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Kurt Gray- Full- The One You Feed
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This week we talk to Kurt Gray

Kurt Gray is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He received his BSc from the University of Waterloo and his Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University. He studies the mysteries of subjective experience and asks such deep philosophical questions as: Why are humanoid robots creepy? Why do ghosts always have unfinished business? Why do grandma's cookies taste the best? And why do adult film stars seem stupid? His research suggests that these questions—and many more—are rooted in the phenomenon of mind perception. Mind perception also forms the essence of moral cognition.

In science, he likes to wield Occam's razor to defend parsimony, asking whether complex phenomena can be simplified and understood through basic processes. These phenomena include moral judgment, group genesis, and psychopathology. He has been named an APS Rising Star and was awarded the Janet Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Research.  He was also given the SPSP Theoretical Innovation Award for the article "Mind Perception Is the Essence of Morality." His work has been generously funded by the John Templeton Foundation. He recently published the book,  The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels and Why it Matters

In This Interview, Kurt Gray and I Discuss...

  • His book, The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels and Why it Matters
  • People who we perceive as having a mind similar to ours
  • The uncertainty about the minds of others
  • The two fundamentally different factors in how we see minds
  • Agency: the capacity to act and to do
  • Experience: the capacity to feel and to sense
  • The moral responsibility connected to these two things
  • Thinking doers
  • Vulnerable feelers
  • Didactic completion
  • The objectification of women
  • That child abuse often occurs with parents who view their children as having a higher agency than they are capable of having
  • The danger of inferring intention
  • Moral typecasting
  • That we treat our heroes poorly
  • The Just World theory
  • How we rationalize our behavior
  • That we give more sympathy to people who are at a greater distance from us
  • The poorer you are, the more likely you are to believe in God
  • Seeking control as a motivation
  • How to increase self-control
  • The implementation intention study
  • The when and the then and how it takes away self-control entirely
  • What the self is from the perspective of his work
  • The analogy of particle board for the self
  • The way people respond morally is the most essential to our perception of who they are (vs physical traits)
  • That we perceive the world rather than understand it directly



Direct download: Kurt_Gray_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:16am EDT