'Moral outrage in the digital age' with Prof Molly Crockett

Past Event

17 May 2017, 6:00pm - 7:15pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Adobe Stock Farknot Architect outrageatphone
© Adobe stock/Farknot Architect

Humans reliably respond to insult and injury with moral outrage. Judging and punishing others for wrongdoing can deter future harms and promote group cooperation, but can also exacerbate social divides and escalate into destructive cycles of retaliation. This behaviour evolved in the context of small foraging groups, but is now widespread in massive online communities.

In this talk Professor Molly Crockett, Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology, will explore how digital media changes the costs and benefits of moral outrage and its implications for social cohesion.

This lecture will be followed by a drinks reception, all welcome

About the speaker

Dr Molly Crockett is Lead Researcher on the Oxford Martin Programme on Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease; Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology, Fellow of Jesus College, and Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, University of Oxford. She holds a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Neuroscience from UCLA. Prior to joining Oxford, Dr Crockett worked with economists and neuroscientists at the University of Zürich and University College London, studying human decision-making with the support of a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Dr Crockett studies the neuroscience and psychology of altruism, morality, self-control, and economic decision-making in healthy people and in psychiatric disorders. She takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining methods from social psychology, behavioural economics, neuroscience and philosophy. Her work has been published in top academic journals including Science, PNAS and Neuron. Her research has been covered by The New York Times, BBC, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among other news outlets. Dr Crockett has written articles for WIRED magazine and The Guardian and has appeared as a scientific guest on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and BBC Two’s Dara O’Briain’s Science Club. Her 2012 TED talk (“Beware Neuro-bunk”) has more than a million views.