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Why Does It Feel So Good to Be Bad?

Learn what the study of perverse actions can tell us about human nature in this lecture led by U of T psychologist Paul Bloom.

Presented by: University of Toronto Mississauga
Online Events
Lectures & Workshops
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We occasionally act in ways that are wrong—morally or otherwise—at least partially because of the wrongness, like when we break a rule just for the sake of breaking it. And why does someone telling us not to do something sometimes make us want to do it even more?

In this webinar, Professor Paul Bloom will explore theories of such perverse actions, including failures of thought suppression, singling, strategic behaviour, expressions of autonomy, and "hopeful monsters." He'll also share some interesting things that the study of perverse actions can tell us about human nature.

Paul Bloom
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto

Paul Bloom earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology at McGill University and his graduate degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He taught at the University of Arizona and then at Yale University, where he continues to hold the position of Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology. He joined the Psychology Department at the University of Toronto in 2021.

Bloom studies how children and adults make sense of the world, with a special focus on pleasure, morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and, along with scientific publications, writes for popular outlets such as The New York Times and The New Yorker. He is the author of six books, including, most recently, The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning.

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U of T alumni online programming includes free Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), the U of T alumni book club, and online lectures and webinars on a wide range of topics from health to computing to Indigenous Studies.

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Lectures & Workshops 

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