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The best and the worst: Empathy and its contribution to morality

March 6, 2014 @ 12:00 am - 2:30 pm

The Annenberg Public Policy Center is pleased to present a lecture by
Dr. Jean Decety
Irving B. Harris Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry
University of Chicago
Director of the Child Neurosuite:
Head of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab:
The best and the worst: Empathy and its contribution to morality
Abstract:  Morality and empathy are fundamental components of human cultures and interpersonal lives. Too often in both popular conceptions and academia, moral cognition and empathy are used interchangeably, and the latter is considered as a foundation for the former.  I will argue that, while there is a relationship between empathy and moral decision-making, the two concepts should not be equated.  Moreover, it is critical to distinguish between the sub-components of empathy (empathic arousal, empathic concern and perspective taking), as each uniquely influences moral cognition and predicts differential outcomes in moral behavior.  The wealth of findings from social neuroscience illustrates a complex and equivocal relationship between morality and empathy; at times empathy guides moral judgment, yet at times empathy can interfere with it.
Seating is limited.  Click here to RSVP


March 6, 2014
12:00 am - 2:30 pm


Second-floor atrium at the Annenberg Public Policy Center
202 S. 36th ST
Philidephia, PA 19104 United States
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