The lab got together for an end-of-semester lunch on a warm day!
We had a lot of wins to celebrate this month!
Congratulations to our full time research analyst Tony Chen, who will be starting a PhD program in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department at MIT with Dr. Josh Tenenbaum!
Congratulations also to our undergraduate RAs Kayla Carew and Blair Hu for their admission to the PsyD program at William James College and the Master’s of Social Work program at Boston College, respectively!
And finally, congratulations to our grad student Isaac Handley-Miner, who was accepted to the Max Planck Summer Institute on Bounded Rationality!
The lab went on a hike in the Blue Hills Reservation on one of the first warm days of spring!
The lab went rock climbing together to celebrate the end of the semester!
The lab hosted our final Reason workshop to share findings from our lab and the labs of Fiery Cushman, Katie McAuliffe, and Dave Rand, funded by our Templeton grant on “Reasoning in moral thought and action.” The workshop was attended by members of the four labs, as well as our consultants on this grant who supported our research!
A photo of all of our lab members back in person (sans Liane!). Reports say Tony brought homemade pecan pie and it was delicious 🙂
Congratulations to two of our grad students, Ryan and Isaac, who were awarded SPSP Graduate Student Travel Awards to present their work at the 2022 Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference!
The lab went on a wonderful day hike in the White Mountains and got to see some peak fall foliage. We also stopped by an apple orchard on the way home and recharged with fresh apples and cider donuts!
The Morality Lab had a wonderful dinner at Barcelona Wine Bar to kick off the fall semester! Although Liane was sorely missed, the rest of us toasted to her health and a good year ahead.
To say goodbye to our research analyst Kevin (who’s off to start his MFA in creative writing at the University of Syracuse this fall!), and to welcome Sunny and Tony (back) to Boston, the lab engaged in some good old-fashioned creative bonding at a pottery painting studio. We discovered who had been lying about their lack of artistic talent (spoiler: everybody), and ended the afternoon with burritos and donuts at the park!
The lab went strawberry picking at Ward’s Berry Farm on a sunny early summer morning! We see many smoothies, jams and compotes in our near future…
We also welcomed our lab’s newest member, Sunny Liu, to Boston this month and can’t wait to start working with him!
Congratulations to Ryan and our RA Jordyn on their new paper getting accepted at the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology! You can read the paper, titled “Re-examining the role of family relationships in structuring perceived helping obligations, and their impact on moral evaluation”, here.
On one of the first gorgeously warm days this year, the lab went kayaking to celebrate our postdoc Justin’s time in the lab! Next month, Justin will be joining JPMorgan as a senior associate data scientist. While he’s sad to leave the lab, he’s excited to stay in touch with everyone and looking forward to using his skills in industry. He’s also moving to Chicago and is very excited to host his old colleagues for pizza, steaks and amazing tiki bars whenever they visit!
Congratulations to our four graduating seniors — Emma, Jamie, Jordyn, and Julianna — who have been wonderful RAs in their time at the lab! Emma will be working to provide healthcare and other resources to people experiencing homelessness in Pittsburgh while applying to med schools. Jamie has accepted a clinical research assistant position at the Butler Hospital’s Neuromodulation Research Facility in Rhode Island, and Jordyn will be pursing an MA in Forensic Psychology. Finally, Julianna will be working as a lab coordinator with Massachusetts General Hospital’s Neurology department. We’re so proud of all of you!
The lab was joined last month by its newest honorary member, Isaac Cole Todd (our postdoc Gordon had a baby!). Welcome to the world, Isaac — we can’t wait to meet you! Here he is in his Morality Lab swag:
Congratulations to our grad student Isaac for receiving a three-year NDSEG fellowship for his work on the psychology of truth!!
In other good news, our Research Analyst Kevin has accepted an admissions offer from Syracuse University’s Creative Writing Program and will start his MFA in the fall!
Paul Bloom covers some of the lab’s work on how intention matters less for moral judgments of taboo violations compared to moral judgments of harms, in this Wall Street Journal article.
The lab got together for a socially-distanced picnic by the Charles to celebrate the first warm days of the year, Liane’s promotion to Full Professor, and a few lab birthdays, among other things! This is us trying out our new Morality Lab sweatshirts (and yes, we are in fact starting a band aimed primarily at a teenage audience, taking suggestions for the name of our first EP).
A huge congratulations to Liane, who recently got promoted to Full Professor! We are so excited to eventually celebrate with her in person, but for now we will settle for a long email chain of effusive congratulations :))
The Morality Lab hosted a virtual workshop featuring a series of terrific presentations from our lab and the labs of Fiery Cushman, Katie McAuliffe, and Dave Rand, on our project “Reasoning in Moral Thought and Action”, supported by the John Templeton Foundation.
Also check out this video interview with Liane, featuring work by Ryan, Minjae, and BoKyung, created in collaboration with the John Templeton Foundation and Freethink.
Congratulations to our undergraduate RAs Jordyn, Jamie, Carol and Nathan, who each got their posters accepted at SPSP 2021!
The lab got together on Zoom to celebrate and say goodbye to our lab coordinator Josh, who will be dearly missed! We played Codenames together and watched Josh get very excited about his farewell gift, a jigsaw puzzle of his brain 🙂
In other news, we were also joined this month by our three new lab members — Isaac, Tony and Aditi. Welcome!
In the last couple months, the lab has been settling into a new normal of doing science virtually. We’ve also been playing Zoom games together (we recommend Codenames), and celebrating a lot of birthdays. Word to the wise: surprise Zoom birthday calls eventually lose the element of…well, surprise. Time to get creative…
We also bid farewell to BoKyung, who will be starting an assistant professor position in Psychology at UT Dallas! Congrats BoKyung! We’ll miss you 🙂
Members of the lab took a trip to New Orleans to present some of their work at SPSP 2020. While there, they grabbed a bite to eat with one old friend (James Dungan) and one new (Isaac Handley-Miner).
We are thrilled to announce that Isaac will be joining the lab as a graduate student in the Fall of 2020! On top of that, we will also be joined by Aditi Kodipady as our new lab coordinator, and Tony Chen as a joint lab technician with our lab and Stefano Anzellotti’s lab!
In even more wonderful news, Minjae’s theory paper is now published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, in collaboration with BoKyung and Liane.
Congrats to Ryan, who got his first Morality Lab paper published in Psych Science, in collaboration with Max Kleiman-Weiner and Liane! Learn more about the research paper, titled “What We Owe to Family: The Impact of Special Obligations on Moral Judgment.”, from this quick summary!
The lab goes to Hopewell to celebrate and say farewell to Simon, a visiting scholar who graced us (all too briefly) with his presence. Simon will be returning to Aarhus University in Denmark, where he will be completing his PhD in Management. We’ll miss you, Simon!
The Morality Lab co-hosted the third workshop on Reasoning in Moral Thought and Action at BC, joined by folks from the labs of Fiery Cushman, Katie McAuliffe, and Dave Rand, as well as consultants from far and wide! If you’re interested in learning more about the research we’re doing for this project, check out our brand new website!
The lab is also thrilled to welcome Simon Tobias Karg as a visiting scholar; Simon joins us from Aarhus University in Denmark, where he is pursuing his PhD in Management.
The lab merged with Stefano Anzelloti’s social and cognitive computational neuroscience (SCCN) lab for a gorgeous day of kayaking on the Charles! Minjae demonstrates perfect kayaking technique (as advised by resident kayaking expert, Gordon).
Dr. Lily Tsoi returns to BC to be officially hooded by Liane in her PhD commencement ceremony! And Liane receives the 2019 GSAS Faculty Teaching/Mentoring Award for her incredible teaching and mentoring of our graduate students!
The lab escapes the crowds post-Boston Marathon with a trip to Barcelona (wine bar) to welcome Gordon Kraft Todd (joining as a post-doc in the fall) and Kevin Jiang (our new research analyst)! If you look closely, you’ll see that Josh (trying to embarrass the newbie), accidentally gave himself bunny ears… Not only that, but he completely forgot his birthday was coming up; luckily for him, he was reminded by a chorus of angelic voices and a flan!
Members of the Morality Lab attend SPSP in Portland! Liane and Justin gave talks at the Justice and Morality pre-conference, while Bo Kyung, Minjae, Justin, Ryan, and Josh presented posters. Ryan won an award for being the most visibly excited to present his poster! And lab alums James and Lily were spotted at a hip Portland brewery.
The Morality Lab co-hosts a mini-symposium on Reasoning in Moral Thought and Action, in tandem with the labs of Fiery Cushman, Katie McAuliffe, and Dave Rand. The event lasts all day, with over 20 different talks on a wide range of fascinating topics related to moral reasoning!
Closing out 2018 with style, the lab hit Kendall Square for some ramen to warm up for an afternoon of intense skating – double toe loops, triple axels, and camel spins, oh my. The word on the rink is that Liane pulled off a triple lutz cow, but this may just be hearsay…Happy new year!
The lab is awarded a $2.74M grant to support a 3-year project on Reasoning in Moral Thought and Action, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, in collaboration with co-investigators Fiery Cushman, Katie McAuliffe, and Dave Rand.
In wonderful news, Liane was one of four scientists to receive the Psychonomic Society Early Career Award, which recognizes the significant scientific contributions of Members and Fellows early in their research career!
Congratulations to Lily for successfully defending her dissertation: “Investigating the role of theory of mind in cooperative and competitive behaviors using approaches from cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychology”. Pictured with her committee members Josh Greene, Katherine McAuliffe, Liane Young, and Elizabeth Kensinger.
Lily will be off to start a postdoc with Diana Tamir at the Princeton Social Neuroscience Lab!
Lab and friends celebrated Lily’s wonderful achievements over cake and beer. An impromptu fashion show ensued, in which James and Jordan modeled the lab’s new t-shirts (designed by Lily while she was finishing her dissertation). Lily received a map of the T as a parting gift from the lab, ensuring that she’d never get lost in Boston again..
The lab and friends of the lab came together to enjoy some dim sum celebrating the Chinese Lunar new year and bringing in the year of the Dog! One particular lab member (Liane) was sorely missed at the event; we presume that her brand new baby (and honorary lab member) Jaelyn asked to celebrate at home this year.
The lab united forces with Sara Cordes’ lab to maximize apple picking at Honeypot Farms! In reality, intergroup competition seemed to come more naturally to the labs when bushel came to shove…But there’s really nothing quite like hay rides, cider donuts, and cute pigs to bring people together…and to welcome wonderful new lab members Minjae and Bo Kyung!
Cheers to James and Jordan! James will be starting a postdoc at the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Jordan will be starting a postdoc at Northeastern University with Lisa Feldman-Barrett.
Congratulations to James for successfully defending his dissertation: “Investigating the functional distinction between harm and purity norms”. Pictured with his committee members Jim Russell, Liane Young, Elizabeth Kensinger, and Fiery Cushman.
The lab celebrated James and Jordan with cake, brains, and moral dilemmas! Jordan received a house-made, full-scaled, 3D printout of his own brain (each hemisphere took 33 hours to print), and humbly remarked that it looked especially stylish. James got a print from The New Yorker, June 26, 2017, “The little engine that faced a tough moral dilemma”.
Congratulations to Jordan for successfully defending his dissertation: “Morality as a scaffold for social prediction”! Pictured with his committee members Sean MacEvoy, Lisa Feldman-Barrett, Jim Russell, Liane Young, and Elizabeth Kensinger.
The lab heads out for a day of kayaking on the Charles to send former lab manager Emily off…and new lab manager Josh kayaks in (metaphorically!) to take her place. And congrats to Emily on having her first first-authored paper published in NeuroImage days after her official departure!
The lab also makes a donation to the Union of Concerned Scientists in Emily’s honor, and gives her some brain coasters.
At this year’s meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Liane was one of five scientists who received the Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions. Congratulations Liane! Liane talks to the APS Observer about what the award means to her.
Alek returned from San Francisco to talk about his experiences as a post-postdoc in Silicon Valley, over lunch at El Pelon. In keeping with his research focus on purity violations, the lab awarded Alek a poop hat.
Liane also received a (more important) award: the SAGE Young Scholars Award. Congrats, Liane! Here she is on stage at SPSP, alongside Mina Cikara, Jamil Zaki, Erika Carlson, Jesse Graham, Kurt Gray, and Andrew Todd.
We chose to have our Halloween lab meeting outside, at Honey Pot Hill Orchards. Featuring hot cider, a massive hedge maze, and goats.
Time to maze completion: 1:01
We bid farewell to our postdocs Larisa, Brendan, and Alek with a lab outing at Sacco’s Bowl Haven in Somerville. Lab alum Josh Rottman joined us for an enchanted evening of flatbreads and candlepin bowling.
As is custom, each departing lab member got a personalized gift. Brendan, a new pool owner, received the giant inflatable flamingo he’d always dreamed of.
Larisa got a customized sign for her new home, Columbia’s Social and Moral Cognition Lab – with balloons! (The sign itself didn’t come in time, so here’s Larisa with a miniature version.)
And Alek got Cards Against Morality – a set of Cards Against Humanity cards in which the black cards have been replaced with prompts inspired by the moral violations in his dissertation. Credit goes to Lily for the idea and Emily for writing the prompts (and cutting out 550 cards).
We’ll miss you!
The lab escaped the room on its first ever try! Congrats to Liane, Alek, Laura, James, Jordan, Lily, Emily, and the two strangers who all helped each other find the key.
Laura and Liane discussed their work on victim-blaming in a New York Times Gray Matter opinion piece.
The lab was well-represented at the 2016 meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, hosted by Jonathan Phillips and Liane in Austin, TX!
Lily and James presented posters, Jordan and Laura gave talks, and Liane gave the Stanton Prize Address.
Thesis student Jin Choi presented his work, done in collaboration with Lily, at BC’s Undergraduate Research Day. Congrats Jin!
The lab enjoyed a great trip to SANS in New York City. Among the highlights: three lab members/affiliates (Laura, Jordan, and Emily) presented posters, and Liane gave a talk. Also, James, Liane, and Adam Waytz’s work on fairness-loyalty tradeoffs in whistleblowing was featured in a keynote address by Malcolm Gladwell.
Additionally, Laura’s poster won a SANS poster award. Congratulations, Laura!
We are thrilled to announce that Brendan has just accepted an assistant professorship at SUNY Albany! Congratulations, Brendan!
Six lab members skip out on work to climb Mt. Monadnock.
We bid a fond farewell to Amelia with a homemade card and a special gift: an MBTA sign from Amelia’s most favorite bus line.
The lab welcomes Emily as new lab manager (though Amelia will be with us a bit longer!). As a farewell gift, Laura is presented with her own brain – 3D-printed by Liane and Lily right here on BC’s campus. She discovers that her right hemisphere is significantly larger than her left.
Congrats to Josh, Laura, and Alek for obtaining their PhDs! Farewell to Josh! Franklin and Marshall is lucky to have you. (And lucky for us, Laura is staying in Boston as an NSF postdoc with Steve Pinker, and Alek is staying with us as a postdoc until he moves to Oxford to do Templeton-funded work with Molly Crockett.)
The lab goes curling with the Kensinger and Cordes labs!
Celebrating Liane’s tenure with sushi from Genki-Ya…
Congratulations to Jordan for winning a SANS poster award!
Congratulations to Larisa for accepting a tenure-track position at Columbia!
Congratulations to Josh for accepting a tenure-track position at Franklin & Marshall!
We are excited to have Alek join the lab as a post-doc in the spring!
The lab goes to lunch at Korean Garden.
Congratulations to James, Jordan, Laura and Josh, who all received graduate student travel awards from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology this year!
Congratulations to Brendan for being awarded a two-year Templeton Science of Prospection Award!
Jordan and Liane discuss their research on WBUR’s CommonHealth program, in a series called ‘Beyond Good and Evil: New Science Casts Light on Morality in the Brain’
Congratulations to Larisa for being awarded a two-year National Science Foundation (Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences) Post-Doctoral Fellowship!
Congratulations to Larisa Heiphetz for winning the APA Division 7 Dissertation Award in Developmental Psychology!
The lab welcomes Adelyn Ai-Lun Gao!
John Lutz visits the lab for science and dinner.
Congratulations to Lily Tsoi for receiving a Graduate Student Travel Award and to Liane, with Kurt Gray and Adam Waytz, for receiving the Theoretical Innovation Award from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)!
The lab goes to brunch at Stephanie’s on Newbury street.
Mike, Gabby, and Elizabeth present their theses at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC).
The lab celebrates recent achievements at Josh’s house. Many thanks to Josh and Lysa for the excellent dinner!
Jordan and Lily present their posters at SAN and CNS and go sightseeing in San Francisco with folks in Elizabeth Kensinger’s lab.
Congratulations to Laura for receiving a research grant from the National Endowment for the Arts!
Congratulations to James and Lily for receiving NSF Graduate Research Fellowships!
The lab goes to SPSP in New Orleans. James gives a talk, and Josh, Alek, and Laura present their posters. Larisa, our soon-to-be postdoc, joins us for dinner.
The lab goes trampolining and celebrates Alek’s and Josh’s birthdays with some tacky disco lights and birthday singing.
James and Jordan talk to undergraduates about research opportunities in the lab.
The lab conducts a blind taste test to empirically answer the question of which restaurant (Genki Ya or Fin’s) has better sushi.
Jordan experiences his first 4th of July.
The whole lab goes to SPP and explores Boulder with the Greene lab. Three words: cream soda trees.
The lab bids farewell to our graduating seniors Abby Stemper and Danny Baush.
James and Josh present their work at APS and explored Chicago.
Danny and Abby present their work at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference (PURC).
Congratulations to Abby for receiving the Peter Gray Award for creative achievement in psychology! Each year, the award is given to a sophomore, junior, or senior Psychology major who has manifested unusual intellectual curiosity, independence, and creativity in his or her studies.
May birthday celebrations galore (yummy cakes and attempted jello brains)!
Congratulations to Jordan for receiving a Postgraduate Scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)!
Lily has agreed to stay in the lab as a graduate student starting 2013 (after finishing up her two-year position as lab manager)!
Both news were celebrated at The Abbey over good food:
Congratulations to Liane for being selected as a 2012 Sloan Research Fellow! For more info, click here.
The lab begins the new year by going to San Diego for SPSP.
The lab bids farewell to Martina, who will be returning to the University of Granada in Spain.
The lab went over to The Publick House to drink merrily and eat hamburgers and mac and cheeses (except for Josh who wanted to be individualistic).
Lily receives her green badge (first in the lab)!
Congratulations to Liane for being selected as a Dana Neuroscience Scholar by the Dana Foundation!
Our first hangout as a group! We had a friendly bowling competition against the Cordes and MacEvoy labs at Sacco’s Bowl Haven (Davis Sq). We have the scoresheet somewhere still (not that it’s something to be proud of). Note: this place has great pizza!
Congratulations to Liane for receiving the 2011 Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Social Neuroscience from the Society for Social Neuroscience! For more info, click here.