Lab Director | Brendan Bo O'Connor (formerly Gaesser)
Imagination Informs Our Capacity for Empathy, Moral Decision making, and Collective behavior
The Imagination & Cognition Lab investigates the science of imagination. We are particularly interested in investigating the role of imagination in social and moral cognition by integrating advanced computational tools and ideas from across cognitive science, social psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience to examine, for example, how the capacity for imagination affects empathy, effective altruism, equality, intergroup bias, and collective attitudes and behavior directed at benefiting the welfare of distant others. Our research draws on a variety of methods, including online crowdsourcing, lab-based behavioral testing, studying exceptional populations, and natural language processing. In doing so, an aim of our lab is to translate this work for a general audience and apply this knowledge towards fostering a more resilient, cooperative, and future-minded society.
We are located in the Department of Psychology at SUNY Albany in the Upper Hudson Valley of Upstate New York. If you are interested in joining the lab as a graduate student or postdoc, click here for details.