ZURICH, Switzerland and NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, October 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Yale Professor Paul Bloom's research into the origins, nature and development of children's moral thought and behavior resonates beyond the United States. The Swiss-based Jacobs Foundation awards to him the 2017 Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize endowed with one million Swiss francs (USD 1,03 Mio.). Each year, the Jacobs Foundation honors an outstanding researcher for his scientific work of high social relevance as well as an institution who puts innovative solutions to the development of children and young people into practice. The 2017 Klaus J. Jacobs Best Practice Prize goes to War Child, based in The Netherlands. The 2017 awards will be presented on December 1, at a festive ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland.
Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University, has studied the social and moral capacities of young babies and found that even they judge actions as right or wrong when observing an individual helping or hurting others. However, contrary to adults, babies have no conscious access to moral notions but respond on a gut level. "It is through our imagination, our compassion and our capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies," says Bloom.
Despite this ability to reason, adults' actions are still often motivated by their emotions, particularly the capacity for empathy. In his latest book, Against Empathy, Bloom argues that empathy blinds our actions and we should rather rely on compassion, reason, and cost-benefit analysis. With the prize money, Bloom plans to explore the nature of moral psychology and how it changes over the course of development.
Read the full media release here.
SOURCE Jacobs Foundation