Paul Bloom explores some of the most puzzling aspects of human nature, including pleasure, religion and morality.

Why you should listen

In Paul Bloom's newest book, Psych: The Story of The Human Mind, he provides a compelling, accessible and new perspective on modern psychology, asking questions such as: How does the brain give rise to intelligence and consciousness? What is the function of emotions such as disgust, gratitude and shame? And what can psychology tell us about the most pressing moral and political issues of our time, including belief in conspiracy theories, the role of genes in explaining human differences and the debate around implicit racial bias? In How Pleasure Works, Bloom explores the often-mysterious enjoyment that people get out of experiences such as sex, food, art and stories. In Just Babies and Against Empathy, he examines the nature and origins of our sense of good and evil, and in The Sweet Spot, he looks at the relationship between suffering and the good life. Much of his writing is about research he does with his colleagues and his students.

Bloom is a passionate teacher, and his popular free course in Introduction to Psychology on Coursera has had more than a million students. He also presents his research through articles in The Atlantic, The New Yorker and The New York Times. As he writes, his interests are "strongly interdisciplinary, bringing in theory and research from areas such as cognitive, social and developmental psychology, evolutionary theory, linguistics, theology and philosophy."

Paul Bloom’s TED talks

More news and ideas from Paul Bloom


Open: The talks of TED@DestinationCanada

March 13, 2023

When we come together with open hearts and open minds, anything is possible. It was in this spirit that TED partnered with Destination Canada for a day of talks and performances featuring new ideas on living, seeing the world and reimagining our shared future. The event: TED@DestinationCanada: Open is the first event TED and Destination […]

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We humans

Is empathy overrated?

March 24, 2017

While it can result in tremendous good, empathy is also narrow, biased and surprisingly insensitive, suggests psychology professor Paul Bloom.

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We humans

Why pleasure is important

June 10, 2015

Psychologist Paul Bloom studies the nature of pleasure. In this conversation with Ben Lillie, he discusses how knowing the history of an object can profoundly affect our enjoyment of it.

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