My research is concerned with health and behaviour, and it often takes an evolutionary approach. I have examined how infectious disease shaped cognitive evolution, how behaviour alters infection risk, and how maladaptive ideas about health and healing spread and persist. I have a particular interest in the social and cognitive processes that drive overtreatment (the use of ineffective medical therapies).
Newest selected publications
Strimling, P., de Barra, M. and Eriksson, K. (2018) 'Asymmetries in punishment propensity may drive the civilizing process'. Nature Human Behaviour, 2 (2). pp. 148 - 155. ISSN: 2397-3374 Open Access Link
de Barra, M. (2017) 'Reporting bias inflates the reputation of medical treatments: A comparison of outcomes in clinical trials and online product reviews'. Social Science and Medicine, 177. pp. 248 - 255. ISSN: 0277-9536
Tybur, JM., Inbar, Y., Aarøe, L., Barclay, P., Barlowe, FK., De Barra, M., (2016) 'Parasite stress and pathogen avoidance relate to distinct dimensions of political ideology across 30 nations'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113 (44). pp. 12408 - 12413. ISSN: 0027-8424 Open Access Linket al.
Eriksson, K., Coultas, JC. and De Barra, M. (2016) 'Cross-Cultural Differences in Emotional Selection on Transmission of Information'. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 16 (1-2). pp. 122 - 143. ISSN: 1567-7095
De Barra, M., Islam, MS. and Curtis, V. (2014) 'Disgust sensitivity is not associated with health in a rural Bangladeshi sample'. PLoS ONE, 9 (6).