Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

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

Friday, February 28, 2014

Technical Problems and Apology

The host for Ethics and Psychology, Enom.com, has been experiencing technical problems throughout the day.

This is the first time in almost three years that this site has had such extensive hosting difficulties.

I apologize to those who have struggled to access Ethics and Psychology since early this morning. Accessing the site has been spotty at best, especially for Comcast customers.

I appreciate the email feedback regarding these problems.

Ethics and Psychology typically has between 500 and 700 page views per day.  Today's number is well below this average.

My hope is that readers, followers, and users will continue to visit Ethics and Psychology in spite of this technical glitch.  Enom.com assures me that they are working diligently to resolve the issues completely.

Again, my sincerest apologies.

John Gavazzi

Broadening Bioethics: Clinical Ethics, Public Health and Global Health

By Onora O'Neill
Nuffield Council on Bioethics

Medical ethics is the most discussed field of bioethics, and has been mainly concerned with clinical ethics.  It has often marginalized ethical questions about public health.  A focus on the treatment of individuals has highlighted patient choice and informed consent.  It can be widened to discuss the just distribution of health care, but is useless for considering many other interventions and policies that matter for public health.  Many public health interventions are non-distributable goods, so cannot be allocated to individuals or subjected to individual choice requirements.  In marginalizing public health, work in medical ethics also often marginalized questions about global health issues, where public health interventions matter hugely, and entrenched a deep separation of medical from environmental ethics.

Work that takes public and global health seriously needs to be anchored in political philosophy, to look beyond informed consent and individual choice, and to ask which interventions are permissible without the consent of those who they may affect, and which are not.  Public health encompasses more than health 'promotion' and 'nudges' - and these too require justification - and even clinical interventions that are directed to individuals presuppose standards, technologies, and structures that cannot be matters of choice.

The entire article is here.

The Ethics of an Ordinary Doctor

William T. Branch Jr.
Article first published online: 9 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/hast.250

Here is an excerpt:

Bioethicists have proposed that an emphasis on autonomy and justice constitutes the important turn in contemporary medical ethics. As an ordinary doctor involved in the care of sick patients, I experienced a different turn: the shift from scientific hubris toward more compassionate care.

The future will likely bring an emphasis on limiting the costs of health care, related in ethics to distributive justice. But what do we learn about justice from being at the patient's bedside? We will not learn to abandon being our individual patients’ advocates. As in the case above, we witness their suffering. We participate. Our responsibility is to care for them.

The entire article is here.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Did God Make These Babies Moral?

By Paul Bloom
New Republic
Originally posted January 13, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

As someone who studies morality, I hear this argument a lot. People can be selfish and amoral and appallingly cruel, but we are also capable of transcendent kindness, of great sacrifice and deep moral insight. Isn’t this evidence for God? This version of “intelligent design” is convincing to many people—including scientists who are otherwise unsympathetic to creationism—and it’s worth taking seriously. Like other intelligent design arguments, it doesn’t work, but its failure is an interesting one, touching on findings about evolution, moral psychology, and the minds of babies and young children.

For most of human history, it was easy enough to believe in a loving and all-powerful God. The natural world appears to teem with careful and complex design, and, as scholars from Cicero to Paley have argued, design implies a designer. This is a powerful argument: The evolutionary theorist and well-known atheist Richard Dawkins notes at the start of The Blind Watchmaker that he would certainly have been a believer before 1859—any observant and intellectual person would have to be. But Darwin changed everything, as he proposed a mechanistic account of where this complexity could come from. The theory of natural selection has been supported by abundant evidence from paleontology, genetics, physiology, and other fields of science, and denying it now is as intellectually disgraceful as denying that the Earth orbits the Sun.

The entire article is here.

Does NIH Head Francis Collins Believe in Intelligent Design?

By Eric Reitan
Religious Dispatches
Originally published February 4, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

The implications of Bloom’s essay go beyond critiquing a specific argument for God. Collins—a devout evangelical Christian and a prominent geneticist who headed up the human genome project—is viewed by many as a kind of poster child for the thesis that you really can be a top-notch scientist and a person of faith. Collins has done more than just about anyone to bring the case for accepting evolutionary theory to a skeptical evangelical community and has argued rigorously for the compatibility of science and faith.

In addition to that he’s been a strong critic of Intelligent Design, consistently urging his evangelical brothers and sisters not to hitch their faith to the fortunes of an approach that rests the credibility of theism on the supposed inadequacies of reputable science.

The entire article is here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Digital and Social Media for Psychologist: Current Issues and Ethical Dilemmas

By Keely Kolmes, PsyD

Psychologists, whether they are in independent practice, working in an agency setting, or are teaching and supervision, are struggling more and more with issues related to their own, their trainees', and their clients' online access and availability.  Zur and Donner (2009) wrote about the accessibility of online information.  the compared unintentional vs. intentional disclosures clinicians may make during the psychotherapy hour and then compared these with the unintentional disclosures that psychotherapists might make available on the Internet when clients seek out information about providers.  They noted that the motivations could range from mild curiosity to criminal stalking, and they encouraged clinicians to maintain awareness of what information is made available about them.

The entire article is here.

Theory of Mind: Did Evolution Fool Us?

By Marie Devaine, Guillaume Hollard, and Jean Daunizeau
PLOS One
Published: February 05, 2014 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087619

Abstract

Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to attribute mental states (e.g., beliefs and desires) to other people in order to understand and predict their behaviour. If others are rewarded to compete or cooperate with you, then what they will do depends upon what they believe about you. This is the reason why social interaction induces recursive ToM, of the sort “I think that you think that I think, etc.”. Critically, recursion is the common notion behind the definition of sophistication of human language, strategic thinking in games, and, arguably, ToM. Although sophisticated ToM is believed to have high adaptive fitness, broad experimental evidence from behavioural economics, experimental psychology and linguistics point towards limited recursivity in representing other’s beliefs. In this work, we test whether such apparent limitation may not in fact be proven to be adaptive, i.e. optimal in an evolutionary sense. First, we propose a meta-Bayesian approach that can predict the behaviour of ToM sophistication phenotypes who engage in social interactions. Second, we measure their adaptive fitness using evolutionary game theory. Our main contribution is to show that one does not have to appeal to biological costs to explain our limited ToM sophistication. In fact, the evolutionary cost/benefit ratio of ToM sophistication is non trivial. This is partly because an informational cost prevents highly sophisticated ToM phenotypes to fully exploit less sophisticated ones (in a competitive context). In addition, cooperation surprisingly favours lower levels of ToM sophistication. Taken together, these quantitative corollaries of the “social Bayesian brain” hypothesis provide an evolutionary account for both the limitation of ToM sophistication in humans as well as the persistence of low ToM sophistication levels.

The entire article is here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mental Health: Parity Yes, Providers No

By Ben Hartman
Contributing Writer, MedPage Today
Originally published February 7, 2014

Demand -- for both facilities and providers -- has long outpaced supply in the field of mental health, but recent moves to increase funding for mental health services combined with innovative delivery systems may reverse that trend.

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But money is not the only issue: many PCPs lack the needed psychiatric training, according to Jaseu Han, MD, residency director of the combined family medicine/psychiatry program at the University of California Davis Health System.

"There has to be a behavioral component to all residencies. There is a ton of talk about the value of patient-physician interactions, but the residents are not receiving psychiatric training. If you look at internal medicine, Ob/Gyn, pediatrics, and family medicine, they don't get anything. There is no requirement during residency to get any mental health experience."

The entire story is here.

Editorial note: This article points out another reason psychologists with advanced training and supervision in psychopharmacology can bridge the gap as prescribing psychologists.

Please listen the Psychologists and Prescriptive Authority: Where are we now? podcast

The N-Word "Double Standard"

Monday, February 24, 2014

Would You Lie for Me?

By Vanessa K. Bohns
The New York Times Sunday Review
Originally published February 7, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Countless studies have subsequently shown that we find it similarly difficult to resist social pressure from peers, friends and colleagues. Our decisions regarding everything from whether to turn the lights off when we leave a room to whether to call in sick to take a day off from work are affected by the actions and opinions of our neighbors and colleagues.

But what about those times when we are the ones trying to get someone to act unethically? Do we realize how much power we wield with a simple request, suggestion or dare? New research by my students and me suggests that we don’t.

The entire article is here.

The research article is here.

Abstract

We examined the psychology of “instigators,” people who surround an unethical act and influence the wrongdoer (the “actor”) without directly committing the act themselves. In four studies, we found that instigators of unethical acts underestimated their influence over actors. In Studies 1 and 2, university students enlisted other students to commit a “white lie” (Study 1) or commit a small act of vandalism (Study 2) after making predictions about how easy it would be to get their fellow students to do so. In Studies 3 and 4, online samples of participants responded to hypothetical vignettes, for example, about buying children alcohol and taking office supplies home for personal use. In all four studies, instigators failed to recognize the social pressure they levied on actors through simple unethical suggestions, that is, the discomfort actors would experience by making a decision that was inconsistent with the instigator’s suggestion.

Medical Start-up Invited Millions Of Patients To Write Reviews They May Not Realize Are Public

By Kashmir Hill
Forbes
Originally posted October 21, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Much like a Facebook policy change, it seems that doctors and patients wound up having data exposed or used in a way they didn’t expect. But this is a much more serious case in that it involves sensitive health conditions. Medical privacy laws spell out explicitly what health providers and their “business associates,” a.k.a. vendors, are allowed to do with patient information. While Practice Fusion says contacting patients for reviews is a service done on behalf of doctors — as is required by HIPAA — the cynical take is that they used their access to patient records for business purposes — to build a review site to compete with ZocDoc and Yelp.

Deven McGraw, a medical privacy law expert at the Center for Democracy and Technology, was also troubled by the messaging. “Anything they want to do with patient data, they’re supposed to do on behalf of the doctor. It’s not a license or invitation to take the data you get and use it for your own business purposes,” she says.

The entire story is here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Can We Resolve Quantum Paradoxes by Stepping Out of Space and Time?

By George Musser
Scientific American Blog
Originally posted June 21, 2013

Here is an excerpt:

As is evident from von Baeyer’s article, quantum theory truly challenges us to think outside the box—and, in this case, I submit that the box is spacetime itself. If this seems farfetched, consider the eloquent point made by physicist and philosopher Ernan McMullin:

“Imaginability must not be made the test for ontology. The realist claim is that the scientist is discovering the structures of the world; it is not required in addition that these structures be imaginable in the categories of the macroworld.”

Only if we face the strange non-classical features of the physical world head-on can we have a physical, non-observer-dependent account of our reality that solves longstanding puzzles such as the problem of Schrödinger’s Cat.

The entire blog post is here.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Moral Foundations Theory: The Pragmatic Validity of Moral Pluralism

By Jesse Graham, Jonathan Haidt, S. Koleva, M. Motyl,  R. Iyera, S. P. Wojcikd, & P. H. Ditto
in press, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology

Abstract: 

Where does morality come from? Why are moral judgments often so similar across cultures, yet sometimes so variable? Is morality one thing, or many? Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) was created to answer these questions. In this chapter we describe the origins, assumptions, and current conceptualization of the theory, and detail the empirical findings that MFT has made possible, both within social psychology and beyond. Looking toward the future, we embrace several critiques of the theory, and specify five criteria for determining what should be considered a foundation of human morality. Finally, we suggest a variety of future directions for MFT and for moral psychology. 

Here is an excerpt:

But what if, in some cultures, even the most advanced moral thinkers value groups, institutions, traditions, and gods? What should we say about local rules for how to be a good group member, or how to worship? If these rules are not closely linked to concerns about justice or care, then should we distinguish them from true moral rules, as Turiel did when he labeled such rules as “social conventions?” Shweder (1990) argued that the cognitive-developmental tradition was studying only a subset of moral concerns, the ones that are most highly elaborated in secular Western societies. Shweder argued for a much more extensive form of pluralism based on his research in Bhubaneswar, India (Shweder, Much, Mahapatra, & Park, 1997). He proposed that around the world, people talk in one or more of three moral languages: the ethic of autonomy (relying on concepts such as harm, rights, and justice, which protect autonomous individuals), the ethic of community (relying on concepts such as duty, respect, and loyalty, which preserve institutions and social order), and the ethic of divinity (relying on concepts such as purity, sanctity, and sin, which protect the divinity inherent in each person against the degradation of hedonistic selfishness.) 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Science Faction: Why Most Scientific Research Results are Wrong

Bloggingheads.tv
John Horgan and George Johnson discuss issues related to science

Why most scientific research results are wrong?

Is competition making fudged data more likely?

Science is not a triumphal march

Can academic publishing be reformed?

Essential and inessential skills for young science writers

The Big Bang and the case against falsifiability


HIPAA data breaches climb 138 percent

By Erin McCann
Healthcareitnews.com
Originally posted February 6, 2014

When talking HIPAA privacy and security, the numbers do most of the talking.

Take 29.3 million, for instance, the number of patient health records compromised in a HIPAA data breach since 2009, or 138 percent, the percent jump in the number of health records breached just from 2012.

These numbers, compiled in a February 2014 breach report by healthcare IT security firm Redspin, though, don't tell the whole story, as these are numbers reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by HIPAA covered entities.

The entire article is here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Political Unrest and Conflict in the Ukraine

Ukrainian readers are the second most frequent international visitors to Ethics and Psychology.

Here is how American television is covering this tragedy.



Our hopes for a nonviolent solution to the political turmoil.

(Un)Ethical Behavior in Organizations

Linda Klebe Treviño, Niki A. den Nieuwenboer, and Jennifer J. Kish-Gephart
Annual Review of Psychology
Vol. 65: 635-660 (Volume publication date January 2014)
First published online as a Review in Advance on July 3, 2013
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143745

Abstract

This review spotlights research related to ethical and unethical behavior in organizations. It builds on previous reviews and meta-analyses of the literature on (un)ethical behavior in organizations and discusses recent advances in the field. The review emphasizes how this research speaks to the influence of the organizational context on (un)ethical behavior, proceeding from a more macro to a more micro view on (un)ethical behavior and covering ethical infrastructures, interpersonal influences, individual differences, and cognitive and affective processes. The conclusion highlights opportunities for future research.

Introduction

Starting in the 1980s, the systematic study of (un)ethical behavior in organizations—often referred to as behavioral ethics in organizations or as organizational ethics (Treviño et al. 2006)—began to take shape. Over the years, a series of ethical debacles has only increased the salience of this area of study for practitioners and researchers alike. Indeed, as a testament to the growing interest among researchers, a number of literature reviews have appeared in recent years—including several qualitative reviews (O'Fallon & Butterfield 2005, Tenbrunsel & Smith-Crowe 2008, Treviño et al. 2006), a meta-analysis of research on the sources of unethical choice in organizations (Kish-Gephart et al. 2010), a meta-analysis of the ethical climate literature (Martin & Cullen 2006), and a meta-analysis of the whistleblowing literature (Mesmer-Magnus & Viswesvaran 2005). The meta-analytic reviews, in particular, represent a major advance, showing that enough research has been conducted for investigators to undertake such statistical reviews.

The entire article is here, behind the paywall.

The DSM-5: A Vehicle For High-Profit Patent Extensions?

Gregg Fields & Lisa Cosgrove | Labcast
Harvard University SoundCloud Podcast

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders affects drugs with sales in the billions of dollars. In research supported by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Lisa Cosgrove of UMass-Boston investigated financial ties between DSM panel members and the pharmaceutical companies that have a vested interest in finding new indications for their blockbuster drugs. In this podcast, she tells journalist Gregg Fields what she found, what it means—and why we all should care.

"Tripartite Conflicts of Interest and High Stakes Patent Extensions in the DSM-5," Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Are you a Moral Sentimentalist?

Moral Sentimentalism
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
First published Wed Jan 29, 2014

For moral sentimentalists, our emotions and desires play a leading role in the anatomy of morality. Some believe moral thoughts are fundamentally sentimental, others that moral facts make essential reference to our sentimental responses, or that emotions are the primary source of moral knowledge. Some believe all these things. The two main attractions of sentimentalism are making sense of the practical aspects of morality, on the one hand, and finding a place for morality within a naturalistic worldview, on the other. The corresponding challenges are accounting for the apparent objectivity and normativity of morality. Recent psychological theories emphasizing the centrality of emotion in moral thinking have prompted renewed interest in sentimentalist ethics.

The entire page is here.

Editor's note: Reading a great deal of philosophy recently, it seems like many psychologists would embrace this approach to morality (and perhaps free will).

So, ethics educators may want to add Moral Sentimentalism to the other, regularly taught philosophical foundations, including deontological, utilitarian, and virtue ethics.

Ethics Questions Arise as Genetic Testing of Embryos Increases

By GINA Kolata
The New York Times
Originally posted February 3, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Genetic testing of embryos has been around for more than a decade, but its use has soared in recent years as methods have improved and more disease-causing genes have been discovered. The in vitro fertilization and testing are expensive — typically about $20,000 — but they make it possible for couples to ensure that their children will not inherit a faulty gene and to avoid the difficult choice of whether to abort a pregnancy if testing of a fetus detects a genetic problem.

But the procedure also raises unsettling ethical questions that trouble advocates for the disabled and have left some doctors struggling with what they should tell their patients.

The entire story is here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Suicide and the 'Impure' Soul

New research says moral bias against suicide often comes from disgust over a tainted soul.

By Matthew Hutson
The Atlantic
Originally published January 9, 2014

Around the world, about one million people die of suicide each year, according to the World Health Organization. Each death causes immeasurable harm: Friends, family members, and coworkers suffer loss, guilt, and confusion, and the immediate victim loses a future. Many of those friends and family members consider suicide to be morally wrong. But new evidence shows that people who consider suicide wrong might have other reasons than the harm it brings. There is a more abstract—and at the same time more visceral—consideration at play.

(cut)

The notion that suicide is wrong because it taints the soul might sound foreign to atheists. But even when only non-religious liberals were considered (those who rated themselves below the midpoint on religious belief and political conservatism), the wrongness of the suicides was still predicted by ratings of purity and not by ratings of harm. According to Rottman, the pattern holds even among people who gave themselves the lowest possible rating on religiosity (1 of 7). Concern about the soul’s purity is not just for church-goers.

The entire article is here.

Ten Things I Learned About Me

And maybe about you, too, while writing a book about the self.

By Jennifer Ouellette
Slate
Originally published January 30, 2014

Here are some excerpts:

But while I might not have found the Ultimate Answer to the source of the self, it proved to be an exciting journey and I learned some fascinating things along the way.

1. Genes are deterministic but they are not destiny. Except for earwax consistency. My earwax is my destiny. We tend to think of our genome as following a “one gene for one trait” model, but the real story is far more complicated. 

(cut)

2. It’s nature and nurture, not one or the other, ....

(cut)

3. My brain scan—courtesy of neuroscientist David Eagleman’s lab—told me nothing about who I am, but it did confirm that I have very clear sinuses.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Episode 2: Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists - Where are we now?

Bob McGrath
In this episode, John speaks with Robert McGrath, Ph.D.  Bob is a psychologist and Director of the Masters in Science Program in Clinical Psychopharmacology at Fairleigh Dickinson in New Jersey.  He is a tireless advocate of RxP for psychologists.  John and Bob discuss the prescriptive authority movement as well as the benefits of a prescribing psychologists. Training issues, legislative advocacy, and the two states that granted psychologists prescriptive authority will be addressed.

At the end of the podcast, the listener will be able to:


1. Describe two reasons why psychologists are seeking prescriptive authority;

2. Explain two benefits for patients who work with a prescribing psychologist; and,
3. Name two states that permit appropriately trained psychologists to prescribe  
      medication.

Click here to purchase 1 APA-approved Continuing Education credit

Find this podcast in iTunes


Or listen directly on this page


 


Resources


Fairleigh Dickinson Masters Degree in Psychopharmacology


Contact Bob McGrath via email

Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists: Issues and Considerations
Lynn Merrick, Legislative Reference Bureau, State Capitol, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists
Bob McGrath

APA Resources


Designation Criteria for Education and Training Programs in Preparation for Prescriptive 

Authority (2009)

Division 55 Home Page - American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy


Model Legislation


Prescriptive Authority Page


Sunday, February 16, 2014

The wealth gap and inequality can and should be fixed

In his column dated 27 January, Johann Redelinghuys argues that economic inequality is part of the natural order of things, and that attempts to fix it are, essentially, a waste of time and resources. He is wrong on every level: morally, practically and factually.

By Marelise van der Merwe
Daily Maverick
Originally published January 29, 2014

Let’s take the factual level first. In essence, Redelinghuys argues that “individual differences and inequality are clearly established elements in the natural order of things” and that they are “the predictable outcomes of the capitalist economic system which most of the world now subscribes to”. Crucially, he mentions neither the degree of inequality nor the way that it got there, which I would argue is central to the discussion. Certainly, a degree of difference is arguably natural; but glaring or crippling inequality, especially if it got there by unnatural means, is not.

I’m not attacking capitalism. I have no interest in a socialism-vs.-capitalism standoff, which I believe to be unnecessary, since unlike Redelinghuys, I don’t believe gross inequality to be an inevitable or “predictable outcome” of the capitalist system. I believe it is possible to be both capitalists and decent human beings. 

The Workplace and Social Networking - Got Boundaries?

By Kate Anthony
Online Institute
Originally published January 23, 2014

Negotiating the boundaries between our professional and personal lives is increasingly a part of our work as therapists. If you use social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn you are probably aware of the sometimes inappropriate statuses or updates people post.  Even if you are not a user of them, you will likely have seen the media reports about an staff’s Facebooks posts made while off sick coming back to haunt them, or ill-advised crude tweets resulting in an employee instantly losing their job despite having deleted it within 14 seconds of posting (see example here).

The entire article is here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Paul Russell on Free Will and Responsibility

Many philosophical theories try to evade the uncomfortable truth that luck and fate play a role in the conduct of our moral lives, argues philosopher Paul Russell. He chooses the best books on free will and responsibility.

Fivebooks.com
Interview by Nigel Warburton
Originally published December 3, 2013

Here is an excerpt:

Q: Most people feel, to some degree, in control of how they behave. There may be moments when they become irrational and other forces take over,  or where outside people force them to do things, but if I want to raise my hand or say “Stop!” those things seem to be easily within my conscious control. We also feel very strongly that people, including ourselves, merit praise and blame for the actions they perform because it’s us that’s performing them. It’s not someone else doing those things. And if we do something wrong, knowingly, it’s right to blame us for that.

A: That’s right. The common sense view — although we may articulate it in different ways in different cultures — is that there is some relevant sense in which we are in control and we are morally accountable. What makes philosophy interesting is that sceptical arguments can be put forward that appear to undermine or discredit our confidence in this common sense position. One famous version of this difficulty has theological roots. If, as everyone once assumed, there is a God, who creates the world and has the power to decide all that happens in it, then our common sense view of ourselves as free agents seems to be threatened, since God controls and guides everything that happens – including all our actions. Similar or related problems seem to arise with modern science.

The entire interview is here.

ICD-10 and DSM-5: The Reality

Are You Ready For Two Code Sets on October 1?

By Lisette Wright
Behavioral HealthCare
Originally published January 29, 2014

The ICD-10 transition is proving to be a formidable challenge in the healthcare industry for everyone involved. Provider organizations need to train their clinical staff, worry about revenue cycle disruption,  and conduct internal and external testing with all parties. Third-party vendors such as Electronic Health Record companies are also struggling to keep up, with Meaningful Use Stage 2, 2014 Certification, and the ICD-10 transition. Fortunately, there are many trainings available to help you understand the what the ICD-10 transition involves. Unfortunately, most of these trainings are medically-focused, not given by those in the mental health or substance use industry, and they do not really explain how the DSM-5 fits into this transition.

The entire article is here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Better than ever? Employee reactions to ethical failures in organizations, and the ethical recovery paradox

By Marshall Schminke, James Caldwell, Maureen L. Ambrose, Sean R. McMahon
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume 123, Issue 2, March 2014, Pages 206–219

Abstract

This research examines organizational attempts to recover internally from ethical failures witnessed by employees. Drawing on research on service failure recovery, relationship repair, and behavioral ethics, we investigate how witnessing unethical acts in an organization impacts employees and their relationship with their organization. In two studies—one in the lab and one in the field—we examine the extent to which it is possible for organizations to recover fully from these ethical lapses. Results reveal an ethical recovery paradox, in which exemplary organizational efforts to recover internally from ethical failure may enhance employee perceptions of the organization to a more positive level than if no ethical failure had occurred.

The entire article is here, behind a paywall.

On the problem of consciousness and the nature of philosophy

An interview with David Chalmers
By Jørgen Dyrstad and Tomas Midttun Tobiassen
Filosofisk Supplement
Originally published January 19, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Q: Now that we have some background, could you expand on the basic argument in The Conscious Mind that made it go against much of the orthodoxy at that time?

A: The first half of the book sets out, broadly speaking, negative arguments against certain kinds of reductionist explanations of consciousness and against materialist metaphysics of consciousness. The second half of the book puts forward its own positive program in terms of seeing consciousness as fundamental properties. Studying consciousness then becomes trying to find fundamental laws involving consciousness. My impression is that the first half of the book has ended up getting more of the attention. People are particularly interested in the negative program. The basic idea there is that purely physical explanations of consciousness are not going to work.

There are several different arguments there and maybe the one that got the most attention was the conceivability argument: You could conceive of any physical process you like in the absence of consciousness. Therefore there’s a gap in reductive explanations of consciousness.

I also made arguments connecting conceivability and possibility. There are two different points related to this connection: epistemological arguments against reductive explanations of consciousness and metaphysical arguments against a materialistic metaphysics, or reduction of consciousness. These two points are quite closely linked. The first one is in the third chapter of the book and the second is in the fourth. Perhaps the connection between them was the central point of the first half of the book, although early on in the book I also spent quite a lot of work trying to clarify the relevant notions of consciousness and the different problems that they pose. I also extensively discussed the relevant issues about explanation, possibility, meaning, and so on, which was important background for the argument against materialism.

The entire interview is here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Managing Risk When Contemplating Multiple Relationships

By Jeffrey Younggren and Michael C. Gottlieb
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 35(3), Jun 2004, 255-260.

Abstract

Entering into dual relationships with psychotherapy patients has been a topic of significant controversy in professional psychology. Although these types of extratherapeutic alliances have generally been considered to be unethical conduct, some authors recently have supported their development as both ethical and, in some cases, even therapeutic (A. Lazarus & O. Zur, 2002). In this article, the authors briefly review the general literature regarding dual relationships and offer the reader guidelines in applying an ethically based, risk-managed, decision-making model that could be helpful when a practitioner is considering entering into such relationships or when such relationships inadvertently develop.

The entire article is here, behind a paywall.

The authors ask many great questions from a risk management perspective.

Suicide risk reduced for all students by gay-straight alliances in schools

By Medical News Today
Originally published January 23, 2014

Canadian schools with explicit anti-homophobia interventions such as gay-straight alliances (GSAs) may reduce the odds of suicidal thoughts and attempts among both sexual minority and straight students, according to a new study by University of British Columbia researchers.

Gay-straight alliances are student-led clubs that aim to make the school community a safer place for all students regardless of their sexual orientation. Their members include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their straight allies.

The entire story is here.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Environmental Psychology Matters

Annual Review of Psychology
Vol. 65: 541-579 (Volume publication date January 2014)
First published online as a Review in Advance on September 11, 2013
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115048

Abstract

Environmental psychology examines transactions between individuals and their built and natural environments. This includes investigating behaviors that inhibit or foster sustainable, climate-healthy, and nature-enhancing choices, the antecedents and correlates of those behaviors, and interventions to increase proenvironmental behavior. It also includes transactions in which nature provides restoration or inflicts stress, and transactions that are more mutual, such as the development of place attachment and identity and the impacts on and from important physical settings such as home, workplaces, schools, and public spaces. As people spend more time in virtual environments, online transactions are coming under increasing research attention. Every aspect of human existence occurs in one environment or another, and the transactions with and within them have important consequences both for people and their natural and built worlds. Environmental psychology matters.

The entire review article is here.

Don’t be fooled, values are inescapable – in life and in economics

By Robert Grant
thejournal.ie
Originally published January 26, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

What is important to us?

On closer inspection, however, this view of economics as value-free is, at best, illusory and, at worst, dangerous.

Firstly, it is illusory in that expressing our values, or what is important to us, is an unavoidable aspect of any human act or behaviour; this goes for the hard sciences as well as economics.

The very decision about what aspect of the world to examine is an expression of what is important to us, ie, an expression of our values. We could spend billions of euros on weapons research, or we could spend it on researching agricultural methods to alleviate hunger. Both are scientific projects, yet the choice to devote time and money to one or the other is based on what we care about.

The entire article is here.

Editor's note:

The key point to this article is: economics, like the practice of psychology, is not a value-free activity. There are more mainstream articles pointing out that science is not a value-free experience.  Having values in science or psychotherapy is not bad, wrong or horrible.  Rather, individuals need to know their values as well as their biases as part of doing good work.  The danger is remaining unaware of how your values and beliefs go hand-in-glove with your practice of psychology.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

EthicalSystems.org Launches

EthicalSystems.org culls years of academic research to educate executives on how to create and maintain an honest, moral company culture.

By Will Yakowicz
Inc.
Originally published on January 22, 2013

What makes good people make unethical decisions? How can you ensure your employees don't accept bribes, cut corners, or cheat when you're counting on them?

These are the questions EthicalSystems, a new nonprofit formed by business school professors, social scientists, and behavior specialists, aims to answer. The group's website, launched in early January, was spearheaded by Jonathan Haidt, a professor of ethical leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business.

The entire article is here.

Decline Facebook 'Friend' Appeals from Patients, Groups Say

By  David Pittman
Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Originally published April 12, 2013, and still relevant today

Physicians should avoid making or accepting "friend" requests through social networking websites with past or current patients, a new policy statement advises.

Instead, doctors should separate their professional and social lives online and direct patients to correct avenues of information if they contact doctors through social networks, according to the policy statement issued jointly on Thursday by the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

"There's this notion of blurring of our identity, blurring of our persona," David Fleming, MD, chair of ACP's Ethics, Professionalism, and Human Rights Committee, which helped draft the guidelines, said here at the ACP's annual meeting.

The entire article is here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Vignette 30: The Purloined Patient

Dr. Eddy Kessler received a referral from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) to work therapeutically with Enoch Thompson, who suffers with symptoms of a panic disorder.  Dr. Kessler accepted the referral and started to work with Mr. Thompson on his symptoms of panic and anxiety, as these have interfered with Mr. Thompson’s ability to maintain employment.  Treatment started well, with Mr. Thompson developing better cognitive and behavioral skills to manage his anxiety after the initial eight sessions funded by OVR.  With Mr. Thompson’s consent, Dr. Kessler sent a letter to OVR requesting 10 more sessions over the next five months to reinforce the gains made in treatment.  Dr. Kessler viewed Mr. Thompson as moving toward stable employment with ongoing treatment.  As Mr. Thompson was improving, they agreed to meet in two weeks.

Upon his return two weeks later, Mr. Thompson informed Dr. Kessler that he was recently evaluated by his wife’s psychologist, Dr. Gillian Darmody.  As the patient described it, Mr. Thompson took his wife to her therapy session.  Dr. Darmody asked him to join the session.  The outcome of the session was that Dr. Darmody would be able to get Mr. Thompson on Social Security Disability as she “knows how to write psychological reports” in a way that almost guarantees a favorable disability decision.  She also gave him the name of an attorney to represent him.  He also felt positive about the experience as Dr. Darmody agreed to bill his health insurance for the disability evaluation.  He has a meeting scheduled with the attorney in two weeks.  Mr. Thompson also believes that the consultation with the attorney is free, and that the attorney is paid after disability benefits are awarded.

Dr. Kessler inquired as to why he agreed to the disability evaluation if OVR is trying to return him to work.  Mr. Thompson disclosed that the job market is tough, so he wanted a backup plan in case he gets better and cannot find work.  Mr. Thompson stated he disclosed their treatment relationship.  However, Dr. Darmody deemed their treatment relationship to be inconsequential to the disability evaluation.  The session then focused on Mr. Thompson’s ability to manage anxiety via psychological skills.  Dr. Kessler manages his anger sufficiently to get through the session and scheduled Mr. Thompson in two weeks.

After the session, Dr. Kessler phones you for a consultation.  Dr. Kessler is morally outraged at the other psychologist’s behavior, if true.

What are the possible legal and ethical issues involved in this case?

How would you respond to Dr. Kessler’s moral outrage?

How would you explain the issues to Mr. Thompson?

Are these reasons to terminate your treatment with Mr. Thompson?

If you would continue to work with Mr. Thompson would you change your goals?

How would you document this report from Mr. Thompson in your case notes?

Would you withdraw your request for more sessions from OVR?

What are Dr. Kessler’s options?

If you were Dr. Kessler, what would you do and why?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

APA Declines to Rebuke Guantanamo Psychologist

By Spence Ackerman
The Guardian
Originally published January 22, 2014

America’s professional association of psychologists has quietly declined to rebuke one of its members, a retired US army reserve officer, for his role in one of the most brutal interrogations known to have to taken place at Guantánamo Bay, the Guardian has learned.

The decision not to pursue any disciplinary measure against John Leso, a former army reserve major, is the latest case in which someone involved in the post-9/11 torture of detainees has faced no legal or even professional consequences.

The entire story is here.

The December 31 letter is here.

Strengthening the Ethical Culture of Your Organization Should Be a Priority

By Barbara Richman
SPHR

According to the 2011 National Business Ethics Survey, a report published by the Ethics Resource Center, the ethical culture of the American workplace is in transition. The survey, the seventh since 1994, was conducted for the purpose of understanding how employees at all levels view ethics and compliance at work.

Its overall results send mixed signals to employers. While positive indicators are included in the findings, they are clouded by “ominous warning signs of a potentially significant ethics decline ahead.”

On the positive side, the data revealed historically low levels of misconduct in the American workplace and near record high levels of employees reporting misconduct that they observed. On the negative side, however, there was a sharp rise in retaliation against employee whistleblowers, an increase in the percentage of employees who perceived pressure to compromise standards in order to do their jobs, and near record levels of companies with weak ethical cultures.

The entire story is here.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Loyola Bioethics Study: Med Students Reflections on Caring for Dying Patients

Loyola Bioethics Online
Originally posted January 14, 2014

The imminent death of a patient is riddled with emotions for a patient and family as well as the medical team. A study based on the reflections of third-year Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine students is shedding light on the struggle physicians in training often face when trying to control their own emotions while not becoming desensitized to the needs of the dying patient and his or her family.

“Medical students are very aware they are undergoing a socialization process by which they become desensitized to the difficult things they see every day in the hospital. They realize this is necessary to control their emotions and focus on caring for the patients. On the other hand, they are very concerned about becoming insensitive to the spiritual, emotional and personal needs of the patient,” said Mark Kuczewski, PhD, leader author and director of the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics.

The entire article is here.

An interview with Mark Kuczewski, PhD by Randi Belisomo


Watchdog agency criticizes ethics of study of premature infants

By David Brown
The Washington Post
Originally published April 10, 2013

A clinical experiment involving 1,300 premature infants at two dozen hospitals “failed to adequately inform parents” of the risks of the treatment, which included blindness, brain damage and death, according to a watchdog agency at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The description of the experiment that parents read before deciding whether to enroll their babies downplayed the risks and emphasized possible benefits of getting a less-than-average amount of supplementary oxygen in the critical weeks after birth.

“The consent form was written in a slanted way,” said Jerry A. Menikoff, director of the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), which found that the study was “in violation of the regulatory requirements for informed consent” required by federal law.

The entire story is here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory

TED Talk
Published in August 2013

Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn't happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It's more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider.




Thanks to Gary Schoener for this information.

Punishment and Blame within Criminal Justice

By Hanna Pickard
Flickers of Freedom
Originally posted January 21, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

As well as working clinically with patients, I’m also currently developing a training for prison officers, to teach them how to distinguish responsibility from blame in theory and in practice, as part of an initiative to increase awareness and skills working with personality disorder (PD) and promote a more rehabilitative environment within prisons. On a purely personal note, going into prisons has been hard. Over time I’ve become much less scared, but I still can’t bear being locked in, dependent on the officers and their keys to get out. Every time I go, I can’t quite believe we’ve ended up doing this to people, no matter what they’ve done. So I certainly think there’s reason to re-think radically the entire system, on multiple grounds. However the training I’m developing and the theoretical work that underpins it aims to be pragmatic rather than revolutionary – and that’s what I’m going to blog about today. No utopian ideals!

We currently spend millions and millions imprisoning offenders. Meanwhile there’s some real and plenty of anecdotal evidence that one of the best ways to increase re-offending is to put people in jail – arguably, you really couldn’t design a better environment to entrench criminality if you tried. Yet 66% of male offenders and 50% of female offenders have PD – they have many of the same mental health problems and psycho-socio-economic backgrounds as patients in the community who we know we can help in Therapeutic Communities and other forms of treatment program.

The entire blog post is here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Science needs philosophy

The fad for using science to explain everything is misguided and dangerous

by Massimo Pigliucci
Rationalist Association
Originally posted July 19, 2012, and still relevant today.

Here is an excerpt:

The culprits are many and influential. Physicists Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krauss, along with biologist EO Wilson, dismiss philosophy (and much of the humanities) as a leftover from pre-scientific thought, to be replaced by the objective and empirical truth arrived at by modern science, especially fundamental physics. Never mind that, as Daniel Dennett aptly put it a while ago, there is no such thing as philosophy-free science, but only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board unexamined.

And then there are the likes of Sam Harris, Jonathan Haidt, Alex Rosenberg and Jerry Coyne, who claim that science can provide answers to philosophical questions, and that moreover antiquated concepts like free will, consciousness and morality are just illusions, tricks played on us by our Pleistocene-evolved brains. We are not really in control of what we do and think, it’s all done automatically by an inner zombie whose actions were determined since the Big Bang. This despite the fact that serious neuroscientists like Michael Gazzaniga and Antonio Damasio are actually much more careful about what exactly their discipline brings to our understanding of the human mind.

The entire story is here.

Moral Tribes by Joshua Greene – review

By Salley Vickers
The Observer
Originally published January 11, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

What Greene and his team have added to this unnerving moral conundrum is the systematic use of multiple brain images that demonstrate that when people contemplate sacrificing the fat man there is increased activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain associated with emotion, whereas consideration of operating the switch promotes increased activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with reasoning. People with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, who lack normal emotions, were five times more likely to approve of pushing the fat man off the bridge.

Greene began his career as a philosopher so is well placed to consider the question of ethics from a theoretical as well as an empirical perspective. There have been a number of books recently that consider the biological roots of moral sense (Paul Bloom's Just Babies is the most recent example). But while Greene's research suggests, in accordance with Bloom, that the rudiments of morality are indeed innate, it also demonstrates, through such experiments as the trolley problem, that our moral responses rest on a wobbly intuitive base – a gut feeling that may not produce the best general outcome.

The entire article is here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Review of the Research on Romantic and Sexual Feelings, Thoughts, and Behaviors in Psychotherapy

The “Vicissitudes of Love” Between Therapist and Patient: A Review of the Research on Romantic and Sexual Feelings, Thoughts, and Behaviors in Psychotherapy

Janet L. Sonne and Diana Jochai
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 70, Issue 2, pages 182–195, February 2014

Abstract

Beginning with Freud's observations in the early 1900s, therapists’ and patients’ experiences of romantic and sexual reactions to each other during the course of therapy has been a topic that has generated alternating waves of avoidance and intense discussion in the professional literature. Research in the area flourished in the 1980s and 1990s but then nearly disappeared with very little integration. We offer a review of the research to date. Although we focus primarily on quantitative studies, we also reference some qualitative studies when the data help illuminate other findings. Our review is structured to answer 10 key questions in an effort to integrate the findings in a meaningful way for clinicians and researchers. In our conclusion, we note implications raised by the review for clinicians to consider in their practice and we highlight some directions for future research.

The entire article is here.

Brooklyn man encourages everyone to proclaim 'I Have a Therapist'!

Bipolar sufferer starts blog to break down the stigma of mental health treatment. There's nothing wrong with seeking help when you need it.

By Simone Weichselbaum
New York Daily News
Originally posted November 4, 2013 (and I just found out about it a couple of days ago)

Got a therapist? Well, let’s hear about it!

Thousands of shrink-goers are logging onto the blog, “I Have a Therapist,” created just three weeks ago by a bipolar Brooklyn man hoping to break the stigma of seeking professional mental health help.
“Therapy is the best thing to ever happen to me,” said webpreneur Elad Nehorai, 29, whose Tumblr blog encourages people to get help when they need it — and then to share their stories.

The entire article is here.

Charidy started a "I have a therapist." campaign on Tumblr.

According to Charidy's Tumblr account:
Charidy is a startup based in Brooklyn, New York.  We are a fundraising platform for non-profits. But we’re more than that.  We want to make our site, our marketing, and our whole identity revolve around doing good for the world, in which fundraising is an integral part of a larger whole. And that’s why we’re doing this campaign (among others that will be launching soon).  We strongly believe in this cause and believe that by putting our hearts into it, we can really change the world.
Charidy's page is here.

The Tumblr page is here.

This is an interesting use of social media.

I have been reblogging some of these post from the Ethics and Psychology Tumblr page.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Responsibility and Blame in the Clinic

By Hanna Pickard
Flickers of Freedom
Originally posted January 17, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

But we can really help these patients if we adopt a stance that I call “Responsibility without Blame”. Here’s what this means. The problem behaviour is voluntary. Patients with PD are not mentally ill and they know as well as most of us do what they are doing when they act. They have choice and control over their behaviour at least in the minimal sense that they can refrain – which they will often do if sufficiently motivated.  That does not mean that refraining is easy.  Here a little more background is important: PD is associated with extreme early psycho-socio-economic adversity. Most patients come from dysfunctional families or they may have been in institutional care. Rates of childhood sexual, emotional, and physical abuse or neglect are very high. Socio-economic status is low. Additional associated factors include war, migration, and poverty. Problem behaviour is often a learned, habitual way of coping with the distress caused by such adversity, and patients may have hitherto lacked decent opportunities to learn alternative, better ways of coping. So, until the underlying distress is addressed and new ways of coping are learned, restraint is hard.

The entire blog post is here.

Virtual Reality Moral Dilemmas Show Just How Utilitarian We Really Are

Science Daily
Originally published January 15, 2014

"Moral" psychology has traditionally been studied by subjecting individuals to moral dilemmas, that is, hypothetical choices regarding typically dangerous scenarios, but it has rarely been validated "in the field." This limitation may have led to systematic bias in hypotheses regarding the cognitive bases of moral judgements. A study relying on virtual reality has demonstrated that, in real situations, we might be far more "utilitarian" than believed so far.

The entire article is here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Episode 1: What Psychologists Need to Know about Divorce, Mediation, and Collaborative Law

In this inaugural podcast, John interviews Attorney James Demmel about divorce, litigation, mediation, and collaborative law.  Psychologists frequently find themselves working with individuals contemplating a divorce or actually going through the divorce process.  The purpose of this podcast is to give psychologists an overview of issues surrounding divorce, litigation, mediation, and collaboration.

At the end of this podcast, the listener will be able to:

1. Describe collaborative law,
2. Differentiate between collaborative law and mediation, and,
3. Describe the benefits of mediation and collaborative law.

Click here to purchase 1 APA-approved Continuing Education credit

Find this podcast in iTunes

Or listen directly here.




Resources

Link to Attorney Demmel's website

Frequently Asked Questions about Collaborative Law and Mediation

Items Needed to Analyze Marital Assets - From Demmel Law Office

Link to The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

Link to Collaborative Professionals of Central Pennsylvania 

Listener feedback about this episode can be sent to John Gavazzi

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Doctors shame women more than men about their bodies and behavior

By Rachel Feltman
Quartz
Originally published January 16, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Both studies found that women were significantly more likely to experience these incidents than men were: In the first cohort, which was made up of university students, 26% of women reported being “shamed” by a physician, while only 15% of the men surveyed said the same. The most common topics of this shaming were sex, dental hygiene, and weight. The second study, which included a much broader age and demographic range, showed similar results: While only 38% of men reported feeling guilt or shame because of something their physician said, 53% of women could recall such behavior.

The entire article is here.

The Distinction Between Antisociality And Mental Illness

By Abigail Marsh
Edge.org
Originally published January 15, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Cognitive biases include widespread tendencies to view actions that cause harm to others as fundamentally more intentional and blameworthy than identical actions that happen not to result in harm to others, as has been shown by Joshua Knobe and others in investigations of the "side-effect effect", and to view agents who cause harm as fundamentally more capable of intentional and goal-directed behavior than those who incur harm, as has been shown by Kurt Gray and others in investigations of distinction between moral agents and moral patients. These biases dictate that an individual who is predisposed to behavior that harms others as a result of genetic and environmental risk factors will be inherently viewed as more responsible for his or her behaviors than another individual predisposed to behavior that harms himself as a result of similar genetic and environmental risk factors. The tendency to view those who harm others as responsible for their actions, and thus blameworthy, may reflect seemingly evolved tendencies to reinforce social norms by blaming and punishing wrongdoers for their misbehavior.

The entire blog post is here.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Intuitive Prosociality

By Jamil Zaki and Jason P. Mitchell
Current Directions in Psychological Science 22(6) 466–470
DOI: 10.1177/0963721413492764

Abstract

Prosocial behavior is a central feature of human life and a major focus of research across the natural and social sciences. Most theoretical models of prosociality share a common assumption: Humans are instinctively selfish, and prosocial behavior requires exerting reflective control over these basic instincts. However, findings from several scientific disciplines have recently contradicted this view. Rather than requiring control over instinctive selfishness, prosocial behavior appears to stem from processes that are intuitive, reflexive, and even automatic. These observations suggest that our understanding of prosociality should be revised to include the possibility that, in many cases, prosocial behavior—instead of requiring active control over our impulses—represents an impulse of its own.

Click here for accessing the article, behind a paywall.

Static and dynamic metaphysics of free will: A pragmatic perspective

By Eric Racine
The Neuroethics Blog
Originally posted January 14, 2014

In the public eye, one of the most striking types of findings neuroscience research claims to unravel concerns how decisions are made and whether these decisions are made “freely”. Unpacking the relationship between what is meant by “freely” and other neighboring notions such as “voluntarily”, “informed”, “conscious”, “undetermined”, “uncoerced”, “autonomous”, “controlled”, “uncaused”, etc., is a matter of serious philosophical debate. Much research, either purely philosophical, neuroscientific, or a mixture of the two in nature, has attempted to tease out the mysteries of free will. In spite of being seemingly committed to addressing these questions scientifically, much of the neuroscientific literature clearly holds presuppositions about the nature of free will that stunts its exploratory power. By this, we mean that many neuroscientific experiments surrounding free will have clung to a static metaphysical notion of its existence and it is only recently that a more dynamic view has emerged. The contrast between these two metaphysical beliefs is the focus of our blog post.

The entire blog post is here.