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Jean Decety

Professor
University of Chicago
Building bridges between social sciences and biological sciences: The scope of social neuroscience
01 April 2022 -
30 June 2022
Neuroscience
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Jean Decety is a French-American neuroscientist. He is the Irving B. Harris Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Chicago and its College. Decety is Director of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. His work and teaching focus on social cognition, particularly morality, empathy, social influence, and prosocial behavior. His discoveries have led to new understandings of social-emotional processes in children and adults, as well as in incarcerated criminal psychopaths. His research uses neuroimaging techniques (structural and functional MRI, and high-density EEG), coupled with methods from cognitive psychology and behavioral economics to determine how biological and social factors dynamically interact in contributing to decision-making and the motivation to care for the welfare of others. Jean Decety currently explores the impact of extreme ethnic violence on children's distributive justice decisions, and considerations of justice and fairness. This research is being conducted in different African countries. Decety also examines how and why strong moral convictions can facilitate engagement in violent actions.

Research interests

Behavioral economics, Developmental psychology, Morality, Neurobiology, Sociality, Social decision-making

Building bridges between social sciences and biological sciences: The scope of social neuroscience

When interdisciplinary analyses integrate approaches from the social sciences and biological sciences, they significantly expand theoretical knowledge. The theoretical insights gleaned also have the potential to improve social and material living conditions. Social neuroscience is an academic discipline that examines how the brain mediates social cognition and behavior. It provides an overarching paradigm to investigate human behavior, and to determine where we, as a species, fit within a broader biological context. Many biological processes, rather than being fixed, immutable mechanisms that consign people to particular life outcomes, are instead fluid, dynamic responses to features of the social and physical environments humans inhabit. The emphasis of social neuroscience is on the functions that emerge through the coaction and interaction of conspecifics, the biological mechanisms underlying these functions, and the commonality and differences across social species. It is a complex inter-disciplinary perspective that demands theoretical, methodological, statistical, and inferential rigor to effectively integrate knowledge across levels of analysis, from cells to societies. The aim of this collaborative research project is to contribute to the interaction between the biological sciences and the social sciences, trace causation across levels of organization, identify fertile paradigms and areas of future inquiry, all while illuminating the societal implications of that knowledge beyond academia.

Key publications

Decety, Jean (Ed), The Social Brain – A Developmental Perspective, MIT Press, 2020, 440 p.

Decety J., Wheatley T., (Eds), The Moral Brain: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, MIT Press, 2015, 338 p.

Decety, Jean, Cacioppo, John T. (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience, Oxford University Press, 2011, 1128 p.  http://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195342161.001.0001

Latest publication

Decety, J. (2021). Why empathy is not a reliable source of information in moral decision makingCurrent Directions in Psychological Science30(5), 425-430.

 

Seminar organized by Jean Decety, 2021-2022 Paris IAS Fellow, as part of the "Social neuroscience" series
16 Jun 2022 10:00 -
16 Jun 2022 11:50,
Paris :
Group dynamics
Seminar organized by Jean Decety, 2021-2022 Paris IAS Fellow, as part of the "Social neuroscience" series
09 Jun 2022 10:00 -
09 Jun 2022 11:55,
Paris :
Cooperation and social preferences
Seminar organized by Jean Decety, 2021-2022 Paris IAS Fellow, as part of his "Social Neuroscience" series
02 Jun 2022 10:00 -
02 Jun 2022 11:50,
Paris :
Social networks
Seminar organized by Jean Decety, 2021-2022 Paris IAS Fellow, as part of his "Social neuroscience" series
19 May 2022 10:00 -
19 May 2022 11:50,
Paris :
Empathy and caring
Seminar organized by Jean Decety, 2021-2022 Paris IAS Fellow, as part of his "Social neuroscience" series
05 May 2022 10:00 -
05 May 2022 11:50,
Paris :
Social influence on decision-making
Webinar organied by Jean Decety, 2021-2022 Paris IAS Fellow, as part of his "Social neuroscience" series
28 Apr 2022 10:00 -
28 Apr 2022 11:50,
Paris :
Social hierarchies, dominance, and status
Webinar by Jean Decety, 2021-2022 IAS Fellow, as part of his "Social neuroscience" series
21 Apr 2022 10:00 -
21 Apr 2022 11:50,
Paris :
The importance of social connection
19 Apr 2022 10:00 -
19 Apr 2022 13:00,
Building Bridges between Social Sciences and Biological Sciences: The Scope of Social Neuroscience
Seminar series organized by Jean Decety, neuroscientist, University of Chicago, and 2021-2022 Paris IAS Fellow
14 Apr 2022 10:00 -
16 Jun 2022 11:50,
Paris :
Social Neuroscience
Webinar organized by Jean Decety, 2021-2022 Paris IAS Fellow, as part of his "Social Neuroscience" series
14 Apr 2022 10:00 -
14 Apr 2022 11:50,
Paris :
Introduction to social neuroscience: an evolutionary perspective

26347
2021-2022
Contemporary period (1789-…)
World or no region