Gordon Kraft-Todd

PhD Student in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Watch my videos

My research explores how to leverage the evolutionary mechanisms of social cognition to promote prosocial behavior in the real world. I have three primary lines of work:

1) The spread of non-normative (i.e. rare) prosocial behaviors (see this video for my talk on this work)

2) The limits and power of empathy in promoting prosocial behavior

3) How evolutionary pressures shaped the psychological mechanisms which facilitate the resolution of social dilemmas

I study these phenomena using a combination of interdisciplinary methods, including online and in-lab incentivized economic game experiments, hypothetical vignette studies, and field experiments.

I received my PhD in psychology from Yale in May 2019, working in the Human Cooperation Lab with David Rand. I am a co-founder of the Applied Cooperation Team at MIT which fosters relationships with firms in the non-profit, for-profit, and government sectors to test the ecological validity of our laboratory findings in the real world (see this video for an intro to our work). This summer, I will join the Morality Lab at Boston College as a postdoc with Liane Young.

I received my AB from Harvard College in 2007 with an independently designed major in Leadership. While there, I co-founded the Leadership Institute at Harvard College. I owe much of my knowledge about leadership and prosocial behavior to many happy summers spent at Camp Becket, YMCA.

  • Education
    • Yale University
    • Harvard College