Anna Kulczycka works with Terence McDonnell for his project titled, “Embodied Simulations: A Qualitative and Experimental Study of How Body-Object Interactions Shape Meaning-making, Empathy, and Prosociality”. She works to qualitatively evaluate whether and how qualities of objects (media and sensory inputs) activate distinct meaning-making processes, such as embodied metaphor, emotional empathy, or cognitive empathy and experimentally test whether embodied simulations are more likely than alternatives at promoting empathy, prosociality, and overconfidence. Kulczycka will work with data collection and analysis to assist in the project working towards understanding whether and how these simulations encourage different types of empathy or move people to increase respect and equitable treatment for others, improve medical care, improve product design, or design more inclusive products and policies.

Previously, Kulczycka worked with Professor Julia Kowalski exploring how people distinguish between “politics” and “welfare” in shaping social development. With a focus on India, post-Independence to the present day, Kulczycka worked on this project with Kowalski to help us better understand and evaluate differences in democratic processes across the post-colonial world. Kulczycka’s research interests include reproductive rights, public health, effects of the fashion industry, and Eastern European postwar relations.

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