Culture and Social Development
This project studies how prosocial behavior changes
across development, in response to both (1) an increasing sensitivity to social norms and (2) the maturation of psychological mechanisms for for reciprocal cooperation.
Using behavioral experiments with children and adults living in different societies around the world, I study how a common human psychology for learning social norms will lead to cultural diversity in behavior, while a common human psychology for reciprocity will lead to similar patterns of behavior across these same societies.
The goal of this work is to better understand how culture and psychological maturation work together to produce human diversity in cooperation and other behaviors.
Species Differences in Behavior
This project studies how human prosocial behavior differs from prosocial behavior in other primate species.
Using behavioral experiments with chimpanzees, I study how these animals make choices that benefit others,
and compare their choices to the choices of humans in
very similar kids of situations. This gives us insight into (1) the ways that humans are different from other
animals and (2) how these differences emerge from uniquely human capacities for culture.
The goal of this work is to draw clearer conclusions
about the nature of the evolved psychological
adaptations that produce uniquely human