Professor of Psychology
Clinical, Developmental



My long-term interest is social and emotional development, especially empathy, moral development, and the relation between the two. Included are certain affects/motives that result from the interaction of empathy, causal attribution and situational contexts: sympathy, guilt, empathic anger and feelings of injustice. Also empathy's role in clinical contexts: impact on treatment; vicarious traumatization in therapists; empathetic processes in depression. Of equal interest are the interaction of empathy and abstract moral principles such as justice; and the processes of interaction between affect and cognition in general.

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PhD, University of Michigan, 1951 (social psychology)
MS, University of Michigan, 1947 (psychology)
BS, Purdue University, 1945 (electrical engineering)


- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Fellow, American Psychological Association
- Fellow, American Psychological Society
- Member, Society for Research in Child Development

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Selected Publications

Hoffman, M.L. (In Press). How automatic and representational is empathy and why? Brain and Behavioral Sciences.

Hoffman, M.L. (2001). A comprehensive theory of prosocial moral development. D. Stipek & A. Bohart (EDs.), Constructive and destructive behavior. (pp. 61-86). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Hoffman, M.L. (2000). Empathy and moral development: Implications for caring and justice. New York: Cambridge University Press. (This book has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Serbian.)

Hoffman, M.L. (1997). Varieties of empathy-based guilt. In J. Bybee (Ed.), Guilt in children (pp.91-112). New York: Academic Press.

Hoffman, M.L. (1990). Empathy and justice motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 4, 151-172.

Hoffman, M.L. (1987). The contribution of empathy to justice and moral judgment. In N. Eisenberg and J. Strayer (Eds.), Empathy and its development (pp. 47-80). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hoffman, M.L. (1985). Affect, motivation, and cognition. In E.T. Higgins & R.M. Sorrentino (Eds.), Handbook of Motivation and Cognition: Foundations of Social Behavior. NY: Guilford, 244-280.

Hoffman, M.L. (1983). Affective and cognitive processes in moral internalization: An information processing approach. In E.T. Higgins, D. Ruble, & W. Hartup (Eds.), Social Cognition and Social Development: A Socio-Cultural Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 236-274.

Hoffman, M.L. (1982). Development of prosocial motivation: Empathy and guilt. In N. Eisenberg-Berg, (Ed.), Development of Prosocial Behavior. New York: Academic Press, 281-313.

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Martin L. Hoffman
Professor of Psychology

Department of Psychology
New York University
6 Washington Place, Room 403
New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 998-3882
Fax: (212) 995-4866

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