Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Just Individual - III_a

I have previously argued that 'innate' morality might not be true. The mechanism for morality involves series of steps. A new study has come to similar conclusions that babies may not have innate morality.

From Science Daily
New research from New Zealand's University of Otago is casting doubt on a landmark US study that suggested infants as young as six months old possess an innate moral compass that allows them to evaluate individuals as 'good' or 'bad'.

The 2007 study by Yale University researchers provided the first evidence that 6- and 10-month-old infants could assess individuals based on their behaviour towards others, showing a preference for those who helped rather than hindered another individual.

Based on a series of experiments, researchers in the Department of Psychology at Otago have shown that the earlier findings may simply be the result of infants' preferences for interesting and attention grabbing events, rather than an ability to evaluate individuals based on their social interactions with others.
According to the researchers this morality can be explained by simple association hypothesis. The mechanism to invoke 'self pity' is also similar. In the case of preferred event, there would be self pity against the hinderer and in the case of non-preferred event no mechanism.