The overarching goal of my research is to provide a social psychological perspective on cultural transmission. I am interested in how human unique forms of culture emerge and, in consequence, where differences between cultural groups come from. In order to investigate these questions, my collaborators and I conduct research into social learning and social motivation in infants, young children and adults.
- Intergroup cognition and behaviour: I conduct research into how children respond to members of their own group relative to members of other groups, as well as into the types of expectations they have about different social groups.
- Social imitation: I am interested in the motivations and preferences that underlie children’s learning. In this work, I explore how children use imitation as a means by which to affiliate with those around them and form long lasting bonds with their group members.
- Social motivation: I explore children’s sensitivity to social exclusion, as well as the types of strategies they use to avoid exclusion from the group. In recent work, I have been investigating cross-cultural differences in these social motivations in children and adults.
I currently hold an ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship and, together with Steven Tipper, a project grant from the Leverhulme Trust.
- Malinda Carpenter, University of St. Andrews
- Yarrow Dunham, Yale University
- Steven Tipper, University of York
- Michael Tomasello, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
- Ayse Uskul, University of Kent