May 1, 2003

Brad DeLong questions my motives for becoming a sociologist, and all because I seemed to pine for the days before Human Subjects Review when all kinds of fun experiments were possible

I’m reminded of the episode of the Simpsons where Lisa wins some money and wants to give it away to the best cause. She solicits applications and one comes from psychologist Dr Marvin Monroe, who says he wants the money to buy a small baby and raise it in complete isolation from other human beings for 18 years. “My hypothesis is that the child will grow up to harbor deep feelings of anger and resentment towards me,” he says.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.

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