Amelia is interested in interactions between our engagement with fictional narrative and the moral stances we hold. She received her B.S. from the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 2011.
Emily received her B.A. in Cognitive Science from Pomona College in 2015, with her thesis on bilingualism and executive function in young adults. She has a broad range of interests in psychology and neuroscience; a few recent projects involve aging-related change in bilinguals’ executive function, the role of the insula in emotion processing, embodied perceptions of temperature, and the default network’s contribution to social cognition.
James studies the cognitive and neural basis of distinct moral domains; specifically, morals targeting one’s self versus another. He is also interested in the tensions between these domains and their concurrent emotional signatures. His research combines methods from social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. He received his B.S. from MIT, and is currently a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Boston College.
Jordan uses fMRI methods to investigate how people understand moral objectivity, as well as sacred values that are particularly central to our moral beliefs. He is also interested in the dynamics of mind perception during interpersonal interactions. He received his B.Sc.H from Queen’s University in 2010 and is currently a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Boston College.
Lily studies the role of brain regions for theory of mind in moral judgment and is primarily interested in the specific computations these neural substrates support (e.g., representing an act as intentional versus accidental). She received her B.A. in neuroscience from Wellesley College in 2011 and is currently a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Boston College.
Brendan studies the function of imagination and memory. He uses a variety of methods available to psychology to uncover their shared cognitive basis, and how these abilities change in aging. Recently, he has begun exploring the role of imagination and memory in fostering empathy and prosocial behavior. He received his B.A. from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Larisa uses methods from social, cognitive, and developmental psychology as well as neuroscience to investigate the ways that children and adults learn to reason about others’ beliefs (including religious beliefs) and how such reasoning might influence intergroup attitudes. She is currently extending this work to the domain of morality by investigating how children and adults make moral judgments. Larisa received her BA from The Pennsylvania State University in 2008 and her PhD from Harvard University in 2013.
Alek studies the conceptual structure underlying our moral intuitions. Presently, his research suggests that two domains of morality, “harm” and “purity,” may have evolved relatively independently, and differ from each other both in their conceptual content and in the target of moral judgment (e.g., keep oneself clean, but keep others from being harmed). Alek received his B.A. from Hampshire College (’06), and his PhD from Harvard University (’15).
Visiting Research Assistants
B.S. Philosophy 2011
Research Interests: Research interests: Psychology of respect, moral dumbfounding, moral
persuasion, the relationship between moral beliefs and moral
motivation, and the psychology of rights-based ethical intuitions.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
B.S. Psychology, 2016 (expected)
Research interests: TBD
B.S. Psychology, 2017 (Expected)
Research Interests: TBD
Psychology B.S. 2016 (Expected)
Research Interests: Moral behavior and decision making, empathy and moral development, moral cognitions associated with crime
B.S. Biology, 2015 (expected)
Research Interests: Moral development in children and factors behind changes in morality
Graduate Student Alumni
Laura Niemi – Postdoctoral associate in Dr. Steven Pinker’s lab at Harvard University
Joshua Rottman – Assistant professor at Franklin & Marshall College
Thesis Student Alumni
RAs and Affiliate Alumni
Kelsey Gordon (Fall 2013)
Trace Fairbough (Spring 2013 – Fall 2013)
Tyler Millhouse (Summer – Fall 2013)
Elisabeth Dalton (Summer 2013)
Gaelyn Davis (Spring 2013)
James Ambrosoli (Summer 2012)
Mansoor Choudhry (2011 – 2012)
Martina Carmelo Perera (Fall 2011)
Billy Hood (2011)