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New Graduate Students Join Our Lab

The lab is excited to announce that two new graduate students will be joining us in the fall of 2018: Stephen Anderson and Eliana Hadjiandreou. Welcome, Stephen and Eliana!

Recently Published Paper: “Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is associated with impairments in both spontaneous and deliberative moral judgments”

The lab recent published the paper “Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is associated with impairments in both spontaneous and deliberative moral judgments”, with Justin Reber, Victoria Spring, and Daniel Tranel, in Neuropsychologia.  In this work, we administered the Moral Categorization Task (Cameron et al., 2017, Cognition) to patients with vmPFC lesions, as well as neurologically healthy participants and patients with other kinds of brain damage. Results revealed that patients with vmPFC lesions showed reductions in both intentional moral judgment and unintentional moral judgment.

Recently Awarded Small Grant from UCLA Animal Law Program

The lab was recently awarded a small grant from the UCLA Animal Law program, for the project “The Paradox of Animal Empathy: A Motivational Approach to Fostering Empathy for Animal Suffering”. This project examines the role of effort and financial costs in shaping empathic choices in response to humans vs. animals. The grant is in collaboration with Janet Swim (Psychology) and Robert Chiles (Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education; Rock Ethics Institute).

Recently Published Paper: “How to think about emotions and morality: Circles, not arrows”

The lab recently published the paper “How to think about emotions and morality: Circles, not arrows”, with Kurt Gray and Chelsea Schein, in Current Opinion in Psychology.  In the article, the authors use principles of constructionism, in which discrete mental states emerge from the combination of more basic, domain-general processes, to provide a new model of mind for the understanding of moral emotions.

Our Lab interviewed by Penn State News

The lab was interviewed by Penn State News for its recent publications “Implicit moral evaluations” (Cognition) and “The empathy impulse” (Emotion), which both discuss novel measures and mathematical models for moral judgment and empathy for pain, respectively.  For a  companion piece that describes the potential impact of these methods, see the recent piece that Daryl Cameron wrote for The Conversation.

Short Piece about Motivational Perspective on Empathy

For a short piece about the lab’s motivational perspective on empathy, see the recent piece that Daryl Cameron wrote The Conversation.  For a fuller treatment, please see the preprint “The ends of empathy” on the Publications page.

Recently Contributed a Theory Map of Empathy to Paper

The lab recently contributed a theory map of empathy to the paper by Kurt Gray, “How to map theory: Rigorous methods are useless without reliable theory”, in Perspectives on Psychological Science. Check out the Theory Maps site to learn more about theory mapping and its utility within psychological science.  Here’s a link to our Empathy theory map, collaboratively developed with Daryl Cameron, Julian Scheffer, Victoria Spring, and Eliana Hadjiandreou.

Recently Published Paper: “The empathy impulse: A multinomial model of intentional and unintentional empathy for pain”

The lab recently published the paper “The empathy impulse: A multinomial model of intentional and unintentional empathy for pain”, by Daryl Cameron, Victoria Spring, and Andrew Todd, in the journal Emotion. This paper develops a novel implicit measure of empathy for pain, along with a formal mathematical model for estimating underlying processes of intentional and unintentional empathy for pain.  We are currently extending this work to examine unintentional empathy for pain among practicing physicians, as well as in clinical and incarcerated populations.

Recently Published Paper: “Dissociating processes underlying level-1 visual perspective taking”

The lab has recently published the paper “Dissociating processes underlying level-1 visual perspective taking”, by Andrew Todd, Daryl Cameron, and Austin Simpson, in the journal Cognition. The paper examines a phenomenon known as “altercentrism” in visual perspective-taking: the tendency for others’ visual perspectives to automatically bias our own.  We apply process dissociation to disentangle automatic and controlled processes that shape this bias.

Recently Published Paper: “Implicit moral evaluations: A multinomial modeling approach”

The lab has recently published the paper “Implicit moral evaluations: A multinomial modeling approach”, by Daryl Cameron, Keith Payne, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Julian Scheffer, and Michael Inzlicht, in the journal Cognition.  This paper develops a novel implicit measure of moral judgment, along with a formal mathematical model for estimating underlying processes of intentional and unintentional (i.e., implicit) moral evaluations.  We are currently extending this work to examine implicit moral evaluations in clinical and incarcerated populations.