Science makes us moral?

New study suggests science makes us more moral in outlook and behaviour

Three monkeysThose who are scientific usually follow a systematic train of thoughts and have fundamental questions and concerns. There has been a general observation that those who harbour a scientific approach are more moral in their views and behaviours. A research team conducted four experiments to investigate the correlation between a scientific attitude and a highly moral stance about life.

Across the four studies, participants who were naturally scientifically-oriented as well as those were primed into a scientific mode of thought were observed to have increased adherence to moral norms. The first study tested the correlation between natural propensity towards science and likelihood of enforcing moral norms. Other studies tried to manipulate the participants into thoughts about science and examined the causal impact of such thoughts on hypothetical and actual moral behaviour. Across studies, thinking about science had a moralizing effect on a number of aspects of human behaviour, including interpersonal violations, prosocial intentions, and economic exploitation.

Thinking about science leads individuals to endorse more stringent moral norms and indulge in a more morally normative behaviour. These studies are the first of their kind to systematically and empirically test the relationship between science and morality.

Read the full news on the PLOS-One Journal website.


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