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Paul Bloom (professor)

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Paul Bloom (professor)

Paul Bloom
Born (1963-12-24) December 24, 1963 (age 50)
Montreal, Quebec
Residence New Haven, Connecticut
Citizenship U.S., Canadian
Fields Psychology
Institutions Yale University, University of Arizona
Alma mater MIT, McGill University
Doctoral advisor Susan Carey

Paul Bloom (born December 24, 1963) is a Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on language, morality, religion, fiction, and art.


Education and employment

Bloom was born in to a Jewish family in Montreal, Quebec.[1]As an undergraduate he attended McGill University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (with honors first class) in 1985. He attended graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a Ph.D in Cognitive Psychology in 1990, under the supervision of Susan Carey.

From 1990-1999, he taught Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona. Since 1999, he has been a Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University.

Since 2003, Bloom has served as co-editor in chief of the scientific journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Bloom is married to the psychologist Karen Wynn, a noted infant researcher who is also a Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University. They have two sons.[2]

Honors and awards

Bloom has held a number of distinguished visiting professorships, including the Harris Visiting Professorship at the Harris Center for Developmental Studies at the University of Chicago (2002); the Nijmegen Lectureship at the Max Planck Institute at the University of Nijmegen (2006); the Templeton Lectureship at Johns Hopkins University (2007-8); and the Visiting Distinguished SAGE Fellowship at the UCSB SAGE Center for the Study of Mind (2010).

In 2003, the Society for Philosophy and Psychology awarded Bloom the Stanton Prize for outstanding early-career contributions to interdisciplinary research in Philosophy and Psychology, and in 2005-6, he served as the Society’s President. In 2006, he was made a Fellow of the American Psychological Society in recognition of his “sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology.”

In 2004, he received the Lex Hixon Prize for teaching excellence in the social sciences at Yale University. In 2007, his Introduction to Psychology class was selected as an outstanding Yale course to be made available worldwide through the Open Yale Courses initiative.


Bloom is the author of three books and editor or co-editor of three others. His scientific work has appeared in journals such as Nature and Science, and his popular writing has appeared in outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The American Scientist, Slate and The Atlantic (His article in The Atlantic, "Is God an Accident?" was included in The Best American Science Writing 2006). He has had regular appearances on National Public Radio and


  • Bloom, P. (2010). How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
  • Bloom, P. (2004). Descartes' baby: How the science of child development explains what makes us human. New York: Basic Books.
  • Bloom, P. (2000). How children learn the meanings of words. Cambridge, MA. MIT Press.
  • Jackendoff, R.; Bloom, P.; & Wynn, K. (1999). Language, logic, and concepts: Essays in honor of John Macnamara. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Bloom, P.; Peterson, M.; Nadel, L.; & Garrett, M. (1996). Language and space. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Bloom, P. (1994). Language acquisition: Core readings. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Selected popular articles

  • (January 2012). Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 63.
  • (June 2010). . New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
  • (May 2010). The Moral Life of Babies. The New York Times Magazine.
  • (September 2009). The long and short of it. The New York Times.
  • (August 2009). What's Inside a Big Baby Head? (Book Review: The Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik). Slate.
  • (June 2009). No Smiting. (Book Review: The Evolution of God by Robert Wright). The New York Times.
  • (Nov. 2008). Does religion make you nice?. Slate.
  • (Nov. 2008). First-person Plural. Atlantic Monthly.
  • (Jun. 2006). Seduced by the flickering lights of the brain. Seed Magazine.
  • (Dec. 2005). Is God an accident? The Atlantic Monthly.
  • Links to Bloom's articles and books at Yale

Selected interviews and appearances

  • Discussing his book "How Pleasure Works" on the 7th Avenue Project radio show [1]
  • Discussing the moral capacities of babies on the 7th Avenue Project radio show [2]
  • Interview on The Leonard Lopate Show [3]
  • Open Yale Courses: Introduction to Psychology [4]
  • Paul Bloom & [5]
  • Paul Bloom & [6]
  • Paul Bloom & [7]


External links

  • Paul Bloom's personal homepage
  • Open Yale Courses
  • Open Yale Courses
  • TED - Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure

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