Harriet Over
Anniversary Research Lecturer

Profile

Biography

  • 2009 – 2013 Postdoctoral research fellow, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
  • 2006 – 2009 PhD, developmental psychology, University of Cardiff
  • 2005 – 2006 MSc, social science research methods, University of Cardiff
  • 2004 – 2005 Postgraduate diploma in psychology, University of Cardiff
  • 2000 – 2003 BA History and Politics, University of Sheffield

Research

Overview

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.  

Current projects

  • Social imitation:  I am interested in the motivations and preferences that underlie children’s tendency to copy other people.  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.
  • 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 social groups. 

Research group(s)

I am affiliated with the Minerva research group on the social origins of cultural cognition.

Grants

I have recently been awarded an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant.

Collaborators

  • Jonathan Beier, University of Maryland
  • Malinda Carpenter, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Yarrow Dunham, Yale University
  • Daniel Haun, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
  • Michael Tomasello, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Ayse Uskul, University of Kent
  • Antonia Misch, Maria Ploetner, Nadja Richter, Ruiting Song, Minerva research group on the social origins of cultural cognition, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Publications

Selected publications

  • Uskul, A., & Over, H. (2014). Responses to social exclusion in cultural context: Evidence from farming and herding communities. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 752-771.
  • Engelmann, J., Over, H., Herrmann, E., & Tomasello, M. (2013).  Young children care more about their reputation with ingroup members and possible reciprocators. Developmental Science, 16, 952-958
  • Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2012).  Putting the social into social learning: Explaining both selectivity and fidelity in children’s copying behaviour.  Journal of Comparative Psychology,126, 182-192.
  • Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2009).Eighteen-month-old infants show increased helping following priming with affiliation.  Psychological Science, 20 (10), 1189-1193.
  • Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2009).  Priming third-party ostracism increases affiliative imitation in children.  Developmental Science, 12 (3), F1-F8

Full publications list

  • Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (in press). Children infer friendship and status relations from watching others imitate. Developmental Science.
  • Beier, J.S., Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2014). Young children help others to achieve their social goals.  Developmental Psychology, 50, 934-940.
  • Buttelmann, D., Over, H., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2014). Eighteen-month-olds understand false belief in an unexpected-contents task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 119, 120-126.
  • Misch, A., Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2014). Young children’s understanding of loyalty to the group.   Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 126, 19-36.
  • Uskul, A., & Over, H. (2014). Responses to social exclusion in cultural context: Evidence from farming and herding communities. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 752-771.
  • Engelmann, J., Over, H., Herrmann, E., & Tomasello, M. (2013).  Young children care more about their reputation with ingroup members and possible reciprocators. Developmental Science, 16, 952-958.
  • Haun, D.B.M. & Over, H., (2013). Like me: A homophily-based account of human culture. In P.J. Richerson, and M. Christiansen, (Eds). Cultural Evolution. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
  • Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2013).  The social side of imitation.  Child Development Perspectives, 7, 6-11.
  • Over, H., Carpenter, M., Spears, R., & Gattis, M. (2013). Children selectively trust individuals who have imitated them. Social Development, 22, 215-224.
  • Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2012).  Putting the social into social learning: Explaining both selectivity and fidelity in children’s copying behaviour.  Journal of Comparative Psychology,126, 182-192.
  • Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2012). Imitative learning in humans and animals in N. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning (pp. 1499-1501). Springer.
  • Tennie, C., & Over, H. (2012). Cultural intelligence is key to explaining human tool use. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35, 242-243.
  • Over, H., & Gattis, M. (2010). Verbal imitation is based on intention understanding. Cognitive Development, 25, 46-55.
  • Holcombe, A.O., Altschuler, E.L., & Over, H. (2009). A developmental theory of synaesthesia, with long historical roots. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 26 (2), 227-229. 
  • Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2009).Eighteen-month-old infants show increased helping following priming with affiliation.  Psychological Science, 20 (10), 1189-1193.
  • Over, H., & Carpenter, M. (2009).  Priming third-party ostracism increases affiliative imitation in children.  Developmental Science, 12 (3), F1-F8
  • Over, H., & Gattis, M. (2007). Book Review: The analogical mind. Eurasian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 3 (4), 391-392.

These publications can also be found on Harriet Over's Google scholar profile.

Teaching

Harriet Over

Contact details

Dr Harriet Over
Anniversary Research Lecturer
Department of Psychology
Room PS/C121

Tel: 01904 322906