Humans evolved with both self-interest and prosociality. What biological and psychological mechanisms guide moral reasoning and social decision-making? How do these abilities develop in children and manifest in adults, and how are they influenced by resource scarcity and group dynamics? Why do psychopaths show a lack of concern for others? Why do ordinary people hold strong moral convictions that can lead to extreme political attitudes?

The University of Chicago Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, headed by Dr. Jean Decety, investigates these questions with the multi-level approach that characterizes social neuroscience, using functional and structural MRI, high-density EEG/ERP, and behavioral economics.

We have a separate child-friendly space, the Child Neurosuite, to study the development of moral cognition and prosociality.

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Behavioral economics | Development | Empathy | Justice motivation | Morality | Neuropolitics | Prosociality | Psychopathy | Social decision-making