Paul Bloom

Paul Bloom's picture
Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology

I am interested in the development and nature of our common-sense understanding of ourselves and other people. Much of my research explores moral psychology—looking at morality in babies, our developing intuitions about moral responsibility, and the role that anger, disgust, and empathy play in our moral lives. Other ongoing projects explore children’s and adults’ beliefs about fate and free will; the relationship between thinking about populations and thinking about lifespans; the psychology of atheists; and common-sense dualism. And I’m always involved in some sort of research concerning pleasure, particularly the pleasure we get from fiction. Most of these projects are initiated by graduate students, and all of the work in my lab is strongly interdisciplinary, bringing in theory and research from areas such as cognitive, social, and developmental psychology, evolutionary theory, behavioral economics, and philosophy.