Jared R. Piazza

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About me

I work at the University of Pennsylvania as a Lecturer/Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology. My research focuses mainly on issues from moral psychology, particularly questions about the way people reason about harm, injustice, the treatment of animals, the universality of moral propositions, and the role religion plays in shaping people's moral decisions. 

Some areas of inquiry I am interested in and/or have done research on:

(a)  how does religiosity influence moral thinking? (e.g., why do religious individuals seem to disregard outcomes when evaluating the morality of an act? Is the deontological orientation of religious individuals an expression of their deference for God's moral authority? How do religious beliefs about the sacredness of the human body influence moral judgments?);

(b) how are different moral emotions structurally and functionally unique? (e.g., is disgust more focused on aberrant sexual appetites, while anger is more focused on unjust actions and an actor's reasons for causing harm?);
(c) why are people overly attuned to the reputational consequences of their actions?  (e.g., can belief in watchful gods curb selfish behavior?);

(d) how do people understand the relationship between harm and moral wrongdoing? (e.g., under what conditions do people believe it's justifiable to cause harm or take a life? Are only unjust harms seen as universally forbidden to perform? How do people determine whether a harmful act is justifiable?);
(e) is moral character a fundamental dimension of social cognition, and how is it conceptualized vis-a-vis other personality dimensions, like competence or sociability?;

(f) what factors influence our moral regard for animals? (e.g., are aggressive animals perceived as deserving less moral standing than benevolent animals?).

Contact me
Photo credit: Jen Lord; Location: Venice, Italy

Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania
3720 Walnut Street, Solomon Labs Building
Philadelphia, PA  19104
Office: D21
Tel: 215-898-7866
Email: jpiazza@psych.upenn.edu

Teaching @ Penn

Psyc 272-601: Evolutionary Psychology (Spring 2014)

[current & 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. Religious Studies at Houghton College, NY

Jesse Bering (was my PhD supervisor)

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

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

Roger Giner-Sorolla
(University of Kent)

Pascal Sophie Russell (University of Surrey)

Geoff Goodwin (University of Pennsylvania)

Paul Rozin (University of Pennsylvania)

Justin Landy (University of Pennsylvania)

Gordon Ingram (Bath Spa University)

Matt Ruby (University of Pennsylvania)

Stephen Loughnan (University of Edinburgh)

Azim Shariff (University of Oregon)

[other affiliations/memberships]

International Society for Research on Emotion

Porto X-Phi (Experimental Philosophy) Lab 

Society for Judgment and Decision Making

Photo credit: Jen Lord; Location: Stockholm, SE

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