Jamil Zaki

Jamil Zaki
Stanford University | SU · Department of Psychology

About

138
Publications
62,177
Reads
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13,971
Citations
Citations since 2016
83 Research Items
11420 Citations
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Publications

Publications (138)
Preprint
Full-text available
Social and behavioral science research proliferated during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting the substantial increase in influence of behavioral science in public health and public policy more broadly. This review presents a comprehensive assessment of 742 scientific articles on human behavior during COVID-19. Two independent teams evaluated 19 sub...
Preprint
Cynicism is the attitude that people are primarily motivated by self-interest. It tracks numerous negative outcomes, and yet many people are cynical. To understand this “cynicism paradox,” we review and call for more social psychological work on how cynicism spreads, with implications for how we might slow it down.
Article
Cynicism is the attitude that people are primarily motivated by self-interest. It tracks numerous negative outcomes, and yet many people are cynical. To understand this ‘cynicism paradox’, we review and call for more social psychological work on how cynicism spreads, with implications for how we might slow it down.
Article
In polarized political environments, partisans tend to deploy empathy parochially, furthering division. We propose that belief in the usefulness of cross-partisan empathy—striving to understand other people with whom one disagrees politically—promotes out-group empathy and has powerful ramifications for both intra- and interpersonal processes. Acro...
Article
Full-text available
Social interactions are dynamic and unfold over time. To make sense of social interactions, people must aggregate sequential information into summary, global evaluations. But how do people do this? Here, to address this question, we conducted nine studies (N = 1,583) using a diverse set of stimuli. Our focus was a central aspect of social interacti...
Article
Failing to understand others accurately can be extremely costly. Unfortunately, events such as strokes can lead to a decline in emotional understanding. Such impairments have been documented in stroke patients and are widely hypothesized to be related to right-hemisphere lesions, as well as to the amygdala, and are thought to be driven in part by a...
Article
Full-text available
When people encounter others' emotions, they engage multiple brain systems, including parts of the sensorimotor cortex associated with motor simulation. Simulation-related brain activity is commonly described as a "low-level" component of empathy and social cognition. It remains unclear whether and how sensorimotor simulation contributes to complex...
Preprint
Social interactions are dynamic, and unfold over time. To make sense of social interactions, people must aggregate sequential information into summary, global evaluations. But how do people do this? To address this question, we conducted 9 studies (N= 1,583), using a diverse set of stimuli. Our focus was a central aspect of social interaction, name...
Article
Full-text available
Are humans ever truly altruistic? Or are all actions, however noble, ultimately motivated by self-interest? Psychologists and philosophers have long grappled with this question, but few have considered laypeople’s beliefs about the nature of prosocial motives. Here we examine these beliefs and their social correlates across two experiments (N = 445...
Article
Market exchange and the ideologies that accompany it pervade human social interaction. How does this affect people’s beliefs about themselves, each other, and human nature? Here we describe market cognition as social inferences and behaviors that are intensified by market contexts. We focus on prosociality and two countervailing ways in which marke...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individuals modulate their facial emotion expressions in the presence of other people. Does this social tuning reflect changes in emotional experiences or attempts to communicate emotions to others? Here, “target” participants underwent facial electromyography (EMG) recording while viewing emotion-inducing images, believing they were either visible...
Preprint
The transition to college is a challenging time during which many students suffer declines in well-being. Social connections play a key role in supporting mental health, but only tell part of the story of social life on campus. For instance, the personalities of one’s friends and neighbors on campus contribute to a “social microclimate.” Here, we q...
Article
Empathy is associated with adaptive social and emotional outcomes; as such, a crucial outstanding question is whether it can be bolstered in ways that make practical differences in people's lives. Most empathy-building efforts address one's ability to empathize, increasing empathy by training skills like perspective taking. However, empathy is more...
Article
Significance Partisan biases in processing political information contribute to rising divisions in society. How do such biases arise in the brain? We measured the neural activity of participants watching videos related to immigration policy. Despite watching the same videos, conservative and liberal participants exhibited divergent neural responses...
Article
There is an ongoing debate concerning the contribution of different aspects of empathy to achieving an accurate understanding of others. In this study, we aimed to better comprehend the roles of experience sharing and mentalizing using a modified empathic-accuracy task. We analyzed the unique contribution of each of these mechanisms with an explici...
Article
While the heart rate has been used as a psychophysiological measure in media research, the perception of heart rates may have a considerable influence on individuals. Based on social information processing theory, this paper proposes the heart rate as a chronemic cue in virtual environments, with a varied heart rate accompanying a communicator’s em...
Preprint
People tend to interpret political information in a manner that confirms their prior beliefs, a cognitive bias that contributes to rising political polarization. In this study, we combined functional magnetic resonance imaging with semantic content analyses to investigate the neural mechanisms that underlie the biased processing of real-world polit...
Article
How do people behave when disasters strike? Popular media accounts depict panic and cruelty, but in fact, individuals often cooperate with and care for one another during crises. I summarize evidence for such “catastrophe compassion,” discuss its roots, and consider how it might be cultivated in more mundane times.
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive global health crisis. Because the crisis requires large-scale behaviour change and places significant psychological burdens on individuals, insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behaviour with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts. Here...
Article
Full-text available
Human emotions unfold over time, and more affective computing research has to prioritize capturing this crucial component of real-world affect. Modeling dynamic emotional stimuli requires solving the twin challenges of time-series modeling and of collecting high-quality time-series datasets. We begin by assessing the state-of-the-art in time-series...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human emotions unfold over time, and more affective computing research has to prioritize capturing this crucial component of real-world affect. Modeling dynamic emotional stimuli requires solving the twin challenges of time-series modeling and of collecting high-quality time-series datasets. We begin by assessing the state-of-the-art in time-series...
Article
Full-text available
People tend to believe that their perceptions are veridical representations of the world, but also commonly report perceiving what they want to see or hear. It remains unclear whether this reflects an actual change in what people perceive or merely a bias in their responding. Here we manipulated the percept that participants wanted to see as they p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Attention mechanisms in deep neural networks have achieved excellent performance on sequence-prediction tasks. Here, we show that these recently-proposed attention-based mechanisms-in particular, the Transformer with its paralleliz-able self-attention layers, and the Memory Fusion Network with attention across modalities and time-also generalize we...
Conference Paper
Attention mechanisms in deep neural networks have achieved excellent performance on sequence-prediction tasks. Here, we show that these recently-proposed attention-based mechanisms-in particular, the Transformer with its paralleliz-able self-attention layers, and the Memory Fusion Network with attention across modalities and time-also generalize we...
Conference Paper
Attention mechanisms in deep neural networks have achieved excellent performance on sequence-prediction tasks. Here, we show that these recently-proposed attention-based mechanisms-in particular, the Transformer with its paralleliz-able self-attention layers, and the Memory Fusion Network with attention across modalities and time-also generalize we...
Preprint
Full-text available
Attention mechanisms in deep neural networks have achieved excellent performance on sequence-prediction tasks. Here, we show that these recently-proposed attention-based mechanisms---in particular, the Transformer with its parallelizable self-attention layers, and the Memory Fusion Network with attention across modalities and time---also generalize...
Article
It is well established that people often express emotions that are similar to those of other group members. However, people do not always express emotions that are similar to other group members, and the factors that determine when similarity occurs are not yet clear. In the current project, we examined whether certain situations activate specific...
Article
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) has been shown to be associated with difficulty in the ability to vicariously share others' positive emotions (positive affective empathy). Mixed evidence also suggests potentially impaired recognition of the positive and negative emotions of others (cognitive empathy) and impaired or enhanced sharing of the negative e...
Preprint
Affective Computing is a rapidly growing field spurred by advancements in artificial intelligence, but often, held back by the inability to translate psychological theories of emotion into tractable computational models. To address this, we propose a probabilistic programming approach to affective computing, which models psychological-grounded theo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Are humans ever truly altruistic? Or are all actions, however noble, ultimately motivated by self-interest? Scientists and philosophers have long grappled with this question, but few have considered laypeople’s beliefs about the nature of prosocial motives. Here we examine these beliefs and their social correlates. In line with prior work, we find...
Preprint
People commonly communicate emotional states through facial expressions. However, existing neuroimaging research focuses almost entirely on brain systems involved in perceiving expressions, leaving unclear whether similar systems are recruited when people generate expressions. Pairs of friends took turns viewing positive and neutral images while un...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual Reality (VR) has been increasingly referred to as the “ultimate empathy machine” since it allows users to experience any situation from any point of view. However, empirical evidence supporting the claim that VR is a more effective method of eliciting empathy than traditional perspective-taking is limited. Two experiments were conducted in...
Data
Materials. Contains all of the referenced texts. (DOCX)
Data
Complete dataset for Study 2. Contains all of the raw data and open-ended responses used for analysis in Study 2. (XLSX)
Data
Complete dataset for Study 1. Contains all of the raw data and open-ended responses used for analysis in Study 1. (XLSX)
Data
Questionnaires. Contains all of the questionnaires used in Study 1 and Study 2. (DOCX)
Data
Additional analyses. Contains additional analysis examining social presence as a moderator. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Previous research shows that virtual reality perspective-taking experiences (VRPT) can increase prosocial behavior toward others. We extend this research by exploring whether this effect of VRPT is driven by increased empathy and whether the effect extends to ostensibly real-stakes behavioral games. In a pre-registered laboratory experiment (N = 18...
Data
Appendix A. Means and Standard Deviations of Behavioral Game Measures by Condition. (DOCX)
Data
Appendix B. Means and standard deviations of all dependent variables. (DOCX)
Data
Appendix C. Effect of condition on self-report measures with all controls. (TIF)
Data
Post-test data. A .xlsx file with the data that resulted from the time-two experiment described in the paper. (XLSX)
Data
STATA replication package (cleaning). A file that will clean data in S1 File, S2 File, and S3 File to where it can be used in S8 File in STATA 14. (DO)
Data
CTG data. A .xlsx file with the CTG data described in the paper. (XLSX)
Data
Experimenter script. The script used by the researchers when being ran through the experiment. (DOCX)
Data
Appendix D. Effect of condition on behavioral measures with all controls. (TIF)
Data
Pre-test Data. A .xlsx file with the data that resulted from the time-one questionnaire described in the paper. (XLSX)
Data
Qualtrics file (post-test). A file that can be uploaded to Qualtrics to exactly re-create the questionnaire used in the post-treatment experiment described in the paper. (QSF)
Data
Qualtrics file (pre-screen). A file that can be uploaded to Qualtrics to exactly re-create the questionnaire used as the pre-screen described in the paper. (QSF)
Data
STATA replication package (analysis). A file that will replicate all analyses, tables, and graphs shown in the paper in STATA 14. (DO)
Article
Full-text available
People often recruit social resources to manage their emotions, a phenomenon known as interpersonal emotion regulation (IER). Despite its importance, IER’s psychological structure remains poorly understood. We propose that two key dimensions describe IER: (1) individuals’ tendency to pursue IER in response to emotional events, and (2) the efficacy...
Article
Full-text available
Research on social cognition has fruitfully applied computational modeling approaches to explain how observers understand and reason about others’ mental states. By contrast, there has been less work on modeling observers’ understanding of emotional states. We propose an intuitive theory framework to studying affective cognition—how humans reason a...
Preprint
When people encounter others' emotions, they engage multiple brain systems, including parts of sensorimotor cortex associated with motor simulation. Simulation-related brain activity is commonly described as a "low-level" component of empathy and social cognition. As such, it has been studied predominantly using simple, non-naturalistic tasks, such...
Article
Significance To form successful communities, people must be able to detect socially valued individuals: people who are generous, supportive, and well-connected. Here, we provide evidence that people accomplish this detection by monitoring how the broader community views individuals. We used social network analysis to identify highly socially valued...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals stably vary in their responses to rewards, but researchers have not yet determined whether sensitivity to rewarding outcomes translates across social and non-social contexts, or whether different forms of reward sensitivity relate to distinct behavioral tendencies. We tested for responsiveness to different types of rewards by assessing...
Preprint
Full-text available
People tend to believe their perceptions are veridical representations of the world, but also commonly report perceiving what they want to see or hear, a phenomenon known as motivated perception. It remains unclear whether this phenomenon reflects an actual change in what people perceive or merely a bias in their responding. We manipulated the perc...
Article
Full-text available
People are better able to empathize with others when they are given information concerning the context driving that person's experiences. This suggests that people draw on prior memories when empathizing, but the mechanisms underlying this connection remain largely unexplored. The present study investigates how variations in episodic information sh...
Article
People increasingly use social media to record and share their experiences, but it is unclear whether or how social media use changes those experiences. Here we present both naturalistic and controlled studies in which participants engage in an experience while using media to record or share their experiences with others, or not engaging with media...
Article
Empathy supports adaptive social behaviors such as cooperation and helping. It is also fragile, and commonly unravels in contexts such as intergroup conflict. Insights from neuroscience support the idea that empathy is context sensitive, but recent findings suggest that empathy (and its fragility) reflect individuals' motives in a given context rat...
Preprint
Human beings revel in social approval and social connection. For example, individuals want to be liked, and frequently surround themselves with people who provide such positive reinforcement. Past work highlights a “common currency” between social rewards like social approval, and non-social rewards like money. But social and motivational contexts...
Article
When people help others, they often benefit themselves as well. Do these benefits disqualify prosocial acts from being truly altruistic? Scientists and philosophers have long debated this question, but few have considered laypeople's beliefs about altruism. Here, we examine such lay theories surrounding altruism. Across two studies, observers read...
Article
Reciprocity and reputation are powerful tools for encouraging cooperation on a broad scale. Here, we highlight a potential side effect of these social phenomena: exacerbating economic inequality. In two novel economic games, we manipulated the amount of money with which participants were endowed and then gave them the opportunity to share resources...
Article
Significance Which traits make individuals popular or lead others to turn to them in times of stress? We examine these questions by observing newly formed social networks in first-year college dormitories. We measured dorm members’ traits (for example, their empathy) as well as their position in their dorm’s social networks. Via network analysis, w...
Article
People tend to judge themselves as exhibiting above average levels of desirable traits-including competence, kindness, and life satisfaction-but does this self-enhancement extend to emotional responses? Here, we explore this question by having people attribute emotions to themselves and others following simple gambles. We demonstrate that people di...