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Why do we feel empathy for the suffering of others? What factors shape our views on dogs? What do psychopaths dream of? These seemingly random questions are brought together in a harmonious evening of curiosity and answered by three top scientists from the University of Liverpool. We will take you on a journey through the science of how we judge dogs, how we empathise with others and how the “dark” personality traits influence our daily activity patterns. The evening will give you a chance to meet our experts and gently probe them, drink, laugh and learn!
The Good, The Bad, and The Vicious – How We Judge Dogs
Dogs enjoy really positive press: they are portrayed to be loyal (like Lassie), fun (like the dog from a mobile phone company which encourages you to “be more dog”) and brave (like Rin Tin Tin). Our perceptions of dogs matter as it affects how we train them, or whether or not we think we will be bitten. In my talk I will discuss how we see and judge dogs and factors which shape our views. I will bring research form psychology, anthrozoology and sociology and discuss cases of three famous film dogs: Hound of the Baskervilles, Cujo and The White Dog.
I Feel Your Pain: Empathy in a Social World
Empathy is a concept that we intrinsically understand, and a quality that we tend to aspire to - but why do humans feel empathy for the pain or suffering of others? Furthermore, if we are naturally empathic creatures then why do crimes or events which clearly oppose the concept occur so frequently in modern society? This talk will discuss neuroscience research into the brain mechanisms which underpin human empathic behaviour. We will explore how our brains deal with the pain that we see around us, and how this process interacts with the complexities of our social world.
Night Owls and Psychopaths - The Dark Triad of Personality
Do “Dark” personality traits (i.e. Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) influence our daily activity patterns? What do psychopaths dream of when they go to bed? Are people high on the Dark Triad better, or worse at detecting lies? In this talk, I will be introducing our (Ig Nobel) award-winning research on night owls and psychopathy, as well as discussing other, curious research findings from our lab.