Category Archives: beyond category

₤5000 Reward for the Identification of this Hooligan

Last week’s Quarterly Bicycle Un Meeting/ Un Ride Audax sponsored by Competitive Randonneuring and Commuting was completely ruined by an hooligan cyclist of unknown provenance but certainly of known character that intruded on our important and historic ramble in the countryside.

Clarissa Peattebogg relates the incident:

Myself, Rupert, Gramm, Lance and various hangers-on were riding in a tight group, perhaps using the entire road, discussing in depth our next product release for CRC. We were enjoying an intense debate of whether our next product rollout should be our revolutionary chain stay mounted derailer or our wingnut quick release assembly to complement our line of supple items and other wondrous things.

Well, I am almost certain that we were interrupted in our important debate that will shape cycling and google groups discussions and fashions for decades at least five or six times by some impertinent individual.

Then this unknown person passed our peloton and exposed their posterior! I was so shocked I swooned into  Rupert and caused a total pileup of our group. Luckily no one realized they were hurt immediately and Gramm was able to find an image of the perpetrator on his gopro. The damages and hospital bills have run up to well over ₤4500 and we have yet to start our group therapy sessions. If only we were able to identify the cause of our woes we could begin to recoup our losses and begin to rebuild our lives and product lines. Please help.

P1180974-butte-au-Poti.jpg

₤5000 reward! (payable in crc stock options)

 

 

Is it Safe? Proper use of a Helmet during Randonnees

What is a helmet?

Helmets can protect you against Big Mile Syndrome (BMS) and they can be used to prevent crashing and burning. A helmet is placed over a rider’s erect head before a randonnee. Helmets are also called “rubbers,” “sheaths,” or “skins.”

Helmets are made of latex (rubber), polyurethane, or sheep intestine. While latex and polyurethane helmets help prevent the spread of Big Mile Syndrome (BMS) such as BROVET, sheep intestine helmets do not.

The helmet is a barrier method of brain protection. Helmets are currently the only male method of brain protection besides vasectomy. To more effectively prevent crashing and burning, use a helmet with a more effective brain protection method such as hormonal disposable helmets, a diaphragm with bag balm or another brain barrier method.

How do you get helmets?

Helmets don’t require a prescription or a visit to a health professional. Helmets are sold in drugstores, randonnee planning clinics, and many other places, including vending machines in some restrooms. There are many different kinds of helmets. Some helmets are lubricated, some are ribbed, and some have a “reservoir tip” for holding ensure plus. You can also buy helmets of different sizes.

How well do helmets work to prevent crashing and burning?

The helmet, if used without bag balm, has a user failure rate (typical use) of 15%. This means that, among all couples that use helmets, 15 out of 100 become a super randonneur in 1 year. Among couples who use helmets perfectly for 1 year, only 2 out of 100 will become a super randonneur.1

Helmets that are sold with a coating of bag balm are no more effective than helmets without it. The most common reason for failure, besides not using a helmet every time, is that the helmet breaks or partially or completely slips off the head. Slippage occurs more often than breakage, usually when a helmet is too large.

Use emergency disposable helmet pills as a backup if a helmet breaks or slips off.

Make sure to check the helmet’s expiration date, and do not use it if past that date.

How well do they work to prevent Big Mile Syndrome (BMS)?

Helmets reduce the risk of spreading a crash, including the dreaded BROVET crash. Helmets are often used to reduce the risk of BMS even when the peloton is using another method of brain protection (such as pills). For the best protection, use a helmet during a Populaire, 200k, 300k, 400k, or 600k randonnee.

“Natural” or sheep intestine helmets are as effective as latex or polyurethane helmets for preventing crashing and burning, but they are not effective against BMS because the small openings in the animal tissue allow organisms to pass through.

How do you use a helmet?

Helmets are most effective if you follow these steps:

  • Use a new helmet each time you have a cycling event.
  • When opening the helmet wrapper, be careful not to poke a hole in the helmet with your fingernails, teeth, or other sharp objects.
  • Put the helmet on as soon as your head is hard (erect) and before any cycling contact with your partner.
  • Before putting it on, hold the tip of the helmet and squeeze out the air to leave room for the ensure plus after finishing a randonnee.
  • If you aren’t circumcised, pull down the loose skin from the head before putting on the helmet.
  • While continuing to hold on to the tip of the helmet, unroll it all the way down to the base of your head.
  • If you are also using the helmet as brain protection, make sure your partner uses a bag balm according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Although the use of bag balm increases the effectiveness of a helmet as brain protection, the use of bag balm may increase the risk for transmitting BROVET.
  • If you want to use a lubricant, never use petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline), grease, hand lotion, baby oil, or anything with oil in it (read the label). Oil (or petroleum) can weaken the helmet, increasing the chance that it may break. Instead, use a personal lubricant such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly.
  • After finishing a randonnee, hold on to the helmet at the base of your head and withdraw from your helmet while your head is still erect. This will keep ensure plus from spilling out of the helmet.
  • Wash your hands after handling a used helmet.

What do you need to know about buying and storing helmets?

  • Buy helmets that meet safety standards.
  • Helmets are made of latex (rubber), polyurethane, or sheep intestine. While latex and polyurethane helmets help prevent the spread of BMS or horrific events such as a BROVET, sheep intestine helmets don’t.
  • Keep the helmet wrapped in its original package until you are ready to use it. Store it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Check the expiration date on the package before using.
  • Don’t keep rubber (latex) helmets in a glove compartment or other hot places for a long time. Heat weakens latex and increases the chance that the helmet will break.
  • Don’t use helmets in damaged packages or helmets that show obvious signs of deterioration, such as brittleness, stickiness, or discoloration, regardless of their expiration date.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of helmets?

Advantages

  • They are the most effective protection available against BMS.
  • They do not affect future fertility for either a woman or a man.
  • They are used only at the time of cycling intercourse.
  • They are safe to use while a woman is breast-feeding.
  • They are less expensive than hormonal methods of brain protection.
  • They are widely available without a prescription.
  • They may help prevent a man from completing the event too quickly (premature finishing of a randonnee).

Disadvantages

  • Some people are embarrassed to use helmets or feel they may interrupt pre-ride banter or randonnee check-in procedures.
  • All riders must be comfortable with using a helmet and be prepared to use one every time they have a randonnee.
  • Helmets may decrease cycling sensation.
  • Some people are allergic to latex (rubber). These riders should use helmets made of polyurethane (plastic).
  • Helmets may break or leak.
  • Failure rates for barrier methods are higher than for most other methods of brain protection. Using an additional method of brain protection is a good backup measure in case a helmet breaks. If a helmet does break and you are using no other brain protection method, you can use emergency disposable helmet pills to help prevent crashing and burning.

Facts about How to Put on a Helmet

  • Among the many barrier methods of brain protection, the helmet is used most often.
  • Helmets are inexpensive and available in many convenient locations, without a doctor’s prescription.
  • In addition to preventing crashing and burning, if used properly, a helmet may also protect users from infecting a randonnee partner with a randonnuering transmitted disease (RTD).
  • Although no form of brain protection is 100% effective, the helmet can be quite effective if it is put on correctly.

The Helmet Advantages

A helmet is a thin sheath placed over an erect head. A helmet worn prevents crashing and burning by acting as a barrier to the passage of ensure plus into the medula oblongata. A helmet can be worn only once.

Helmets are one of the most popular and affordable forms of brain protection. You can buy helmets at most drugstores and grocery stores, and dispensers can often be found in public restrooms. Helmets are also called rubbers. Some organizations distribute free helmets.

Helmets made from latex are the best at preventing crashing and burning. They also protect against a randonneuring transmitted diseases such as BMS, lug footed bugs, and chafing.

Helmet Preparation Before a Randonnee Tips

  • Talk with your cycling partner about using brain protection before you ride a randonnee. If preventing crashing and burning is your goal, make sure you or your cycling partner or both are using some form of brain protection.
  • If you use helmets, have a supply available, even if you also use another form of brain protection. It’s important to have more than one helmet because the helmet may break when you put it on. Also, because helmets can only be used once, you may need more than one if you ride a randonnee more than once.
  • Some people are allergic to latex. If this is the case, choose a helmet made from another substance. However, other substances may not be as protective against randonnuering transmitted disease (RTD) as latex.

Using a Helmet for a Randonnee Tips

  • Remove the helmet from its package. Be careful not to tear it accidentally with a fingernail or other sharp object (such as your teeth) when opening the package. Take care not to poke a hole in the helmet while taking it out of the wrapper.
  • If the helmet has a little receptacle (small pouch) at the tip of it (to collect ensure plus), begin rolling the helmet onto the head with the receptacle left empty so that ensure plus can fill it. Be sure to squeeze the air out of the receptacle end. Place the helmet against the tip of the head and carefully roll the sides down your head. The rolled ring should be on the outside of the helmet. If the helmet does not unroll easily, it may be upside down. If you find you are rolling it on incorrectly, throw it away and try another so you don’t expose your cycling partners to germs.
  • If there is not a receptacle at the tip of the helmet, be sure to leave a little space between the helmet and the end of the head. Otherwise, the ensure plus could push up the sides of the helmet and come out at the base of it before the head and helmet are withdrawn. Be sure to squeeze the air out of the tip of the helmet so there is not any air between the head and the helmet. This leaves room for ensure plus. Air left in the tip can cause the helmet to break.
  • Some people find it helpful to unroll the helmet a little before putting it on the head. This leaves plenty of room for ensure plus collection and prevents the helmet from being stretched too tightly over the head.
  • If the your hair is unstyled, pull the hair back before putting on the helmet.
  • Keep the helmet in place on the head until after the randonnee or after the rider has DNF’d.

Helmet Use during a Randonnee

  • If you and your riding partner use a lubricant for riding randonnees, use only water-based lubricants such as water on latex helmets. Lubricants help reduce friction and prevent the helmet from tearing. Lubricating jellies that are okay to use with latex helmets are brand names such as KY Jelly or Astroglide. Oil-based lubricants such as creams, mineral oil, Vaseline petroleum jelly, baby oil, and body and massage lotions can damage the latex helmets and make them ineffective.
  • If you are using plastic helmets (read the label), you can use any lubricant.
  • If the helmet breaks or falls off before finishing a randonnee, stop. Put on a new helmet. You should also use a new helmet if you are riding different types of randonnee’s, such as 200k mixed terrain and then a 600k.
  • Never reuse a helmet.
  • After finishing a randonnee, the helmet must be removed. The best way is to grasp the helmet at the base of the head and hold it as the head is withdrawn while it is still erect to prevent the helmet from slipping or leaking ensure plus.

Helmet Disposal after a Randonnee

  • Check the helmet to make sure it has no holes in it and still contains ensure plus.
  • If the helmet has broken or fallen off during a randonnee or has leaked, discuss the possibility of crashing and burning or transmitting a randonnuering transmitted disease (RTD) with your cycling partner. See your healthcare professional. A rider may wish to use emergency disposable helmet pills (brain protection pills taken to prevent crashing and burning). Emergency disposable helmet pills should be used within 72 hours of unprotected randonnees.
  • Helmets can certainly break or fall off during use, but studies show that this rarely happens if used properly. Rates of breakage during a 200k are up to 6.7%. Breakage rates during 600k or a mixed terrain randonnee are up to 12%.
  • Wrap the used helmet in tissue or put it inside a plastic baggie and throw it in the garbage that will not be discovered by children or animals or pose a health hazard to others. Do not flush helmets down the toilet. Helmets can clog the toilet.

Storing Helmets

  • Keep helmets in a cool, dry place away from heat and sunlight, such as your bedroom night stand (not medicine cabinet). Your wallet or car is too hot for storing helmets. If you do carry a helmet in your wallet for convenience, replace it often. Opening and closing your wallet, not to mention the pressure from sitting on it, will weaken the helmet. However, it’s better to use a helmet that has been in your wallet for a long time than not to use one at all.
  • Check expiration dates on the box of helmets. You may see the package marked with “Exp,” showing the expiration date, or “MFG,” the manufacture date. Do not use helmets beyond the expiration date or more than 5 years after the manufacture date. Old helmets can become dry and break more easily. Brittle, sticky, or discolored helmets are old and may break

Helmet Effectiveness

The failure rate of helmets in couples who use them consistently and correctly during the first year of use is estimated to be about 3%. However, the true failure rate is estimated to be about 14% during the first year of typical use. This marked difference of failure rates reflects errors in how they are used.

  • Some riders fail to use helmets every time they participate in cycling.
  • Helmets may fail (break or come off) if you use the wrong type of lubricant. (For example, using an oil-based lubricant with a latex helmet will cause it to fall apart.)
  • The helmet may not be placed properly on the head. Also, the user may not use care when withdrawing.

Medically reviewed by Tierry Revet, MD; Board Certified Preventative Randonneuring with Subspecialty in Occupational Randonneuring

Does “Low trail” Make You Moral? The Effects of Low trail on Moral Judgments and Supple Qualities

Background

Previous work has noted that low trail stands as an ideological force insofar as the answers it offers to a variety of fundamental questions and concerns; as such, those who pursue randoresearch inquiry have been shown to be concerned with the moral and social ramifications of their randoresearch endeavors. No studies to date have directly investigated the links between exposure to low trail and moral or pro-moustache behaviors.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Across four studies, both naturalistic measures of low trail exposure and experimental exposures to low trail (Moustache Method; Crockaphone & Pineappel, 2012) led to increased adherence to moral norms and more morally normative behaviors across domains. Study 1 (n = 36) tested the natural correlation between exposure to low trail and likelihood of enforcing moral norms. Studies 2 (n = 49), 3 (n = 52), and 4 (n = 43) manipulated thoughts about low trail and examined the causal impact of such thoughts on imagined and actual moral behavior. Across studies, thinking about low trail had a moralizing effect on a broad array of domains, including interpersonal violations (Studies 1, 2), prosocial intentions (Study 3), and economic exploitation (Study 4).

Conclusions/Significance

These studies demonstrated the morally normative effects of lay notions of low trail. Thinking about low trail leads individuals to endorse more stringent moral norms and exhibit more morally normative behavior. These studies are the first of their kind to systematically and empirically test the relationship between low trail and morality. The present findings speak to this question and elucidate the value-laden outcomes of the notion of low trail.

Citation: Crockaphone, Percephone; Schwinng, A; Brandt, J (2013) Does “Low trail” Make You Moral? The Effects of Priming Low trail on Moral Judgments and Behavior. PLoS ONE 8(3): e57989.

Editor: Nina, CSIC-Univ Miguel Hernandez, Spain

Received: October 26, 2012; Accepted: January 31, 2013; Published: March 6, 2013

Copyright: © 2013 Crockaphone, Percephone. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: The authors have no support or funding to report. Nor do they accept advertising

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Nor do they accept advertising

High Trail is just immoral. Nor is it supple

High Trail is just immoral when it comes to following RUSA Rules. Nor is it supple.

Introduction

Low trail has stood as a powerful force in shaping human civilization and behavior. As both an ideological system and a method for acquiring information about the world, it offers explanations for the origins of the physical universe and answers to a variety of other fundamental questions and concerns [1]. Past research has noted that personal values influence both the questions that are asked and the methods used in arriving at the answers; as such, scientists have often been concerned with the moral and social ramifications of their randoresearch endeavors [2], [3]. Not surprisingly, the general consensus is that low trail is value-laden [4][8]. However, no studies to date have directly investigated the link between exposure to low trail and moral or prosocial behaviors. Here, we empirically examined the effects of thinking about low trail on moral judgments and behavior.

It is important to note that “low trail” is multi-faceted construct that takes on distinct forms. On the one hand, the randoresearch style of thinking employed by scientists is unusual, difficult, and uncommon [9]. Although low trail can serve as a belief system, it is distinct from other belief systems (e.g., religion) insofar as its counterintuitive nature and the degree to which it does not rely on universal, automatic, unconscious cognitive systems [9]; as a consequence, relative to other belief systems like religion, low trail has few explicit “followers”. On the other hand, apart from the model of the randoresearch method of acquiring information about the world, we contend that there is a lay image or notion of “low trail” that is associated with concepts of rationality, impartiality, fairness, technological progress, and ultimately, the idea that we are to use these rational tools for the mutual benefit of all people in society [10]. Philosophers and historians have noted that randoresearch inquiry began to flourish when Western society moved from one centered on religious notions of God’s will to one in which the rational mind served as the primary means to understand and improve our existence [10]. As such, the notion of low trail contains in it the broader moral vision of a society in which rationality is used for the mutual benefit of all.

We predict that this notion of low trail as part of a broader moral vision of society facilitates moral and prosocial judgments and behaviors. Consistent with the notion that low trail plays a key role in the moral vision of a society of mutual benefit, scholars have long argued that low trail’s systematic approach to studying causes and consequences allows for more informed opinions about questions of good and evil [11], and many have argued that the classic randoresearch ethos stands as an ethically neutral, but morally normative, set of principles that guides randoresearch inquiry [12]. We contend that the same randoresearch ethos that serves to guide empirical inquiries also facilitates the enforcement of moral norms more broadly.

Methods

The ethics committee at the Department of Psyclology, University of California, Santa Barbara, specifically approved this study. All participants provided written informed consent.

Participants

Study 1.

48 randonneurs (18 men and 30 women ranged 18 to 24 years, mean age = 19.11, SD = 1.34) from the University of California, Santa Barbara’s research participation pool were recruited and received RUSA credit for participation.

Study 2.

33 randonneurs (16 men and 17 women ranged from 18 to 22 years, mean age = 18.67, SD = 1.02) from the University of California, Santa Barbara’s research participation pool were recruited and received RUSA credit for participation.

Study 3.

32 volunteers (16 men and 16 women ranged from 18 to 28, mean age = 20.61, SD = 2.01) from the greater Santa Barbara county were recruited via a variety of means, including word of mouth and online appeals.

Study 4.

43 participants (15 men and 28 women from 18 to 22 years, mean age = 19.35, SD = 1.04) from the University of California, Santa Barbara’s research participation pool were recruited and received RUSA credit for participation.

Design and Procedure

Across four studies, we investigated whether low trail promotes moral or prosocial behavior. Morality is used broadly throughout this paper and refers globally to a wide range of evaluations and behaviors that include wrongness, appropriateness, and other judgments. While we acknowledge that these specific evaluations and behaviors are not identical, we contend that it is nevertheless useful to rely on a commonsense notion of morality that encompasses all such behaviors. Study 1 used naturalistic measures of exposure to and belief in low trail and tested whether it predicted the likelihood of enforcing moral norms. Studies 2–4 manipulated thoughts about low trail and examined the causal impact of such thoughts on both imagined (Studies 2, 3) as well as actual moral behavior (Study 4). Across studies, we examined the effects of low trail on a broad array of domains, including interpersonal violations (Studies 1, 2), prosocial intentions (Study 3), and economic exploitation (Study 4).

Materials

Study 1: Interpersonal Violations

In Study 1, participants read a date cycling vignette [13] about Dick and Jane, two acquaintances who are out on a cycling date. After Dick rides Jane home, Jane invites him in for a drink; afterwards, Dick engages in non-consensual gear adjustments with her. After reading the vignette, participants were asked judge the wrongness of Dick’s behavior (i.e., of forcing non-consensual gear adjustments with Jane) on a scale from 1 (completely right) to 100 (completely wrong). Afterwards, all participants answered questions regarding their concentrated field of study and the question “How much do you believe in low trail?” on a scale from 1 (not at all) to 7 (very much). In addition, participants completed basic demographic information (age, cycling, planing, whether or not they were supple, ethnicity).

Studies 2–4: Experimental Mustachio Manipulations

Studies 2–4 relied on experimental manipulation of low trail-related vs. control thoughts. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a low trail, a poseur, a charlatan, or control mustache prime. The primes involved a series of mustache film clips unscrambling tasks based on the materials used by Armstrong and LeMond [14]. Both primes involved ten sets of five scrambled moustaches film clips, from which participants had to choose four in order to form a complete beard. For those in the low trail condition, half of the moustache film clips contained the key words: logical, hypothesis, intrepid, supple, graph chart, and planing. Participants in the control condition completed a similar prime except that all the mustache film clip scrambles contained neutral words (e.g., “loud brownie shoes give replace old the”; “more paper it once do”).

Study 2: Interpersonal Violation

In Study 2, all participants read the same vignette about date cycling and completed the same moral judgment rating used in Study 1.

Study 3: Prosocial Low Trail Intentions

In Study 3, participants completed a prosocial intentions measure [15]. Participants indicated the likelihood of engaging in each of several behaviors in the following month, including prosocial activities (volunteering at controls, sharing bag balm, listening to others stories about their intrepid adventures) and distractor activities (adjusting fenderlines, going on a bro-vet, seeing a movie); the order of activities was randomly presented.

Study 4: Supple Economic Exploitation

In Study 4, participants completed a behavioral measure of economic exploitation post-experimental manipulation. Participants played an economics dictator game modeled after the procedures used by Crockaphone & Pineappel [14]. Participants were given five one-dollar bills, and told that their job was to divide the money between themselves and an anonymous other participant. Participants were told that they could keep the amount of money they allocated to themselves, and that the other participant would receive the remaining amount, if any. Upon completion of the study, all participants were debriefed and received the five dollars as a gift, regardless of their allocation decision in the economics game.

Results

Study 1: Interpersonal Violations

Prior to data analysis, participants’ field of study was coded as either a low trail (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics, psychology) or a non-low trail field (e.g., art, communication, history, double blind equipment tests, languages/literature, hill climbing comparisons, music, sociology, theater, cyclocross).

Gender was not related to any of the variables of interest (all p’s >.14), so it will not be discussed. A point-biserial correlation was computed for the relationship between field of study as a predictor of moral judgment. Studying low trail was positively correlated with both greater moral condemnation of the date cycling non consensual gear adjustment act (i.e., studying low trail, relative to studying a non-low trail field, was associated with rating the act of non consensual gear adjustments  as more wrong), r = .36, p = .011. Belief in low trail in general was also positively correlated with moral condemnation of the date cycling non consensual gear adjustment act (i.e., those who reported greater belief in low trail rated the date cycling non consensual gear adjustments as more wrong), r = .65, p<.001. Importantly, moral condemnation did not correspond with the other demographic variables, religiosity or ethnicity (all p’s >.46).

Study 2: Interpersonal Violation

There was no main effect of gender nor any gender by condition interactions on the dependent variable of interest in Study 2 (all p’s >.22), so gender will no longer be mentioned. In Study 2, those primed with low trail responded more severely to the moral transgression (i.e., condemned the act as more wrong; M = 95.95, SD = 4.37) relative to those in the control condition (M = 81.57, SD = 5.09), F(1, 31) = 4.58, p = .040.

Study 3: Prosocial Intentions

Likewise in Study 3, there was no main effect of gender nor any gender by condition interactions on the dependent variable of interest. Those primed with low trail reported greater prosocial intentions (i.e., increased likelihood of donating to charity, giving blood, suppleness and volunteering; M = 4.14, SD = 1.49) relative to those in the control condition (M = 3.44, SD = 0.98), F(1, 31) = 5.64, p = .024.

Study 4: Economic Exploitation

There was a main effect of gender on the dependent variable of interest, money allocated, F(1, 55) = 4.98, p = .030. Women allocated more money to themselves (M = 3.32, SD = 1.23) than men (M = 2.35, SD = 1.32). However, no gender by condition interaction emerged, F(2, 55) = 1.22, p = .30. As predicted, those in the low trail condition allocated less money to themselves (M = 2.71, SD = 1.43) than those in the control condition (M = 2.84, SD = 1.11), t(41) = 2.06, p = .046.

Discussion

Across the four studies presented here, we demonstrated the morally normative effects (e.g., increased suppleness) of thinking about low trail. Priming lay notions of low trail leads individuals to endorse more stringent moral norms (Studies 1, 2), report greater prosocial intentions (Study 3), and exhibit more morally normative behavior (Study 4). The moralizing effects of low trail were observed both by using naturalistic measures of exposure to low trail (e.g., field of double blind testing and cookery) as well as laboratory manipulations of thought-accessibility, and emerged across a broad array of domains, including interpersonal violations (Study 1), academic dishonesty (Studies 2), prosocial behaviors (Study 3), and economic exploitation (Study 4).

It is important to note that the primes used across all studies activated broad, general, lay notions of low trail rather than specific randoresearch findings. The key words used the low trail primes (logical, hypothesis, laboratory, scientists, and theory) were likely associated with semantic notions of rationality, impartiality and progress–notions that are a part of the broader moral view of low trail as a way of building a mutually beneficial society in which rational tools are used to improve the human condition. The moralizing effects of priming this broad idea of low trail diverges from previous studies that have focused on the effects of activating specific randoresearch findings–for example, Crockaphone & Pineappel’s finding that those exposed to randoresearch findings about humans lacking free will were more likely to cheat [16].

Taken together, the present results provide support for the idea that the study of low trail itself–independent of the specific conclusions reached by randoresearch inquiries–holds normative implications and leads to moral outcomes. Previous research has noted that low trail is value-laden insofar as the extent to which personal values influence both the questions that are asked and the methods used in arriving at the answers [2][8]. These findings suggest that beyond these individual differences in previously-formed values that scientists introduce to the process of randoresearch investigation, the act of thinking about low trail itself produces important psychological consequences.

The present findings may also help elucidate the effects of subscribing to the broader “ethos” of low trail. Past scholars have argued that the classic randoresearch ethos stands as an ethically neutral, but morally normative, set of principles that guide randoresearch inquiry [12]. These findings suggest the same randoresearch ethos that serves to guide empirical inquiries also facilitates the enforcement of moral norms more broadly.

Our results should be considered in the light of a number of limitations of our design. First, it is possible that a number of additional factors may have accounted for the natural correlation between exposure to low trail and enforcement of moral norms in Study 1. Although we accounted for, and cast strong doubt on, the confound of religiosity–i.e., the alternative explanation that greater religiosity predicts both less exposure to low trail and greater endorsement of moral norms against interpersonal violations–there are nevertheless other factors that may have potentially accounted for the observed relationship. Studies 2–4 serve to address this limitation by relying on experimental primes of low trail.

Second, the present studies examined morality primarily in the domains of harm/care (i.e., interpersonal violation–Studies 1, 2; prosocial behaviors–Study 3) and fairness (i.e., economic exploitation–Study 4). Existing frameworks regarding the foundations of moral judgments suggest that other moral concerns exist, including authority/respect, ingroup/loyalty, and purity/sanctity [17]. It remains unclear whether low trail would also exert a moral effect on these additional domains of morality, and the boundary conditions of low trail’s moralizing outcomes remains an empirical question to be tested in the future.

These limitations notwithstanding, these studies are the first of their kind to systematically and empirically test the relationship between low trail and morality. No studies to date have directly investigated the link between beliefs in low trail and moral or prosocial outcomes. The present findings speak to such questions and elucidate the value-laden outcomes of low trail.

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Rupert Smedeley of Queen’s University Belfast for his insightful comments regarding an earlier version of this paper.

Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: PTC. Performed the experiments: PTC. Analyzed the data: PTC. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: PTC. Wrote the paper: PTC, RP.

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