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Empathy & Moral Psychology Lab

Welcome to the Empathy and Moral Psychology (EMP) Lab at Penn State University, directed by Dr. Daryl Cameron.  We study the affective and motivational mechanisms involved in empathy and moral decision-making.  Our lab utilizes insights and methodologies from affective science, social cognition, and moral philosophy, in order to understand how people think about and respond to pressing social and ethical situations.

Some of the particular questions we focus on include why does empathy fail in response to mass suffering and during conflicts, and what can we do about it?  Why do people engage in blame and punishment, and how does outrage motivate people to engage in collective action?  For short and accessible introductions to our work, check out the Penn State Research article on our approach to motivated empathy, the release about our work on empathy avoidance and mental effort, the Penn State News article about our work on moral outrage, and the article in the The Conversation about the scientific and ethical ramifications of empathy deficits. Dr. Cameron wrote about empathy and politics for the Rock Ethics Institute’s “Ask an Ethicist” column, “How important is empathy in the U.S. Presidential election?”

Student Spotlight
Sinhae Cho

Sinhae Cho Graduate Affiliate

Sinhae is a fifth year graduate student in Clinical Psychology at Penn State University. She is interested in understanding the process of emotional experience and how one can modify this process. Her work focuses on how facilitate the process of emotional recovery after being exposed to emotionally evocative events by using various emotion regulation strategies and different types of psychological intervention. In addition, Sinhae is interested in understanding the role of negative and positive emotions and their interaction in promoting prosocial behaviors. Sinhae obtained her M.A. in clinical psychology from Yonsei University, Korea and her B.A. in psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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