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Concept: Intrinsic value


Winning a competition engenders subsequent unrelated unethical behavior. Five studies reveal that after a competition has taken place winners behave more dishonestly than competition losers. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that winning a competition increases the likelihood of winners to steal money from their counterparts in a subsequent unrelated task. Studies 3a and 3b demonstrate that the effect holds only when winning means performing better than others (i.e., determined in reference to others) but not when success is determined by chance or in reference to a personal goal. Finally, study 4 demonstrates that a possible mechanism underlying the effect is an enhanced sense of entitlement among competition winners.

Concepts: English-language films, Demonstration, Cultural studies, Human behavior, Theft, Dishonesty, Intrinsic value


That at least some aspects of nature possess intrinsic value is considered by some an axiom of conservation. Others consider nature’s intrinsic value superfluous or anathema. This range of views among mainstream conservation professionals potentially threatens the foundation of conservation. One challenge in resolving this disparity is that disparaging portrayals of nature’s intrinsic value appear rooted in misconceptions and unfounded presumptions about what it means to acknowledge nature’s intrinsic value. That acknowledgment has been characterized as vacuous, misanthropic, of little practical consequence to conservation, adequately accommodated by economic valuation, and not widely accepted in society. We reviewed the philosophical basis for nature’s intrinsic value and the implications for acknowledging that value. Our analysis is rooted to the notion that when something possesses intrinsic value it deserves to be treated with respect for what it is, with concern for its welfare or in a just manner. From this basis, one can only conclude that nature’s intrinsic value is not a vacuous concept or adequately accommodated by economic valuation. Acknowledging nature’s intrinsic value is not misanthropic because concern for nature’s welfare (aside from its influence on human welfare) does not in any way preclude also being concerned for human welfare. The practical import of acknowledging nature’s intrinsic value rises from recognizing all the objects of conservation concern (e.g., many endangered species) that offer little benefit to human welfare. Sociological and cultural evidence indicates the belief that at least some elements of nature possess intrinsic value is widespread in society. Our reasoning suggests the appropriateness of rejecting the assertion that nature’s intrinsic value is anathema to conservation and accepting its role as an axiom. Evaluar si el Valor Intrínseco de la Naturaleza es un Axioma o un Anatema para la Conservación.

Concepts: Sociology, Endangered species, Ethics, Meaning of life, Logic, Morality, Value theory, Intrinsic value


Abstract The ubiquity and portability of mobile devices provide additional opportunities for information retrieval. People can easily access mobile applications anytime and anywhere when they need to acquire specific context-aware recommendations (contextual offer) from their friends. This study, thus, represents an initial attempt to understand users' acceptance of a mobile-based social reviews platform, where recommendations from friends can be obtained with mobile devices. Based on the consumption value theory, a theoretical model is proposed and empirically examined using survey data from 218 mobile users. The findings demonstrate that contextual offers based on users' profiles, access time, and geographic positions significantly predict their value perceptions (utilitarian, hedonic, and social), which, in turn, affect their intention to use a mobile social reviews platform. This study is also believed to provide some useful insights to both research and practice.

Concepts: Scientific method, Sociology, Value, Virtue, Morality, Personal digital assistant, Utilitarianism, Intrinsic value


This is a response to Stephen Buetow’s comments on our paper ‘Collectivity, evil and the dynamics of moral value’.

Concepts: Value, Morality, Aesthetics, Social philosophy, Value theory, Good and evil, Intrinsic value, Axiology


Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) aim to improve professionalism in health care. However, current CPG development manuals fail to address how to include ethical issues in a systematic and transparent manner. The objective of this study was to assess the representation of ethical issues in general CPGs on dementia care.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Clinical trial, Medical ethics, Ethics, Inclusion, CpG site, Intrinsic value


Pragmatic randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions in real-world clinical conditions. However, these studies raise ethical issues for researchers and regulators. Our objective is to identify a list of key ethical issues in pragmatic RCTs and highlight gaps in the ethics literature.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Philosophy, Ethics, Morality, Business ethics, Intrinsic value


Recent research has relied on trolley-type sacrificial moral dilemmas to study utilitarian versus nonutilitarian modes of moral decision-making. This research has generated important insights into people’s attitudes toward instrumental harm-that is, the sacrifice of an individual to save a greater number. But this approach also has serious limitations. Most notably, it ignores the positive, altruistic core of utilitarianism, which is characterized by impartial concern for the well-being of everyone, whether near or far. Here, we develop, refine, and validate a new scale-the Oxford Utilitarianism Scale-to dissociate individual differences in the ‘negative’ (permissive attitude toward instrumental harm) and ‘positive’ (impartial concern for the greater good) dimensions of utilitarian thinking as manifested in the general population. We show that these are two independent dimensions of proto-utilitarian tendencies in the lay population, each exhibiting a distinct psychological profile. Empathic concern, identification with the whole of humanity, and concern for future generations were positively associated with impartial beneficence but negatively associated with instrumental harm; and although instrumental harm was associated with subclinical psychopathy, impartial beneficence was associated with higher religiosity. Importantly, although these two dimensions were independent in the lay population, they were closely associated in a sample of moral philosophers. Acknowledging this dissociation between the instrumental harm and impartial beneficence components of utilitarian thinking in ordinary people can clarify existing debates about the nature of moral psychology and its relation to moral philosophy as well as generate fruitful avenues for further research. (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Psychology, Philosophy, Ethics, Morality, Justice, Hedonism, Intrinsic value, Jeremy Bentham


The use of vaginal products may increase the risk of HIV infection by affecting the vaginal biome. Understanding what vaginal products young women are using, and why, is key to assessing the complexity of sexual health and risk. This study reports on findings from research with adolescent and young women in rural KwaZulu-Natal about the vaginal products they use and motivations for using them. The study identified over 26 products that young women used to enhance their sexual experience and found some young women spent time preparing and sourcing vaginal products in order to pleasure and retain partners. Opinions differed about vaginal product use. While some women perceived that vaginal products could provide a means of out-performing other women, retaining a partner and providing sexual autonomy, there was a stigma attached to using them. Study findings highlight the social value of using vaginal products, especially in settings where partner retention is linked to economic survival. Expanding our understanding of what products are used and the reasons young women use them warrants continued investigation.

Concepts: HIV, Sexual intercourse, Infectious disease, Perception, South Africa, Value, KwaZulu-Natal, Intrinsic value


Social media (SM) offer huge potential for public health research, serving as a vehicle for surveillance, delivery of health interventions, recruitment to trials, collection of data, and dissemination. However, the networked nature of the data means they are riddled with ethical challenges, and no clear consensus has emerged as to the ethical handling of such data. This article outlines the key ethical concerns for public health researchers using SM and discusses how these concerns might best be addressed. Key issues discussed include privacy; anonymity and confidentiality; authenticity; the rapidly changing SM environment; informed consent; recruitment, voluntary participation, and sampling; minimizing harm; and data security and management. Despite the obvious need, producing a set of prescriptive guidelines for researchers using SM is difficult because the field is evolving quickly. What is clear, however, is that the ethical issues connected to SM-related public health research are also growing. Most importantly, public health researchers must work within the ethical principles set out by the Declaration of Helsinki that protect individual users first and foremost. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print January 18, 2018: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.304249).

Concepts: Public health, Informed consent, Research, Autonomy, Ethics, Declaration of Helsinki, United States Declaration of Independence, Intrinsic value


Controversy has swirled over the past three decades about the ethics of fear-based public health campaigns. The HIV/AIDS epidemic provided a context in which advocacy groups were almost uniformly hostile to any use of fear, arguing that it was inherently stigmatising and always backfired. Although this argument was often accepted within public health circles, surprisingly, the bioethicists who first grappled with this issue in terms of autonomy and coercion in the 1980s were not single-minded: fear could be autonomy-enhancing. But by the turn of the 21st century, as opponents of fear-based appeals linked them to stigmatisation, ethicists typically rejected fear as inherently unethical. The evidence has increasingly suggested that fear-based campaigns ‘work.’ Emotionally charged public health messages have, as a consequence, become more commonplace. We conclude that an ethics of public health, which prioritises population well-being, as contrasted with the contemporary focus of bioethics on autonomy, provides a moral warrant for ensuring that populations understand health risk ‘in their guts.’ This, we argue, does not relieve public health authorities from considering the burdens their efforts may impose on vulnerable populations.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Demography, Ethics, Morality, Bioethics, 21st century, Focus, Intrinsic value