Academic staff

Prof. Ariel Knafo-Noam

Phone:  972-2-5883426
Fax:  972-2-5881466

Office Location:  Social sciences building, 3501

Research Topics: Development of pro-social behavior and empathy in the context of genetics and the family environment, the interaction between parenting and temperament, and the development of values in the contexts of culture and the family

Teaching: Social Psychology; Personality: Development, change, nature & nurture; Values in adolescence; The development of prosocial behavior, empathy and altruism; Field work: Social development; Research seminar: Social development B; Advanced studies in social development & developmental psychology


כנפו-נעם אריאל, פרופ'
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Ariel Knafo is a professor of developmental social psychology in the Psychology Department at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. One of his main lines of research concerns the development of personality and particularly altruism, empathy and other aspects of pro-sociality. For that matter, he studies the genetic, environmental and combined contributions to empathy and pro-social behavior, using questionnaire, experimental and observational designs.
He is interested in all potential influences on individual differences in social behavior and values. He investigates how values develop across contexts, cultures, and families. Another line of research studies concerns parent-child as well as child-parent influences, and in particular how children's genetics affect their own temperament and how parents react to them. The complex pattern of parent-child and genetic-environmental reciprocal or circular influences is studied with a twin study as well as with a study following families from pregnancy to children’s age 3. His aim is to combine behavior genetics and social-personality psychology approaches, with a developmental perspective to provide a comprehensive view of child and adolescent development and behavior.

Curriculum Vitae

Representative work:
Knafo, A., Zahn-Waxler, C., Van Hulle, C., Robinson, J., & Rhee, S. H. (2008). The developmental origins of a disposition towards empathy: Genetic and environmental contributions. Emotion, 8, 737-752.
Knafo, A., Israel, S., & Ebstein, R. P. (2011). Heritability of children's prosocial behavior and differential susceptibility to parenting by variation in the dopamine receptor D4 gene. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 53–67.
Knafo-Noam, A., Uzefovsky, F., Israel, S., Davidov, M., & Zahn-Waxler C. (2015). The prosocial personality and its facets: Genetic and environmental architecture of mother-reported behavior of 7-year old twins. Frontiers in Psychology.
Hasenfratz, L., Benish-Weisman, M., Steinberg, T., & Knafo-Noam, A. (2015). Temperament and peer problems from early to middle childhood: Gene-environment correlations with negative emotionality and sociability. Development and Psychopathology, 27, 1089–1109.
Uzefovsky, F., Döring, A.K. & Knafo-Noam, A., (2016). Values in middle childhood: Social and genetic contributions. Social Development.