TedTalk Tuesday – Why Some People Are More Altruistic Than Others

Why do some people do selfless things, helping other people even at risk to their own well-being? Psychology researcher Abigail Marsh studies the motivations of people who do extremely altruistic acts, like donating a kidney to a complete stranger. Are their brains just different? Ted

“Altruistic = showing a disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others; unselfish”

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Abigail Marsh
Abigail Marsh asks essential questions: If humans are evil, why do we sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to help others even at a cost to ourselves? How do we understand what others think and feel?

As an associate professor in the department of psychology and the interdisciplinary neuroscience program at Georgetown University, Abigail Marsh focuses on social and affective neuroscience. She addresses questions using multiple approaches that include functional and structural brain imaging in adolescents and adults from both typical and non-typical populations, as well as behavioural, cognitive, genetic and pharmacological techniques. Among her ongoing research projects are brain imaging and behavioural studies of altruistic kidney donors and brain imaging studies of children/adolescents with severe conduct problems and limited empathy. Speaker

Follow Abigail March on Abigail March, Twitter, and her book The Fear Factor.

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