to entitlement

(featured image: jEd dC/Flickr CC BY NC ND 2.0) We often assume we are entitled to something, but that is literally only half of the story Years ago, my (British) colleagues and I had what we thought was a brilliant … Continue reading

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Good people… but not that good

(featured image: User18526052 via Freepik) The good news is that we are prosocial; in other news, it comes with strings and conditions attached Take a look around you. Unless you’re in the middle of a nature reserve, miles from human … Continue reading

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The asymmetrical price of friendship

(featured image: geralt via Pixabay) If you buy something from a friend, you might ask them for a discount – but if you are selling them something, would you ask them for a higher price? Humans are social animals. Our … Continue reading

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The difference (or why utilitarians have a harder time)

(featured image via the author) What difference does our ethics framework make to anything, and what difference can we ourselves make to anything? It was already past dinner time on this warm late spring day, but my friend and I … Continue reading

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So, are we then really not all economists?

(featured image: Arek Socha via pixabay) Economics is part and parcel of most human interaction, but does that mean we understand it? My very first post hereabouts carried the somewhat bold title, “We are all economists”. Even if we know … Continue reading

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When time is not money

(Featured image: Mona Tootoonchinia via Pixabay) Time is money, it is often said, but that doesn’t mean “no time” is equivalent to “no money” We are social beings, but we are also economists: we interact with others in various social … Continue reading

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The bitterness of doing nothing

When we should really challenge our own, and other people’s omission bias Biases (cognitive and behavioural tendencies) and heuristics (mental shortcuts) are often associated with bad decisions, but it is worth bearing in mind their evolutionary origins before we label … Continue reading

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Everything is unfair

(featured image: EliasSch via Pixabay) Ethical concerns are an important factor in policymaking, and fairness often figures prominently in this respect. But are we really using it in the way we do? In last week’s post, I referred to the … Continue reading

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