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Research areas

In general, research at the CCE focuses on cultural variation in, and the evolutionary origins of, psychology and behaviour. We strive to integrate proximate and ultimate perspectives on the causes of behaviour, across levels of analysis from individual biology and personality, through group and social processes, and on to the broader culture. Most research at the CCE fits into at least one of three main research themes:

  1. Relationships – For example, interpersonal attraction and mate choice, relationship maintenance and satisfaction, sexual jealousy; also, intergroup relations (between cultures and ethnic groups) 
  2. Morality – What is considered right and wrong about, for example, political beliefs, rules about fairness and resource distribution, sexual behaviour, and leader-follower relations 
  3. Conflict & Cooperation – For example, cooperation within and between groups, collective action, sexual conflict and intrasexual competition, social bonding and community, and sources of social conflict such as inequality.

Some more specific examples of topics emphasised by CCE researchers—all relevant to at least one of the above themes—are listed below, followed by the names of CCE members conducting research in each topic. 

  • Attitudes towards, and behavioral consequences of, inequality (Clark, Pound, Price, Scott)
  • Close personal relationships (Gaines, Marshall)
  • Community and wellbeing (Launay, Price)
  • Competitiveness and risk-taking among males (Pound)
  • Cooperation within groups, including between leaders and followers (Price, Scott)
  • Cultural variation in prosocial behaviours (Imada)
  • Emotions in social relationships, such as jealousy (Imada, Marshall, Schuetzwohl)
  • Impact of social media on relationships (Marshall)
  • Music, singing, and social bonding (Launay)
  • Physical and physiological (e.g. gait, muscularity, hormonal) predictors of social and moral attitudes (Clark, Pound, Price)
  • Physical attractiveness, mate preferences and mating strategies (Clark, Pound, Price, Scott)
  • Relationship of facial morphology to political and moral attitudes (Pound, Scott)
  • Relevance of ethnicity in personal relationships (Gaines)