Scientists Show that They Can Change People's Moral Judgments
December 29, 2010
Scientists have shown they can alter your moral judgments just by disrupting a specific area of your brain with magnetic pulses.
A region of your brain just above and behind your right ear appears to control morality -- a bundle of nerve cells known as the right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ).
When the researchers used magnetic pulses to block cell activity in that region, they impaired volunteers' notion of right and wrong.
BBC News reports:
"In one scenario participants were asked how acceptable it was for a man to let his girlfriend walk across a bridge he knew to be unsafe. After receiving a 500-millisecond magnetic pulse to the scalp, the volunteers delivered verdicts based on outcome rather than moral principle. If the girlfriend made it across the bridge safely, her boyfriend was not seen as having done anything wrong."