When babies identify meaningful cultural differences

Note: This piece first appeared in the New York Times on August 19, 2016 as “Babies Watching People Eat”. You may not be surprised to learn that food preference is a social matter. What we choose to eat depends on more than just what tastes good or is healthful. People in different cultures eat different … Continue reading When babies identify meaningful cultural differences

Multilingual exposure improves children’s social abilities

Note: This piece first appeared in the New York Times on March 11, 2016, as “The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals”. Being bilingual has some obvious advantages. Learning more than one language enables new conversations and new experiences. But in recent years, psychology researchers have demonstrated some less obvious advantages of bilingualism, too. For instance, … Continue reading Multilingual exposure improves children’s social abilities

Virtue Talk podcast: “Early learning about food is really learning about people” – Katherine Kinzler

Click the link below to hear our scholar and Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development at Cornell University Katherine Kinzler discuss her work in child food preferences (with collaborators Zoe Liberman, University of California, Santa Barbara; and at the University of Chicago, Samantha Fan, Amanda Woodward, Boaz Keysar); and how working with scholars in our … Continue reading Virtue Talk podcast: “Early learning about food is really learning about people” – Katherine Kinzler

Can cognitive effort be measured?

My central research question for our December 2016 Working Group Meeting is, Can cognitive effort be measured? There is growing evidence that fluctuations in brain activity may exhibit scale-free (“fractal”) dynamics. Scale-free signals follow a spectral-power curve of the form P(f ) ∝ f−β, where spectral power decreases in a power-law fashion with increasing frequency. … Continue reading Can cognitive effort be measured?

Questions our scholars are asking – part 1 of 2

We’ve distilled our Scholars’ research for this semester into respective questions; tomorrow we’ll post eight more. And in forthcoming posts, we’ll feature in-depth look at each. For now, we thought our readers would enjoy pondering each question. Together, they can read as a kind of meditation on the inter-relatedness of virtue, happiness, and deep meaning … Continue reading Questions our scholars are asking – part 1 of 2

Food Preferences, Temperance, and Virtue

The concept of habit plays a central role in Thomas Aquinas’ moral theory, and in his analytic psychology more generally. He identifies habits as one of the fundamental principles of human action, together with the capacities of intellect, passions, and will – appropriately so, because habits are nothing other than stable dispositions of these capacities, … Continue reading Food Preferences, Temperance, and Virtue