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Tor Tarantola

Subject groups/Research projects

Crime and Justice:

Research Interests

I am a member of the Brain Decision Modelling Lab in the Department of Psychology. I study reinforcement learning, value-based decision-making, and social cognition. I am especially interested in how these processes contribute to moral judgments, in particular how people decide to punish others for violating social norms. I use methods from experimental psychology, behavioral economics, computational modeling, and cognitive neuroscience to explore how intentional and causal information are integrated in moral contexts.

I am also interested in how these processes differ in populations with certain clinical conditions such as psychopathy, as well as their implications for legal policies concerning criminal culpability and sentencing.

Before coming to Cambridge, I was a fiscal and policy analyst for the non-partisan California Legislative Analyst's Office, where I advised the state legislature on policy and budgetary issues relating to criminal justice.

Other Professional Activities

Criminal justice
Moral judgment
Social cognition
Neuroeconomics
Value-based choice
Reinforcement learning
Psychopathy and related personality disorders