Welcome to the Mind, Body, Cultural Evolution Lab
Our goal is to examine the interplay between the human mind, our behaviours and the culture within which we are living. We use evolutionary approaches to understand human behaviour, focusing on the similarities and differences across cultures.
The research conducted in our lab is using multi-disciplinary theoretical and methodologically approaches to address questions such:
- What are values? Why do humans have values? Why do humans value different things in different cultures? How do values emerge and change during our life?
- What is personality? How similar or different are our personalities across cultures?
- What makes us happy and healthy? How can use psychological science to help us to be happier, healthier and kinder to each other across different cultures?
- Why do humans have rituals? Why do we sing, dance, march, pray, chant together? What are the effects of ritual on well-being, prosociality, creativity? Currently we are focusing on the role of synchronized behaviour, voluntary pain and behavioural rigidity on well-being, cognition and altruism.
- Do we need nature to feel happy? What is the effect of nature on our well-being and cognition? Why do we need greenery and water to feel better?
- How can we get people to behave more environmentally friendly? Why do people not prepare natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, floods)? How can we use science to reduce the risks of climate change?
- What explains discrimination and political radicalization? How can we understand the underlying dynamics of political behaviour?
A key focus of our research is to develop and evaluate psychological instruments and their appropriateness for use in different cultural contexts. How can we develop better theories and instruments that reflect cultural diversity of humans?
If you are interested in joining our lab, for example as an international intern or for conducting research (e.g., completing a BSc Honours project, MSc or PhD thesis), please get in touch with Dr Ron Fischer.