Assistant Professor of Psychological Science
Ph.D., Arizona State University
4304 Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway
social psychology, evolutionary psychology, cultural psychology, stereotyping, behavioral ecology
Some of us like planning for the future. Others prefer to live in the moment. Where there are those who think only for themselves, there are also individuals who would sacrifice themselves for others. Why? Why do people think and behave in such different ways? One answer is: the environment. In my work, I explore how aspects of the environments we live in shape our psychology and social behavior. How crowded it is, whether we live with family relatives or not, whether there are more women or men around us, all of these factors can have profound effects on our psychology. More broadly, these factors may also be driving fundamental psychological differences across cultures and societies.
The environments we live in don’t just influence our own behavior. The environments that others live in can also influence what we think about them. Now, imagine a person who lives in a neighborhood that is poor and underdeveloped, and where life is very unpredictable. Do you think this person will plan for the future? How aggressive do you think he or she will be? My second line of work explores people’s stereotypes about others, based on the environments others live in. This has implications for other kinds of stereotypes we hold, such as race stereotypes. In addition, I do work on stereotypes of other kinds of groups, including those of gender and age.
If you hate reading original research papers (you’re really missing out), here are a few summary articles: