Ep: 2b Facebook and Psychology
This isn't a lecture. It's a friendly conversation about stuff that matters with a smart person. Forget Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura, we chat with a real Ph.D. type psychologist, Dr. Betsi Little-Van Fossen, Chair and Professor of Psychology at Trinity Lutheran College. She's not the kind that does therapy, nor the kind that can prescribe us medication. But psychologists can stare into your soul, even if you are just listening to a podcast; so be warned. She might do consulting with lawyers about jury selection too.
We start by asking her about the psychology of good and evil to follow up on some issues from episode one. If Aristotle is right that virtue is cultivated through habits we need when faced by rapid ethical chalenges, virtue ethics seems to be the only good empirical solution to the problems of human behavior under certain conditions that tend to create evil actions in people. Here we mention a fun but out of the way London regional attraction: Chislehurst Caves.
After this shorter segment on good and evil, we discuss how all this relates to our world that is interconnected but in a digital fashion. We discuss three experiments but don't go into full detail, so after the show you might want to check out three fascinating experiments: the Stanford prison experiment, the Milgram experiment, and the Darley and Batson Good Samaritan experiment. Dr. Van Fossen discusses the diagnostic manual and Jeff's possible personality problems. She tells us if dating websites work. Dan explains what "catfishing" is online. We hear about the self-confident Philip Zimbardo (see this TED talk he did) and the dances he brought into existence in midwestern universities. Arguably, these issues of psychology are closely connected to our interest in the nature of virtue and how to apply it to real world problems.
Please forgive the technology snag with the online discussion with our guest. We will fix the problem for next time, but it only affects the first split second of some of Dr. Little's statements. But we think you'll agree that the lively conversation comes across well overall.