Department of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania
Predicting flexible human social behavior
Although human behavior reflects a concern for others’ welfare, people do not extend this concern uniformly. Instead, the mind adjusts the expression of prosocial tendencies across different social contexts. These adjustments can constitute critically useful flexibility in human social behavior, but, when they are systematic across individuals, they can also form the basis of societal treatment disparities. In this talk, I will present data from recent experiments integrating approaches from social psychology, behavioral economics, cognitive neuroscience, and computational linguistics to (i) better understand the mechanisms producing flexibility in people’s decisions about how to treat different individuals, (ii) characterize the nature and size of those mechanisms’ impact on prosocial behavior, and (iii) successfully predict how people treat members of a wide variety of social groups in both the lab and the field.
A pizza lunch will be served at 11:45am. The seminar will begin at 12:00pm.