Recent Research

Concern (but not empathy) Motivates Prosocial Behavior

A recent article by Psychology graduate student Matthew Jordan, Anthropology graduate student Dorsa Amir, and Psychology professor emeritus Paul Bloom shows that empathy and concern load on different statistical factors and motivate different behaviors: concern for others is a uniquely positive predictor of prosocial action, whereas empathy is either not predictive or negatively predictive of prosocial actions.

Preferences for Low Serial Numbers

A recent article by SOM grad student Rosanna K. Smith working with Professors George Newman and Ravi Dhar finds that people prefer lower serial numbers (e.g., a print of a painting with the serial number 3/100 rather than 97/100), because lower numbers are perceived as being closer to the origin (e.g., artist). (link to article at Journal of Consumer Research)

Animal Ethics

A recent article by Philosophy Professor Shelly Kagan explores views on animal ethics, including whether people are typically focused on species membership (human vs. nonhuman) or a type of personhood (pdf of the article in the Journal of Applied Philosophy).

Social Learning in Dogs

Recent research in the Canine Cognition Center has investigated social learning in domestic dogs and Australian dingos. The work will appear in the journal Developmental Science and the Yale press release can be seen here (pdf of lab newsletter covering this and other research).