Claim: Ron Paul Raises More Money Than John McCain | Main | Mr. and Mrs. Pelosi Appear On The View; Are Subject To Withering Questioning About Accomplishments and MoveOn BetrayUs Ad
October 03, 2007

Science: Fear of Punishment May Actually Deter Bad Behavior

Who'd've guessed?

The fear of being punished makes people less likely to violate social norms, according to a study by Swiss and German researchers.

Using scanning technology, the scientists were able to show which parts of the brain react to the threat of punishment, highlighting that lesions in these regions might lead to antisocial behaviour.

The study, published on Wednesday in the brain research journal Neuron, aimed to understand the effects of potential punishment on the decision-making process.
..

"Most people are willing to comply with [social] norms in the absence of punishment," he told swissinfo. "But a significant minority will only do so if threatened."

Shockingly enough, those who engage in bad behavior have stronger impulses towards egotism/selfishness than empathy and concern for others:

"People who primarily comply with a norm because of the threat of punishment probably have to suppress their egoistic impulses more strongly, which then activates this region of the frontal lobe more strongly," said Fehr.

"This result extends previous results we found showing that egoistic decisions are more likely to be made if this area of the brain is suppressed in its activity."

For the researchers, the implications of their study go beyond highlighting that some people only respond to threats. In many young people, the regions of the brain involved are not fully developed, perhaps explaining why potential punishment does not prevent anti-social behaviour.

There is some real news here, though: They find we shouldn't punish the young, who tend to be more selfish than the mature, and probably shouldn't punish psychopaths either, who seem to have all of their empathy centers switched off.


digg this
posted by Ace at 04:54 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Apple Fritters While Rome Burns: "88. Did you do a good job of it? I mean, not just ..."

ryukyu: "291 The doctor's lounge at the main hospital I wor ..."

#neverskankles: "Every "smart" person was sure Trump would lose by ..."

Professor Chaos aka gumdrop gorilla: "Posted by: Insomniac - Getting Microaggressed on t ..."

buzzion: "[i]290 As ridiculous as it is the left is still ..."

Bandersnatch: "[i]The doctor's lounge at the main hospital I work ..."

The MFM: "This is a very localized story that's not in the p ..."

Apple Fritters While Rome Burns: "84. Naah....that'd just get willow in on it ..."

Tinfoilbaby: "Do the Dodgers and Cubs play again today? I'm on s ..."

Kreplach: "We knew the fix was in when immunity deals were be ..."

teej : "Golf? Heh. My favorite doc puts in 55-60 hour wee ..."

Shopgirl: "Schlicter on with Liz Mac/FBN. Damn, Colonel!! I ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64