Michael Muthukrishna is Associate Professor of Economic Psychology at the London School of Economics. He is also Affiliate of the Developmental Economics Group at STICERD, CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar in the Boundaries, Membership and Belonging programme at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and Technical Director of The Database of Religious History. He is also a board member of the One Pencil Project.
Prof Muthukrishna's research focuses on answering three broad questions: (1) Why are humans so different to other animals? (2) What are the psychological and evolutionary processes that underlie culture and social change, and how is information transmitted, maintained, and modified? (3) How can the answers to these questions be used to tackle some of the challenges we face as a species? He uses a two-pronged methodological approach to answer these questions, combining mathematical and computational modelling (evolutionary models, social network models, etc.), and experimental and data science methods from psychology and economics. He uses the “Theory of Human Behavior” that emerges from this approach to tackle a variety of related topics, including innovation, corruption, the rise of large-scale cooperation, and the navigation of cross-cultural differences.
He is particularly interested in the application of research in cultural evolution to public policy.
APS Rising Star, Association of Psychological Science
CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
Inaugural Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing Awardee, Templeton World Charity Foundation