Faculty Experts

David DeSteno

Professor of Psychology



Related Articles

Why it pays off to be thankful around the holidays

Cul­ti­vating a sense of grat­i­tude has been found to alle­viate stress, says psy­chology pro­fessor David DeSteno. It could also save you some hard-​​earned money as you shop for last-​​minute gifts.

Friends window shopping outdoors in winter city street.  Vienna, Austria.

Gratitude: ‘A vaccine against impulsiveness’

New research from North­eastern pro­fessor David DeSteno shows how cul­ti­vating grat­i­tude for everyday occur­rences leads to greater patience and more self-​​control.


Give thanks, and prosper

In new a paper, North­eastern psy­chology researchers chal­lenge long-​​held beliefs about patience by showing that cul­ti­vating grat­i­tude can pro­mote impulse control—which many pre­vious studies have linked to better long-​​term outcomes.

David DeSteno

Your iPhone gets emotional

Vir­tual humans, rela­tional robots, brain imaging devices, and mobile eye-​​tracking tech­nolo­gies were among the inno­v­a­tive research projects high­lighted at a day­long con­fer­ence at North­eastern that explored the inter­sec­tion of emo­tion sci­ence and technology.

New Vistas in Emotion and Technology

Bold ideas take flight at TEDxNortheasternU

Com­mer­cial space flight. Empow­ering foster chil­dren. Human emo­tion and social resi­lence. These were among the many topics and ini­tia­tives speakers explored Sat­urday at TEDxNorth­east­ernU, attended by 100 North­eastern stu­dents and designed to share bold ideas in the community.


Enlightening research shows meditation boosts compassion

Psy­chology pro­fessor David DeSteno’s lab is the first to study the social impli­ca­tions of med­i­ta­tion, a prac­tice well known to improve one’s phys­ical and psy­cho­log­ical well-​​being.

David DeSteno

Trusty robot helps us understand human social cues

New research from psy­chology pro­fessor David DeSteno sug­gests that we can pick out untrust­worthy people based on their level of fid­geti­ness. The results were con­firmed using a humanoid robot.

Nexi 2010

Happinomics’: the science of money and emotion

Northeastern’s Affec­tive Sci­ence Insti­tute hosted a panel dis­cus­sion among leading “hap­pi­ness sci­en­tists” in con­junc­tion with the Museum of Sci­ence and WBUR’s Here & Now.

Photo by Dreamstime.

The scales of human morality

Psy­chology pro­fessor David DeSteno used the Woody Allen film “Crimes and Mis­de­meanors” to dis­cuss human char­acter at the Coolidge Corner Theatre’s Sci­ence on Screen event on Monday.

David DeSteno

Robotic dragon, an unlikely teacher

David DeSteno, asso­ciate pro­fessor of psy­chology, is working with researchers from MIT and Har­vard to examine how social robots can aid preschoolers in lan­guage learning.

Photo by Christopher Huang.

Faculty Reads, Volume Two

North­eastern fac­ulty mem­bers have written at length on a wide range of topics. Here, we high­light the first batch of pub­lished works in a fea­ture on recent fac­ulty books.

Photo by iStock

3Qs: Immorality driven by corrupting influences

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity psy­chology pro­fessor assesses the moti­va­tions of crime fig­ures like James “Whitey” Bulger and those who exalt them as heroes.

Nexi 2010

3Qs: Judgment impaired by emotion

Award-​​winning doc­toral candidate’s research shows that people’s per­cep­tion of objects and sit­u­a­tions is strongly influ­enced by their feelings

3Qs: A fresh perspective on what makes character

A new book from North­eastern pro­fessor of psy­chology David DeSteno and coau­thor Pier­carlo Valdesolo (a fellow at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity and grad­uate of Northeastern’s PhD pro­gram in psy­chology), chal­lenges the idea that char­acter and morality are devel­oped from a young age and explores why people act the way they do. The book, “Out of Char­acter: Sur­prising Truths about the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us,” was released on May 3.

Nexi 2010

A matter of trust

Using a robot as a human stand-​​in, North­eastern, MIT and Cor­nell researchers col­lab­o­rate to iden­tify how strangers deter­mine trustworthiness

Gratitude and financial virtue

Study by North­eastern psy­chol­o­gist finds feel­ings of grat­i­tude prompt people to share their finan­cial resources

Exploring the science behind emotions and behavior

Con­trary to pop­ular belief, having good char­acter isn’t just about con­trol­ling your emo­tions, but about lis­tening to them, says David DeSteno, asso­ciate pro­fessor of psy­chology at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. DeSteno argues […]

Psychology researchers show pride’s potential to foster individual success

Study shows proud indi­vid­u­al­swho take on lead­er­ship role­sare viewed pos­i­tively by teammates.

Moral Hypocrisy is Deliberative, Finds Northeastern University Researcher

Study finds bias toward self dis­ap­pears under cog­ni­tive con­straint Boston, Mass. – Moral hypocrisy is an anti­so­cial behavior familiar to most of us in which people tend to judge their […]

Selected Publications

For a complete list of faculty citations, please visit iRis, Northeastern’s digital archive.


Gratitude: Prompting behaviors that build relationships

(with Bartlett, M. Y., Condon, P., Cruz, J., and Baumann, J.) Cognition and Emotion, 26, 2-13.


The Virtue in Vice

(with P Valdesolo) Emotion Review, 3, 276-277.


Compassion for one reduces punishment for another

(with P Condon) Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 698-701.

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