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Expanding Empathy Speaker Series: David DeSteno

When Apr 28, 2020
from 01:00 PM to 02:30 PM
Where Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library
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Expanding Empathy Speaker Series

Speaker: David DeSteno, Professor of Psychology, Northeastern University

Title: Hacking Virtue: How Moral Emotions Build Self-Control from the Bottom Up

Abstract: The ability to delay gratification, to value the future more than the present, is a key ingredient for success. It’s what allows us to study or work hard rather than throw in the towel, be generous and fair as opposed to unethical and selfish, to invest for the future rather than spend on immediate pleasure. Yet the ways we’re taught to cultivate the ability for self-control – to rely on willpower and rational planning – not only don’t work well, but also result in anxiety and stress.  I’ll offer scientific evidence for a better route to success – one that leverages the power of moral emotions like gratitude and compassion. I’ll show how these emotions, by guiding our brains’ predictions about what’s likely to happen next and what we should value, impact our economic, social, and ethical decisions for the better.

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