Why Does It Feel So Good to be Bad?

woman mischievously tapping a man's shoulder

Hosted by UTM Alumni Relations

Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024 
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST
Live Online via Zoom and Streaming On Demand

We occasionally act in ways that are wrong—morally or otherwise—at least partially because of the wrongness, like when we break a rule just for the sake of breaking it. And why does someone telling us not to do something sometimes make us want to do it even more?

In this webinar, Professor Paul Bloom will explore theories of such perverse actions, including failures of thought suppression, singling, strategic behaviour, expressions of autonomy, and "hopeful monsters." He'll also share some interesting things that the study of perverse actions can tell us about human nature.

Watch On-Demand  

Presented by

Paul Bloom

Paul Bloom
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto

Paul Bloom earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology at McGill University and his graduate degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He taught at the University of Arizona and then at Yale University, where he continues to hold the position of Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology. He joined the Psychology Department at the University of Toronto in 2021.

Bloom studies how children and adults make sense of the world, with a special focus on pleasure, morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and, along with scientific publications, writes for popular outlets such as The New York Times and The New Yorker. He is the author of six books, including, most recently, The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning.


Please contact Alumni Relations if you require information in an alternate format, or if any other arrangements can make this event accessible to you.