Knowing Animals Reading Group April 30 with guest Brock Bastian

Assoc. Professor Brock Bastian, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences will join us to discuss his paper 'Resolving the Meat-Paradox: A Motivational Account of Morally Troublesome Behavior and Its Maintenance', Brock Bastian and Steve Loughnan, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2017 Vol 21(3) 278-299. Please join us for what will be an engaging discussion.

Where: The Linkway, Level 4, John Medley (Building 191), The University of Melbourne

When: 5.30-6.30pm, Monday 30 April 2018

To join the reading group please contact


A majority of people the world over eat meat, yet many of these same people experience discomfort when the meat on their plate is linked to the death of animals. We draw on this common form of moral conflict-the meat-paradox-to develop insights into the ways in which morally troublesome behaviours vanish into the commonplace and every day. Drawing on a motivational analysis, we show how societies may be shaped by attempts to resolve dissonance, in turn protecting their citizens from discomfort associated with their own moral conflicts.

To achieve this, we build links between dissonance reduction, habit formation, social influence, and the emergence of social norms and detail how our analysis has implications for understanding immoral behaviour and motivations underpinning dehumanisation and objectification. Finally, we draw from our motivational analysis to advance new insights into the origins of prejudice and pathways through which prejudice can be maintained and resolved.