Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

Both sides previous revision Previous revision
what_i_do [2014/03/24 21:57]
127.0.0.1 external edit
what_i_do [2014/03/26 01:45]
Maciek Chudek
Line 1: Line 1:
-====== Current Projects and Interests ====== +See the [[research]] page.
- +
- +
- +
-==== Modern Evidence for the Origins of Culture ==== +
- +
- +
-I devise and carry out studies of modern psychology that test theories about the evolutionary pressures that made us cultural. Typically but not exclusively I use the tools of social and developmental psychology. In the process I often learn interesting things about how and why adults and children think, feel and behave as they do.  +
- +
- +
- +
-=== Prestige Bias === +
- +
-My main focus at the moment is evolved biases in how we evaluate sources of cultural information. I'm testing the prediction that we're innately, genetically disposed to over-value information that comes from individuals who others are attending to, and that this happens automatically and unconsciously. +
- +
-I subtly manipulate the sources of information that both children and adults are exposed to, and then measure what they learned from whom. This has included looking at whether children'​s proclivity to `over-imitiate'​--to imitate patently redundant actions that adults take--is sensitive to the model'​s prestige. +
- +
-I've also been synthesising and reviewing the large existing database of studies and surveys conducted in schools around the world, to test for systematic patterns in who's popular, who's not and who learns from whom. If we're lucky, the social dynamics in children'​s microsocieties may recapitulate those that shaped our ancestors'​ relatively small and culturally naive societies.  +
- +
- +
-=== Norm Psychology === +
- +
-I'm also interested in the role that //norms// - informal institutions that dictate how we do and should behave - play in sustaining human cooperation and diversity. Several evolutionary models suggest that our species experienced an extended period of selection favouring individuals who could readily discern the norms (behavioural regularities and ideals) of their group and were disposed to both adopt and enforce them.  +
- +
-I've recently replicated several key 'moral psychology'​ experiments by reframing them in terms of different norms. I've found that effects we'd previously thought were constant, actually systematically covary with the intuitions we have about different norms.  +
- +
- +
- +
-=== Indirect Reciprocity === +
- +
-One of my main modelling projects at the moment is an investigation of whether and how repuations can help explain the emergence of human cooperation,​ especially if they'​re (ironically) used to coordinate the vicious exploitation of //bad// people. I'm also undertaking a large simulation of how different kinds of reputational (or moral) systems interact. +
- +
- +
-==== Content Biases ==== +
- +
-A key question that students of cultural evolution would like answered is 'are there regular biases in how our minds process cultural information?'​ Disentangling and clearly documenting such biases can help us understand both how people behave today, and how we've changed throughout history. I've been engaged in testing several important possibilities. +
- +
- +
-=== Social Recall Bias === +
- +
-Recent evidence has suggested that people remember social information better than other kinds. In a series of several studies, I have confirmed and documented the subtler intricacies of this bias. For instance, the bias becomes stronger the more complex the information becomes, and shows some evidence of cross-cultural differences. +
- +
- +
-=== Intuitive Dualism === +
- +
-It's been proposed that we're intuitively dualists--that we grow up thinking about minds and bodies as seperate, and potentially seperable, things. If that's so it could explain a lot about why we belive in ghosts and spirits, why we place special value on objects that have been in contact with important people, and potentially why language and culture develop in certain ways. I've been testing this proposal by showing ambiguous animations to kids in different and seeing how readily they provide '​dualist'​ interpretations of them. I've also been involved in testing whether dualist intuitions could have helped shape the early written history of the Chinese language. +
- +
- +
- +