From the cradle to the grave, people are constantly navigating a complicated maze of social interactions. We often negotiate these interactions by using our intuitive understanding of minds to 'read' others who may be present or absent, observable or unobservable, real or imagined. Our perception of minds is a fundamental building block underlying the intuitions about right and wrong that we use to adjudicate these interactions. But our intuitions and perceptions are also dependent upon cultural influences that have themselves been sculpted by environmental adaptive challenges.
My research has explored how our social cognition is determined by the connections among individual, culture, and environment. In a series of studies, I will present how particular cultural practices can shape mind, morality, and belief to help sustain cooperation in a precarious world. These results draw upon data from correlational, experimental, and field studies that open new areas of inquiry I hope to explore in the coming years.
[Note: This presentation will also be a practice job talk. Any feedback on content and style are greatly appreciated!]