Skip to Content
Exit Menu
Dr Aiyana Willard

Dr Aiyana Willard
Lecturer in Psychology


Aiyana Willard is a Lecturer (psychology) in the Centre for Culture and Evolution at Brunel University London and a research associate at the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford. Her research interests are in the cultural evolution of religion, karma, witchcraft and other supernatural beliefs.

Academic career:

  • Lecturer in Psychology, Brunel University London, 2018-current.
  • Postdoctoral researcher, Oxford, 2017-2018
  • Postdoctoral researcher, University of Texas at Austin, 2015-2017
  • PhD in Psychology, University of British Columbia, 2015
  • MA in Psychology, University of British Columbia, 2011

Newest selected publications

Willard, A., Baimel, A., Turpin, H., Jong, J. and Whitehouse, H. (2020) 'Rewarding the good and punishing the bad: The role of karma and afterlife beliefs in shaping moral norms'. Evolution and Human Behavior, 41 (5). pp. 1 - 40. ISSN: 1090-5138 Open Access Link

Journal article

Wen, NJ., Willard, AK., Caughy, M. and Legare, CH. (2020) 'Watch me, watch you: ritual participation increases in-group displays and out-group monitoring in children'. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375 (1805). pp. 20190437 - 20190437. ISSN: 0962-8436

Journal article

Callanan, MA., Legare, CH., Sobel, DM., Jaeger, GJ., Letourneau, S., McHugh, SR., et al. (2020) 'Exploration, Explanation, and Parent–Child Interaction in Museums'. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 85 (1). pp. 7 - 137. ISSN: 0037-976X

Journal article

Willard, A., Busch, JTA., Cullum, KA., Letourneau, SM., Sobel, DM., Callanan, M. and et al. (2019) 'Explain this, explore that: A study of parent-child interaction in a children’s museum'. Child Development, 90 (5). pp. e598 - e617. ISSN: 0009-3920 Open Access Link

Journal article

Willard, A., Cingl, L. and Norenzayan, A. (2019) 'Cognitive Biases and Religious Belief: A path model replication in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with a focus on anthropomorphism'. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 11 (1). pp. ? - ?. ISSN: 1948-5506 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(25)