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Dr Micheal De Barra
Senior Lecturer in Psychology


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

de Barra, M. and Brown, R. (2023) 'Public health communication should be more transparent'. Nature Human Behaviour, 7 (5). pp. 662 - 664. ISSN: 2397-3374 Open Access Link

Journal article

Brown, R., de Barra, M. and Earp, B. (2022) 'Broad Medical Uncertainty and the Ethical Obligation for Openness'. Synthese: an international journal for epistemology, methodology and philosophy of science, 200 (2). pp. 1 - 29. ISSN: 0039-7857 Open Access Link

Journal article

Eriksson, K., Strimling, P., Gelfand, M., Van Lange, P., de Barra, M. and 103 other authors. (2021) 'Perceptions of the appropriate response to norm violation in 57 societies'. Nature Communications, 12 (1). pp. 1 - 11. ISSN: 2041-1723 Open Access Link

Journal article

de Barra, M., Cownden, D. and Jansson, F. (2019) 'Aversive medical treatments as a signal of need for support: a mathematical model'. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 1. ISSN: 2513-843X Open Access Link

Journal article

Gon, G., de Bruin, M., de Barra, M., Ali, S., Oona, C., Graham, W., et al. (2018) 'Hands washing, glove use, and avoiding recontamination before aseptic procedures at birth: A multicenter time-and-motion study conducted in Zanzibar'. American Journal of Infection Control, 47 (2). pp. 149 - 156. ISSN: 0196-6553 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(17)