Jonathan Baron, Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania." I
study how people think about moral questions, especially questions about
Current topics of interest are the nature of individual differences in
reflective and intuitive thinking, and the possible existence of naÔve
theories of the role of citizens in democracies, such as the idea that
people should vote for their self-interest or for the interests of groups
with which they identify."
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Response to 'The Baby in the Well, The
Case Against Empathy' by Paul Bloom -
The New Yorker Magazine [Claim that Empathy leads to retribution: Cited study by Jonathan Baron and Ilana
"On many issues, empathy can pull us in the wrong direction. But the
appetite for retribution is typically indifferent to long-term
consequences. In one study, conducted by
Jonathan Baron and Ilana
Ritov, people were asked how best to punish a company for producing a
vaccine that caused the death of a child. Some were told that a higher
fine would make the company work harder to manufacture a safer
product; others were told that a higher fine would discourage the
company from making the vaccine, and since there were no acceptable
alternatives on the market the punishment would lead to more deaths.
Most people didnít care; they wanted the company fined heavily,
whatever the consequence."
Response: Ilana Ritov Email to Edwin Rutsch: "Just briefly, the term "identifiable victim" was coined by
Shelling. Regarding Paul Bloom's reference to our work, I think it
was quite accurate. I share his view that while empathy certainly
has an important role, it is highly susceptible to biases, and
should not serve as the sole basis for public policy."