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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Possible neurobiological basis for tradeoff between honesty, self-interest

By Ashley Wenners Herron
ScienceDirect
Originally published September 4, 2014

Summary:

What's the price on your integrity? Tell the truth; everyone has a tipping point. We all want to be honest, but at some point, we'll lie if the benefit is great enough. Now, scientists have confirmed the area of the brain in which we make that decision, using advanced imaging techniques to study how the brain makes choices about honesty.

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The study sheds light on the neuroscientific basis and broader nature of honesty. Moral philosophers and cognitive psychologists have had longstanding, contrasting hypotheses about the mechanisms governing the tradeoff between honesty and self-interest.

The "Grace" hypothesis, suggests that people are innately honest and have to control honest impulses if they want to profit. The "Will" hypothesis holds that self-interest is our automatic response.

The entire article is here.