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The psychological toll of miscarriage lingers, plus bilingual timelines and twisted morality in this week’s news

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2:17pm, March 14, 2011

Time twists morality
Moral judgments may be time sensitive. In experiments conducted by psychologists Renata Suter and Ralph Hertwig, both of the University of Basel in Switzerland, volunteers less often said that they would kill one person in order to save the lives of many others if the decision had to be made quickly, as opposed to after deliberation. Time affected moral judgments in this way when hypothetical scenarios portrayed harming someone as a means to an end, Suter and Hertwig will report in Cognition. Emotional impulses to serve the greater good can be overridden if a person has time to ponder individuals’ rights, the researchers suggest. —Bruce Bower

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