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.
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.
I currently hold an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant.