Amrisha Vaish headshot
AV

Amrisha Vaish

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Psychology
Office location and address
485 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Education
Ph.D., Psychology: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany), 2010
M.A., Psychology: University of Chicago, 2006
B.A., English & Psychology: University of Virginia, 2002
Biography

In my research, I explore the underpinnings of human morality and cooperation. Humans are inordinately cooperative beings, and our ultra-cooperative, moral nature is thought to account for our success as a species. My research focuses on the ontogenetic emergence of the moral emotions, cognitions, and behaviors that make children successful cooperators. This includes the emergence of social emotions such as sympathy, guilt, and forgiveness; of moral evaluations of one's own and others' actions; and of moral behaviors such as helping, sharing, and the enforcement of moral norms. I have also recently begun examining more uncooperative phenomena, such as cheating and reputation enhancement, in order to expand our understanding not only of when and why cooperation works but also of when and why it doesn’t.

The Boundaries of Early Forgiveness
Source: John Templeton Foundation
July 15, 2021 – July 13, 2024
The impact of inequality on young children's prosocial behavior
Source: U.S. NIH Institute of Child Health & Human Develop
March 06, 2020 – February 28, 2022
AS-PSYC The Development of Forgiveness
Source: John Templeton Foundation
June 01, 2016 – May 31, 2019
PSYC 2700: Introduction to Child Psychology
Credits: 3
Introduces the biological, cognitive and social development of the child. Topics include the child's emotional, perceptual, and intellectual development; and the development of personality and socialization. Students can participate in an optional discussion section. An optional weekly review session is offered for those who wish to attend. Prerequisite: PSYC 1010 strongly recommended, top students will be fine without it.
PSYC 3590: Research in Psychology
Credits: 2–3
An original experimental project is undertaken in which each student is responsible for the design and operation of the experiment. S/U grading. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: 14 credits of psychology and instructor permission.
NESC 3960: Research in Neuroscience
Credits: 3
Students in Neuroscience major are expected to participate in active research, supervised by a faculty research mentor. The course grade is based on 10 hours/week lab work toward achieving term goals that are determined individually at the beginning of the term. Students are expected to submit a Term Plan one month after the first day of classes and a Progress Report two weeks before the last day of classes.
PSYC 4500: Special Topics in Psychology
Credits: 3
Topical Offerings in Psychology
PSYC 4970: Distinguished Major Thesis
A two-semester course in which the student prepares a thesis under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. The thesis may be based on empirical research conducted by the student or a critical review or theoretical analysis of existing findings. Prerequisite: Participants in the Distinguished Majors Program in Psychology. Enrollment Requirement: You are required to register for PSYC 3870.
PSYC 4980: Distinguished Major Thesis
Credits: 6
A two-semester course in which the student prepares a thesis under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. The thesis may be based on empirical research conducted by the student or a critical review or theoretical analysis of existing findings. Prerequisite: Participants in the Distinguished Majors Program in Psychology.
PSYC 5305: Moral Development
Credits: 3
This course will cover the development of moral emotions, cognition, and behavior from infancy through middle childhood.
PSYC 5559: New Course in Psychology
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of psychology.
PSYC 7505: Contemporary Issues: Developmental Psychology
Credits: 2
Discusses contemporary developments in psychological theory, methods, and research. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in psychology or instructor permission.
PSYC 7559: New Course in Psychology
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of psychology.
PSYC 8650: Social Development
Credits: 3
Analyzes current theory and research in social and personality developments from infancy through adolescence. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
PSYC 8998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Thesis
Credits: 1–12
For master's research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.
PSYC 9501: Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
Independent laboratory research undertaken with advisor. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory and can be repeated. Instructor permission required.
PSYC 9998: Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.
PSYC 9999: Non-Topical Research
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.
  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science
  • Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions, Association for Psychological Science, 2018
  • Division 7 Dissertation Award, American Psychological Association, 2012
  • Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, Society for Research in Child Development, 2011