I have told you before that Reasonable Doubts is my favourite podcast. Well, here is a great RD Extra podcast with Luke Galen, psychologist, looks skeptically at claims of religious people being kinder, more charitable, prosocial. So very worth a listen:
Can’t believe I missed this one. Interesting, and something I will bring up in my talk tonight on free will at Southampton University to the Atheist Society. Research into prosocial (kind) behaviour is always interesting, and something I have documented here, here and here. there is a mix of genetic and environmental influences with this one. It seems that talking to children about giving, about kindness, is more important than role-modeling when measuring children’s kindness. Of course, children who do not have these environmental influences will be at a disadvantage to others who have, and these are variables outside of their control.
Brain cells that fire only when monkeys act unselfishly may provide clues to the neural basis of altruism, according to a new study. In the study, the cells fire in rhesus monkeys when they gave juice away, but not when they received it. The findings, published Dec. 23 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, may shed light on why many animals (including humans) exhibit kind, unselfish behavior that doesn’t directly benefit them.