I’m an Associate Professor of Economic Psychology at the London School of Economics. My other affiliations include Associate of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, Affiliate of the Developmental Economics Group at STICERD, and Technical Director of The Database of Religious History.
My 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? I use a two-pronged methodological approach to answer these questions, combining mathematical and computational modeling (evolutionary models, social network models, etc.), and experimental and data science methods from psychology and economics. I use 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.
I am particularly interested in the application of research in cultural evolution to public policy.