'Morality pills' may be the US's best shot at ending the coronavirus pandemic, according to one ethicist

Rather than a vaccine to beef up your immune system, a psychoactive substance could boost your cooperative, pro-social behavior – curtailing the selfish actions that spur on coronavirus's spread.

Parker Crutchfield, Associate Professor of Medical Ethics, Humanities and Law, Western Michigan University • conversation
Aug. 10, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus emotion cooperation psilocybin social-distancing altruism oxytocin face-masks masks public-goods performance-enhancement cognitive-enhancement experimental-economics sociopath human-enhancements rules wearing-masks

Doing good for other people is contagious

When we see someone helping another person, it makes us more likely to do something helpful, too. The new research could apply to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UT Austin • futurity
May 20, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: altruism society-and-culture social-lives well-being

Do people become more selfless as they age?

Brain science suggests that seniors care more about the welfare of others than younger folks do.

Ulrich Mayr, Lewis Professor and Department Head of Psychology, University of Oregon • conversation
April 14, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: neuroscience psychology altruism volunteering giving generosity philanthropy-and-nonprofits philanthropy-and-nonprofit-research

Social distancing works – just ask lobsters, ants and vampire bats

Using distance to avoid getting sick has deep evolutionary roots for humans and many other species.

Julia Buck, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington • conversation
April 3, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  evolution  covid-19  mice  colonies  animals  social-distancing  isolation  coronavirus-2020  altruism  bats  animal-behavior  ants  contagion  monkeys

Americans disagree on how risky the coronavirus is, but most are changing their behavior anyway

Using a survey taken from March 10 – March 16, social scientists tried to untangle the complicated connection between feelings of vulnerability and behavior change in response to the coronavirus.

Daniel Bennett, Assistant Professor (Research) of Economics, University of Southern California • conversation
March 26, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  covid-19  coronavirus  risk  social-psychology  communication  altruism  surveys  human-behavior

Coronavirus pandemic is a disaster for the world, but a few good things might emerge from it

We might recover our sense of being part of society.

Charles Foster, Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford • conversation
March 18, 2020 ~5 min

Tags:  covid-19  coronavirus  altruism

Even hungry babies are willing to share

When do we learn altruism? Maybe as early as infancy, according to new research that shows 19-month-old babies will share a tasty snack with a stranger.

Kim Eckart-Washington • futurity
Feb. 4, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: food altruism babies science-and-technology society-and-culture social-lives sharing

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