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Empathy & COVID-19 Webinar + Blog Post

Back in March, when COVID-19 hit, Dr. Cameron took the Expanding Empathy 2020 series, which he had organized as faculty associate in the Rock Ethics Institute and convener of the Moral Agency & Moral Development initiative — to an online Zoom format. Despite being remote, the talks were conveyed digitally, which culminated in a spontaneous capstone event in April. Here, speakers from the 2019 and 2020 Expanding Empathy series joined together to discuss what they mean by the term empathy; what its uses and functions might be to support public health during the pandemic; and how people might effectively cultivate empathy during a challenging international crisis. The panel features Michael Poulin (University at Buffalo), David DeSteno (Professor of Psychology, Northeastern University), Paul Conway (Assistant Professor of Psychology, Florida State University), and Abigail Marsh (Associate of Psychology and Interdsiciplinary Neuroscience Program, Georgetown University). The other webinar talks from the series (Conway, DeSteno, Marsh) were also recorded and will be archived online later this semester.

Later that summer, the entire team (Dr. Cameron, Eliana Hadjiandreou, Stephen Anderson, Julian Scheffer) had the opportunity to write a blog post for the Social Science Research Institute's Insights from Experts blog. Here, we discuss the role of motivation and choice in cultivating empathy, outrage, and public health behaviors (e.g., mask-wearing) during the pandemic.