Speaker: Jean Decety,Irving B. Harris Distinguished Service Professor, The University of Chicago and the College, Director of the Child Neurosuite and the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory

Time: 15:30 - 17:00,March 25

Venue: Room 1113, Wang Kezhen Building

Abstract: Morality is so deeply rooted in our social fabric that it seems difficult to imagine a society without norms that delimit the boundaries of what is right or expected of its members. Throughout the past decades, evolutionary theorists, developmental psychologists, and more recently developmental neuroscientists have begun to examine the psychological, computational and neurological mechanisms underlying the building blocks of morality and prosociality, which emerge early in ontogeny. I will present a series of studies on third-party sociomoral evaluations, fairness sensitivity, and cognitive empathy conducted with babies and young children. The results illuminate the mechanisms involved in both social evaluations and preferences, as well as their implementation into actual prosocial behavior. I will argue that developmental neuroscience is critical for clarifying the nature and relative recruitment of the mechanisms involved in moral cognition, the extent to which prosociality is governed by affective or cognitive processing (most findings document a complex balance of both), and the degree to which they are automatic or more controlled.

Host: Li Yi