What can science reveal about our “character” — that core of good, or evil, that shapes our moral behavior? The answer, according to a new book, is that there may not be much of a core, after all. In “Out of Character,” scientists David DeSteno and Piercarlo Valdelsolo argue that how we think about character — a conception that dates back to at least the ancient Greeks — is deeply flawed. Our moral behavior, to a surprising degree, is shaped by the context in which we find ourselves. Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook spoke recently with DeSteno about the book, and the broader implications of the new science.
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