Postdoctoral Research Associate
Institute of Human Origins
Arizona State University
Google Scholar Page
I am a Developmental, Cross-Cultural, and Evolutionary Psychologist broadly interested in the origins of human social behavior. My research combines Developmental and Comparative Psychology with Evolutionary Anthropology, and focuses on the origins of human cooperation. This work consists of two related research programs exploring human prosocial and cooperative behavior, both its development and diversity across cultures, and how it compares to prosocial behavior in other species.
Culture and Social Development
One program studies how human cooperation changes across development, using behavioral experiments with children, adolescents, and adults living in different cultural groups around the world. The goal is to understand how common human psychological mechanisms can lead to diversity in behavior across cultures, through developmental processes involving both cognitive maturation and socialization. This work has a particular focus on societal differences in the motivations behind cooperation and prosociality.
Species Differences in Sociality
A second program studies how human cooperative behavior differs from cooperation in other primate species, through experimental work with chimpanzees. The goal is to understand cooperation in non-human primates, and use this to draw conclusions about the ways in which human cooperative behaviors and cognitive adaptations are likely unique to our species. Understanding social behavior in non-human animals gives an important context to the study of sociality in humans, in particular the role of culture in the origins of human behavior.
House, B.R. (in press) Diverse Ontogenies of Reciprocal and Prosocial Behavior: cooperative development in Fiji and the United States . Developmental Science.
Silk, J.B., House, B.R. (2016) The Evolution of Altruistic Social Preferences in Human Groups. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
House, B.R., Lambeth, S., Schapiro, S, Silk, J.B. (2014) Task design influences prosociality in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Plos One.
House, B.R., Silk, J.B., Henrich, J., Barrett, H.C., Scelza, B., Boyette, A., Hewlett, B.S., Laurence, S. (2013). The Ontogeny of Prosocial Behavior Across Diverse Societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
House, B.R., Henrich, J., Sarnecka, B.W., & Silk, J.B. (2013). The Development of Contingent Reciprocity in Young Children. Evolution and Human Behavior.
Frankenhuis, W.E, House, B.R., Barrett, H.C., Johnson, S.P. (2013) Infants’ perception of chasing. Cognition.
House, B.R., Henrich, J., Brosnan, S.F., Silk, J.B. (2012). The Ontogeny of Human Prosociality: behavioral experiments with children aged 3 to 8. Evolution and Human Behavior.
Silk, J.B, House, B.R. (2012). The Phylogeny and Ontogeny of Social Preferences. In Vonk, J. and Shackelford, T. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Evolutionary Psychology.
Silk, J.B., House, B.R. (2011). Evolutionary foundations of human prosocial sentiments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.