Moral panics are not uncommon. Back in the 1980’s there was a moral panic over the game Dungeons and Dragons. Some parents believed D&D was the work of the devil, a gateway to joining a Satanic cult. It wasn’t “but this didn’t stop people from worrying about it,” says my guest on this episode, Dr. Kurt Gray, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
I got a chance to speak to Dr. Gray about new research from he and his postdoc, Curtis Puryear, titled Virality Drives Moral Panics on Social Media (currently under peer review) showing a connection where social media virality causes moral panics, prompting expression of moral outrage.
This research introduces what the researchers call The Social Amplification Model of Moral Panics:
You don’t want to miss this episode. Professor Gray has some terrific insights.
A social psychologist and an award-winning researcher and teacher, Kurt Gray uses interdisciplinary methods to study our deepest held beliefs and how to bridge moral divides.
Dr. Gray is a Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he directs the Deepest Beliefs Lab and the Center for the Science of Moral Understanding. He received his PhD from Harvard University.
Kurt Gray: https://www.kurtjgray.com/