About me

Lancaster University
Department of Psychology
Fylde College
United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0)1524 594869
Work Email: 
j [dot] piazza [at] lancaster [dot] ac [dot] uk

:: BIO ::

I did my PhD at Queen's University Belfast with Dr. Jesse Bering at the Institute of Cognition and Culture. After my PhD I did a postdoctoral stint with Prof Roger Giner-Sorolla at the University of Kent, and another with Dr. Geoff Goodwin at the University of Pennsylvania. I currently work at Lancaster University in the UK, as a Lecturer in the Psychology Department. Here's my departmental webpage. 

I am a member of the Moral Cognition and Behaviour (MCAB) Lab at Lancaster, co-run with Dr Neil McLatchie. 

My research focuses mainly on issues from moral psychology, particularly questions about the way people think about: 

  • the conceptual relationship between harm, injustice, and wrongdoing
  • what makes people think that a moral proposition is objectively or universally true   
  • the role different emotions play in moral judgment, particularly investigating differences between anger and disgust
  • the moral standing of animals, which features factor into these judgments and when are people likely to ignore or discard these factors
  • the fundamental dimensions of social cognition, which moral character features heavily in
  • the role religion and supernatural beliefs plays in shaping people's moral decisions and behavior 

[previous posts, education]

2011-2014 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychology, Philadelphia, PA

2009-2011 Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Kent, School of Psychology, Canterbury, UK

2006-2009 Ph.D. at the Institute of Cognition and Culture, Queen's University Belfast, UK. Dissertation supervisor Dr. Jesse Bering, awarded 2010. 

2005-2006 Masters student at the University of Arkansas, Department of Experimental Psychology,  AR. Thesis supervisor Dr. Jesse Bering.

1999-2003 B.A. (summa cum laude) Religious/Biblical Studies at Houghton College, NY

[other affiliations/memberships]

International Society for Research on Emotion

Porto X-Phi (Experimental Philosophy) Lab 

Society for Judgment and Decision Making

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion

External Research Collaborators

Paulo Sousa (Institute of Cognition and Culture, Queen's University Belfast)

Roger Giner-Sorolla (University of Kent)

Geoff Goodwin (University of Pennsylvania) 

Colin Holbrook (UCLA Center for Behavior, Evolution & Culture)

Gordon Ingram (Universidad de Los Andes, Columbia)

Justin Landy (Center for Decision Research, University of Chicago)

Steve Loughnan (University of Edinburgh)

Paul Rozin (University of Pennsylvania)

Matt Ruby (University of Pennsylvania)

Pascal Sophie Russell (University of Surrey)

Azim Shariff (University of Oregon)

Ain Simpson (Ohio University)