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The brain adapts to dishonesty : Nature Neuroscience : Nature Research

“Dishonesty is an integral part of our social world, influencing domains ranging from finance and politics to personal relationships. Anecdotally, digressions from a moral code are often described as a series of small breaches that grow over time. Here we provide empirical evidence for a gradual escalation of self-serving dishonesty and reveal a neural mechanism supporting it. Behaviorally, we show that the extent to which participants engage in self-serving dishonesty increases with repetition. Using functional MRI, we show that signal reduction in the amygdala is sensitive to the history of dishonest behavior, consistent with adaptation. Critically, the extent of reduced amygdala sensitivity to dishonesty on a present decision relative to the previous one predicts the magnitude of escalation of self-serving dishonesty on the next decision. The findings uncover a biological mechanism that supports a ‘slippery slope’: what begins as small acts of dishonesty can escalate into larger transgressions.”

Source: The brain adapts to dishonesty : Nature Neuroscience : Nature Research

 

This goes a very long way to explaining religious belief- and other sectarian ideologies for that matter.

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28 comments on “The brain adapts to dishonesty : Nature Neuroscience : Nature Research

  1. foolsmusings
    October 24, 2016

    Personally I think they’re lying. :p

    Liked by 4 people

  2. metan
    October 25, 2016

    What a missed opportunity in researching self-serving dishonesty. If only they could had measured the sensitivity of Trump’s amyglada before and after the campaigning…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. dpmonahan
    October 25, 2016

    Or as Thomas Aquinas would say, the human will can only chose evil if the intellect first presents it as a good. So in every evil act there is an act of dishonesty.
    The 21st century is catching up to the 13th!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hariod Brawn
      October 25, 2016

      That was before Benjamin Libet came along in the seventies and began to debunk the whole notion of Free Will. Aquinas had it arse about face – so it’s rumoured. 😮

      Like

      • No free will doesn’t mean we’re not rationalising our behaviours. In fact isn’t the rationalising ever more important precisely because we don’t have free will?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        October 25, 2016

        Perfectly true. We pretty much rationalise – on our own terms – all our significant moral decisions after the event, regardless of their moral shading. The genesis of the whole process is not the intellect, though. Remorse for moral transgressions, if it comes at all, tends to arrive pretty late in the day/lifetime.

        Like

      • Really? I have an almost permanent sense of guilt, though. Of not living up to the standard I’d hoped to achieve. That doesn’t feel late.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        October 25, 2016

        Because you’re such a terrible person it’s quite impossible to rationalise your ubiquitous evil-doing. 😮

        Seriously, you’re talking about something different, aren’t you? Holding an expectation of what you hope to achieve or become isn’t a moral action or decision.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not that different. It’s believing I don’t do enough, I don’t contribute enough. I’m not good like those people who volunteer in camps in Africa.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        October 25, 2016

        It sounded from implications in your recent post that you planned to do all manner of lovely and generous things for your eventual inheritors. And look what you’re doing right now in providing superb-yet-affordable housing locally! That’s exceptionally rare amongst the rentier class – unheard of actually. You’re a good man, Pink. A terrible boy, 😉 but a very good man. Everyone knows that.

        Like

      • But all of that is very easy, isn’t it? And I’m not a rentier. That’s a horrible term.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        October 25, 2016

        I didn’t say that you, specifically, were of the rentier class, ‘though I pointed to the existence of such a class, which is reasonable. Besides, I have no idea how the bulk of your income is derived. What is your objection to the term ‘rentier class’, anyway?

        Like

      • It implies a near total lack of contribution to the world (if I remember my Marx correctly.) Didn’t he divide the bourgeoisie as those who produced something and those who didn’t?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        October 25, 2016

        It seems the word ‘rentier’ is used, and at times derogatively, in respect to Landlordism per se, and Marx made a distinction between the rentier class who exhaust their unearned profits on personal consumption, and the capitalist class who must reinvest profits in order to survive competition. Current usage would appear to be that the ‘rentier class’ is synonymous with the ‘buy-to-let’ phenomenon of the past 25 years, and those who would seek to exploit it either for capital gain, or in income seeking. Personally, I think ‘landlord’ the far more pejorative term of the two. Are there any terms that positively affirm the practice? To be clear, I’m not making a moral judgement. We need a term for this phenomenon, but there only appear to be two in the English language.

        Like

      • The word used in French is simply “proprietaire”. That seems more neutral.

        Liked by 1 person

      • dpmonahan
        October 25, 2016

        Didn’t you read what the post said above? Science proves we choose self-deception. Are you a science denier? Why are you against science?

        Like

      • Hariod Brawn
        October 25, 2016

        What are you on about DP – science denier? I just referenced one of the great studies on Cognitive Science!

        Like

  4. davidprosser
    October 25, 2016

    Ah, also an explanation of how politicians can make promises with straight faces right before an election.
    Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Clare Flourish
    October 25, 2016

    It immediately made me think of Mrs Clinton’s public and private positions; you may also like http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/12/14/can-you-justify-these-lies/

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hariod Brawn
    October 25, 2016

    The problem neurophysics presents to law and justice: there’s no one there doing any free willing. So prosecute my amygdala, m’lud.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hariod Brawn
      October 30, 2016

      Pink, I’m having trouble with Akismet. Can you please retrieve and approve a couple of comments I’ve made this a.m. – they’re in your spam folder. This convinces Akismet that I’m not a spammer. A thousand thanks!

      Like

      • Just got the message from Esme. Comments unspammed and approved! What happened?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hariod Brawn
        October 30, 2016

        Thankyou so much Pink – I owe you a bottle of Brandy. Damned if I know what happened. I’m onto Akismet of course, but they haven’t been able to get me cleared in three bloody days! They say they’ve tweaked settings at their end, but I’m still going to spam. I think it may have something to do with a lengthy exchange I had with Tildeb over at Victoria Neuronotes, because directly after that I couldn’t get a single comment auto-approved anywhere in WordPress-land.

        As I understand it, then normally it’s when people mark you as spam (bastards!), or if you comment with loads of hyperlinks (I never do), or if you post tons of comments on multiple posts on one site in a short space of time (only bots can do that). Hey, thanks once again, because I’ve learned that if Akismet see you being un-spammed by site owners, then their software reassesses you. Bloody nuisance all this – I’ve been on it all day! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • So if I spent the day putting someone’s comments into the spam folder, then the following day taking them out- I’d control their whole commenting life!!!! Hmmmm, interesting 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hariod Brawn
        October 30, 2016

        You’re a wicked boy!

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on October 24, 2016 by in activism and tagged , , , .
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