Research Spotlight

Below is a sample of recent research from across our departments. Please click on a title for more detail.

Recent Research

  • 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. Together these studies suggest that empathy and concern are psychologically distinct and that empathy plays a more limited role in our moral lives than many believe. (link to the article in Emotion)

  • 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)

  • Work by Computer Science Professor Brian Scassellati and members of the Social Robotics Lab investigates likability of a tic-tac-toe playing robot based on both human form and lifelike movement (pdf of the article in the International Journal Human-Computer Studies). 

  • 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).

  • A recent meta-analysis by Psychology Professor David Rand finds that quicker decisions are often more cooperative than more deliberative decisions. (pdf of the article in Psychological Science)