Weekly Roundup 10-28-12

School: College speech codes squash free speech and open debate. A 2010 study found “that only 35.6 percent of the students — and only 18.5 percent of the faculty and staff — strongly agreed that it was “safe to hold unpopular positions on campus.””

Psychology: Humans tend to be cooperative, even though a major weakness of a cooperative social system is that some people will try to cheat and exploit it. As a result, social guidelines have evolved to punish the freeloaders among us. “Reputational signals” such as gossip are used across cultures to “name and shame” cheaters, thus establishing moral codes.

Scholarship: New research suggests that children have a more advanced sense of morality than previously thought. Whereas Piaget believed young children only looked at outcomes to determine whether an action was “good” or “bad,” a recent study finds they actually take into account intentions as well.


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