Many people find it morally impermissible to put kidneys, children, or doctorates on the free market. But what makes a market transaction morally repugnant in the eyes of the public? And which transactions trigger the strongest collective disapproval? Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Robert Koch Institute have addressed these questions. Their findings, published in Cognition, offer new entry points for policy interventions.

What makes a market transaction morally repugnant?

Many people find it morally impermissible to put kidneys, children, or doctorates on the free market. But what makes a market transaction morally repugnant in the eyes of the public? And which transactions trigger the strongest collective disapproval? Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Robert Koch Institute have addressed these questions. Their findings, published in Cognition, offer new entry points for policy interventions.

Clarifying the origin of the coronavirus is not only in the scientific interest but also in the geopolitical interest. But so far, there is a lack of reliable results. In an article in Nature Electronics, Manuel Cebrian, Leader of the Digital Mobilization Group at the Center for Humans and Machines, offers some technical considerations that could help get to the bottom of its origin. Investigating a twenty-first-century catastrophe, he says, requires a twenty-first-century technological response.

Searching for the origins of COVID-19

Clarifying the origin of the coronavirus is not only in the scientific interest but also in the geopolitical interest. But so far, there is a lack of reliable results. In an article in Nature Electronics, Manuel Cebrian, Leader of the Digital Mobilization Group at the Center for Humans and Machines, offers some technical considerations that could help get to the bottom of its origin. Investigating a twenty-first-century catastrophe, he says, requires a twenty-first-century technological response.

During the Corona pandemic, walks became a popular and regular pastime. Now a neuroscience study suggests: If you’re regularly out in the fresh air, you’re doing something good for both your brain and your well-being. This is the conclusion reached by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). The longitudinal study using magnetic resonance imaging of brains recently appeared in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.

Taking the brain out for a walk

During the Corona pandemic, walks became a popular and regular pastime. Now a neuroscience study suggests: If you’re regularly out in the fresh air, you’re doing something good for both your brain and your well-being. This is the conclusion reached by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). The longitudinal study using magnetic resonance imaging of brains recently appeared in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.

We may not always be aware of it, but we all practice deliberate ignorance. In other words, we consciously choose not to seek or use information. This is as true for individuals as it is, for example, for organizations, welfare economics, and law. But where exactly does deliberate ignorance play a role? And when is it a blessing, when a curse? In our feature, we present examples and consider possible implications.

Deliberate ignorance or when we (should) choose not to know

We may not always be aware of it, but we all practice deliberate ignorance. In other words, we consciously choose not to seek or use information. This is as true for individuals as it is, for example, for organizations, welfare economics, and law. But where exactly does deliberate ignorance play a role? And when is it a blessing, when a curse? In our feature, we present examples and consider possible implications.

Measures to contain the Corona pandemic are the subject of politically charged debate and tend to polarize segments of the population. But how exactly do politicization and social mobilization affect the incidence of infection? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development have examined this question using the USA as an example. The findings were published in Applied Network Science.

Polarization and mobilization on social media affect infection figures

Measures to contain the Corona pandemic are the subject of politically charged debate and tend to polarize segments of the population. But how exactly do politicization and social mobilization affect the incidence of infection? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development have examined this question using the USA as an example. The findings were published in Applied Network Science.

Human decision-making depends on the flexible processing of complex information, but how the brain may adapt processing to momentary task demands has remained unclear. In a new study researchers have now outlined several crucial neural processes revealing that our brain networks may rapidly and flexibly shift from a rhythmic to a “noisy” state when the need to process more information increases.

How does the brain flexibly process complex  information?

Human decision-making depends on the flexible processing of complex information, but how the brain may adapt processing to momentary task demands has remained unclear. 
In a new study researchers have now outlined several crucial neural processes revealing that our brain networks may rapidly and flexibly shift from a rhythmic to a “noisy” state when the need to process more information increases.

Citizens of East Germany wanted to use music and lyrical forms to propagate hopes, desires, and visions of socialist Germany’s future and to influence the coming generation on an emotional level. Writing of the GDR as a “modern time regime”, Juliane Brauer tells the story of a promised future and the results of its failure to be realized. The certainty and belief in progress that characterized the beginnings were replaced with mistrust and disappointment over shattered dreams.

Feeling Time - How the GDR Sang its Future. A History of Emotions

Citizens of East Germany wanted to use music and lyrical forms to propagate hopes, desires, and visions of socialist Germany’s future and to influence the coming generation on an emotional level. Writing of the GDR as a “modern time regime”, Juliane Brauer tells the story of a promised future and the results of its failure to be realized. The certainty and belief in progress that characterized the beginnings were replaced with mistrust and disappointment over shattered dreams.

Some plants produce toxins that can make us sick – or even kill us. Thus, a wariness of plants makes sense from an evolutionary point of view, especially for infants and toddlers. Annie Wertz is investigating which behaviors protect children from dangerous plants and how they learn from adults which plants are safe to eat. Read more about this in the current MaxPlanckResearch.

Caution – toxic green!

Some plants produce toxins that can make us sick – or even kill us. Thus, a wariness of plants makes sense from an evolutionary point of view, especially for infants and toddlers. Annie Wertz is investigating which behaviors protect children from dangerous plants and how they learn from adults which plants are safe to eat. Read more about this in the current MaxPlanckResearch.

The Institute

Our Research

The Max Planck Institute for Human Development is dedicated to the study of human development and educational processes across the lifespan and historical time. Researchers from diverse disciplines—including psychology, sociology, history, computer and information science, medicine, mathematics, and economics—work together on interdisciplinary projects. An overview of all research centers and groups can be found here.

Our Staff

Are you looking for a specific contact? Some 350 people from over 30 countries work at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. The institute comprises four research centers, three Max Planck Research Groups, one Emmy Noether Group, one Lise Meitner Research Group, and several service departments. The contact details of all staff members are listed here.

Study Participation

Are you interested in participating in a study? We are always looking for men, women, and children of various ages who are interested in participating in psychological or neuroscience studies. Here you can find out which projects are currently looking for participants and read up on the conditions for participation and study methods used.

Current Research Results


News

News

What makes a market transaction morally repugnant?

July 22, 2021

Many people find it morally impermissible to put kidneys, children, or doctorates on the free market. But what makes a ...

Taking the brain out for a walk

July 15, 2021

If you’re regularly out in the fresh air, you’re doing something good for both your brain and your well-being. This is ...

Polarization and mobilization on social media affect infection figures

May 04, 2021

Measures to contain the Corona pandemic are the subject of politically charged debate and tend to polarize segments of ...

Career

Job Offers

Head of Public Relations

July 26, 2021
Subject line: Postdoctoral Position WM-fMRI (for position 1) or Postdoctoral Position WM-EEG (for position 2)
Machine Tools for Behavioral Science and Evidence-Informed Policy Making

Equal Opportunities

The Max Planck Institute for Human Development is committed to promoting equal opportunities for women and men. We take both organizational and personnel measures to facilitate the reconciliation of work and family life and to promote women’s careers. Our aim is to ensure a positive environment that promotes and supports excellence.

Research Schools

The MPI for Human Development provides several working opportunities for Predocs.
Go to Editor View