Chelsea Schein

Chelsea Schein

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    627.2 Jon M. Huntsman Hall

Research Interests: empirical business ethics, moral psychology, political psychology, negotiation, political tolerance

Links: CV


Dr. Schein is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Legal Studies and Business Ethics at Wharton. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from UNC, Chapel Hill.  Dr. Schein has published in top-tier academic journals including Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Personality and Social Psychology Review, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Emotion, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, as well as the New York Times. In her research, she adopt methods of social cognition to explore how people form moral judgments and how understanding our moral psychology can increase well-being and create a more tolerant society. Currently, she is examining how organizations can best navigate political polarization.

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Understanding Moral Cognition

In my research, I use methods of social cognition to explore the underlying structure of moral judgments. More specifically, I look at how people form moral judgments, how emotions play a role in these judgments, and how moral judgments impact our perceptions of the world. My research suggests that at the heart of moral cognition is a harm based template of intentional agent + causing damage + suffering victim. This template guides our moral judgments, and also shapes perceptions. As soon as an act enters the moral sphere, our perceptions of reality are filtered through a harm shaped lens, making “harmless” moral violations theoretically possible, though psychologically rare.

Understanding and Navigating Political Polarization

In an era of fraught political debates, it might seem like there is an insurmountable divide between liberals and conservatives. One predominant model of morality suggests that moral differences in specific moral issues (e.g. same-sex marriage) reflect fundamental differences in our underlying moral psychology. In contrast, my research suggests that despite descriptive moral diversity, liberals and conservatives share a common moral template centered around harm. I am currently exploring whether appeals to this common denominator of harm can increase political tolerance.


Past Courses


    This course explores business responsibility from rival theoretical and managerial perspectives. Its focus includes theories of ethics and their application to case studies in business. Topics include moral issues in advertising and sales; hiring and promotion; financial management; corporate pollution; product safety; and decision-making across borders and cultures.


    This course examines the art and science of negotiation, with additional emphasis on conflict resolution. Students will engage in a number of simulated negotiations ranging from simple one-issue transactions to multi-party joint ventures. Through these exercises and associated readings, students explore the basic theoretical models of bargaining and have an opportunity to test and improve their negotiation skills.


    This course includes not only conflict resolution but techniques which help manage and even encourage the valuable aspects of conflict. The central issues of this course deal with understanding the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations in conflict management situations. The purpose of this course is to understand the theory and processes of negotiations as it is practiced in a variety of settings. The course is designed to be relevant to the broad spectrum of problems that are faced by the manager and professional including management of multinationals, ethical issues, and alternative dispute resolutions. Cross listed w/ LGST 206 and OIDD 291.


    Negotiation is the art and the science of creating good agreements between two or more parties. This course develops managerial negotiation skills by mixing lectures and practice, using cases and exercises in which students negotiate with each other. The cases cover a wide range of problems and settings: one-shot deals between individuals, repeated negotiations, negotiations over several issues, and negotiations among several parties (both within and between organizations). Class participation and case studies account for half the course grade. Students will also write about a negotiation experience outside of class.


The Real Policy Wonks: How Economists Reshaped America

A new book from journalist Binyamin Appelbaum shows how economists evolved from overlooked number-crunchers to powerful influencers who reshaped American policy.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2019/10/17
Power Rankings: How the World Bank Influences Regulatory Policy

New research from Wharton examines the influence of the World Bank’s ease of doing business indicator, which affects policy through bureaucratic, international and domestic political channels.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2019/10/16
Will Walmart’s Health Care Gamble Pay Off?

With its new suburban Atlanta health clinic, Walmart is making a risky move into the provision of primary care services. Two experts discuss whether the strategy will benefit the company and its customers.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2019/10/15