Piercarlo Valdesolo, PhD

Piercarlo Valdesolo

Piercarlo Valdesolo is an associate professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College and the director of CMC’s Moral Emotions and Trust Lab (MEATLab). His research studies the mechanisms underlying moral judgment and behavior with a particular focus on the role of emotions in our moral lives. His work asks questions like: What drives moral hypocrisy? How does awe influence our belief in God? For whom do we feel compassion and why?

Professor Piercarlo has a B.A. from Amherst College and a Ph.D. in social psychology from Northeastern University. His work has been featured in news outlets such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Time, and USA Today, and he is a regular contributor to Scientific American. He has been named a rising star by the Association of Psychological Science and is co-author with David DeSteno of The Wall Street Journal spotlight psychology bestseller Out of Character: Surprising Truths About The Liar, Cheat, Sinner (And Saint) Lurking In All Of Us, which argues that our character isn’t a stable set of traits, but rather a shifting state that is subject to the constant push and pull of hidden mechanisms in our mind, and that it's the battle between these dueling psychological forces that determine how we act at any given point in time.