David DeSteno


Ph.D. Social Psychology, Yale University, 1996
M.Phil. Social Psychology, Yale University, 1994
M.S. Social Psychology, Yale University, 1993
A.B. Psychology, Vassar College, 1990

Area(s) of Expertise

Social Psychology

Research Interests

Dr. DeSteno’s research centers on the role of emotion in social cognition and social behavior. His lab takes a multilevel and multiprocess approach to examining the psychological functions, phenomenologies, and sequelae that are associated with discrete emotional states. Current projects focus on the effects of emotions on several types of social judgment (e.g., moral decision making, risk assessment, prejudice) as well as on behaviors fundamental to social living (e.g., trust and cooperation, prosocial action, organizational behavior, altruism, aggression).

Lab Website

Curriculum Vitae


Department of Psychology
125 Nightingale Hall

View Psychology Faculty

Why does Patriots Nation trust Tom Brady when no one else does?

“It’s an established fact that our sense of whether a person’s actions are morally correct doesn’t solely depend on the objective facts. It also depends on our links to the person in question.” Psychology professor David DeSteno takes a look at the trust Patriots Nation has in Tom Brady.

Dealing with impulses

Psychology professor David DeSteno writes the cover story for Pacific Standard, “A Feeling of Control: How America Can Finally Learn to Deal With Its Impulses.”