Paul Bloom
homepage:http://www.yale.edu/psychology/FacInfo/Bloom.html
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Description

Research Interests

I am interested in the development and nature of our common-sense understanding of ourselves and other people. My current research explores the following areas:

Bodies and souls. There is considerable evidence that adults are natural dualists--we see the world as Descartes did, as containing physical things (or bodies) and social entities (or souls). I am interested in how this common-sense dualism emerges in development, and the implications that it has for domains such as morality and religion.

Art and fiction. There are some hard questions that arise when we consider the human capacity to make sense of artwork and fiction. What distinguishes art from everything else? Why do adults consider forgeries to be inferior to the real thing (even if they are perfect duplicates) and when in development does this intuition emerge? And how do we think about the relationship between different fictional worlds, such as the fictional world of Harry Potter and the (also fictional, but very different) world of Batman and Robin?

Moral Reasoning. My students and I are becoming interested in certain fundamental questions within moral psychology. Why do we find certain actions to be disgusting (such as certain sex acts), and why does this emotional reaction lead to moral condemnation? What are children's intuitions about fair and unfair distribution of resources? When does moral hypocrisy emerge? One goal of this research is to understand the developing interplay between deliberative reasoning and the moral emotions.

Most of these projects are student-initiated, and all of the work in my laboratory is strongly interdisciplinary, bringing in theory and research from areas such as cognitive, social, and developmental psychology, evolutionary theory, linguistics, theology, and philosophy.

Sample Publications

Birch, S. & Bloom, P. (in press) The curse of knowledge in reasoning about false beliefs. Psychological Science.

Preissler, M. A. & Bloom, P. (in press) Two-year-olds appreciate the dual nature of pictures. Psychological Science.

Bloom, P. (Dec. 2005). Is God an accident? Atlantic Monthly.

Bloom, P. (2004). Descartes' Baby: How the science of child development explains what makes us human. New York: Basic Books.

Bloom, P. (2000). How children learn the meanings of words. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press


Lectures:

event
flag YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
  lecture
flag Lecture 2 - Foundations: This Is Your Brain
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
4473 views
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flag Lecture 3 - Foundations: Freud
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
2211 views
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flag Lecture 4 - Foundations: Skinner
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
1113 views
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flag Lecture 5 - What Is It Like to Be a Baby: The Development of Thought
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
1815 views
  lecture
flag Lecture 6 - How Do We Communicate?: Language in the Brain, Mouth and the Hands
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
2819 views
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flag Lecture 7 - Conscious of the Present; Conscious of the Past: Language (cont.); Vision and Memory
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
873 views
  lecture
flag Lecture 8 - Conscious of the Present; Conscious of the Past: Vision and Memory (cont.)
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
601 views
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flag Lecture 9 - Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Love (Guest Lecture by Professor Peter Salovey)
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
1462 views
  lecture
flag Lecture 10 - Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Evolution and Rationality
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
950 views
lecture
flag Lecture 1 - Introduction to Psychology
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
6348 views
  lecture
flag Lecture 12 - Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Emotions, Part II
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
433 views
lecture
flag Lecture 13 - Why Are People Different?: Differences
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
1452 views
  lecture
flag Lecture 14 - What Motivates Us: Sex
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
3827 views
lecture
flag Lecture 15 - A Person in the World of People: Morality
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
518 views
  lecture
flag Lecture 16 - A Person in the World of People: Self and Other, Part I
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
651 views
lecture
flag Lecture 17 - A Person in the World of People: Self and Other, Part II; Some Mysteries: Sleep, Dreams, and Laughter
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
714 views
  lecture
flag Lecture 18 - What Happens When Things Go Wrong: Mental Illness, Part I (Guest Lecture by Professor Susan Nolen-Hoeksema)
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
1087 views
lecture
flag Lecture 19 - What Happens When Things Go Wrong: Mental Illness, Part II
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
806 views
  lecture
flag Lecture 20 - The Good Life: Happiness
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
1251 views
lecture
flag Lecture 11 - Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Emotions, Part I
as author at  YALE PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology with Professor Paul Bloom,
594 views