Cambridge Prosociality and Well-Being Lab

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Inaugural Post: Who We Are and What We Do

by Alex 1. April 2013 20:33

We are a 21st century lab.

And so--according to our lab wizard--we need to have a blog to communicate with the world.

Our hope is that through this medium, we will go beyond the scientific crowd that reads our papers, and discuss in a real, honest way what our research, and the research of others, means. So who are we? What do we do? Why should you care? Glad you asked.

We are the Cambridge Prosociality and Well-being Lab. Our lab is based in--you guessed it--the University of Cambridge in the Department of Psychology, and we specialize in the "Science of Kindness and Happiness". How we do this is through a combination of biological and psychological techniques. We will study your genes, hormones, physiological responses, brain activity, questionnaire responses, behaviours in real life, and what others think of you. We examine the consequences of acting kindly on the recipient, the giver, and society as a whole. We ask how can we build a society where people can be happy sustainably? We study relationships, love, group interactions, and everything in between. Its truly uplifting to do this work: I am constantly struck by the pervasiveness of kindness in our world--we are far, far kinder to one another than most people believe. Likewise, I am constantly amazed by people's resilience: People are able to maintain a state of happiness through trials and tribulations, adapting to new circumstance with remarkable fluidity. And so we try to understand all this and more.

Our lab consists of me (Alex Kogan) as the director, several postdocs and graduate students, and undergraduates volunteering in our lab. Just as critically, we work with wonderful collaborators from labs all over the world. Every part of our group is vital to make the research possible. We love them all :).

Sadly, we don't have a photo of everyone together. But here is part of our group, taken in Fall 2012. :)


Comments (1) -

Bryant Hong Kong S.A.R.
4/17/2013 8:19:32 AM #

"Science of Kindness and Happiness" I love it!
It will be even greater if we look at it from a across-cultural perspective Smile

Alita United States
4/2/2014 5:42:07 AM #

I wish I understood this stuff!

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4/2/2014 7:53:48 PM #

I'm a big four-eyed lame-o! And I wear the same stupid sweater every day!

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2013 University of Cambridge, Department of Psychology