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.