Jennifer Stellar is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto and the director of the Health, Emotions, and Altruism Lab (HEAL). She received her PhD in Social-Personality Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Living harmoniously in large-scale societies requires individuals to suppress their more selfish inclinations and prioritize the welfare of others. Dr. Stellar’s research examines the forces that drive prosociality and morality. Specifically, she investigates how prosocial emotions (e.g., compassion, awe, etc.) promote empathy and altruism toward another person, encourage cooperation and cohesion within groups, and enhance the health and well-being of the individual. She also explores how individuals encourage moral behavior and uphold moral norms though expressing moral outrage toward transgressors, relying on moral character to inform other impressions, and allowing others to regain moral status through redemption. These projects aim to answer a fundamental question about humans—how do we transcend our own self-focus to care about other people, groups, and society as a whole?