Membres de l’équipe Evolution et Sociale Cognition

 

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Nicolas Baumard

I am interested in the evolutionary and cognitive basis of social phenomenon. My research mostly focuses on the origins of morality. Inspired by contractualist theories, I have explored the idea that morality is based on fairness and aims at sharing the costs and benefits of social interactions in a mutually advantageous way. With my colleagues, I have developed this idea in evolutionary biology, experimental psychology, cognitive anthropology and moral philosophy. Recently, I have also studied the importance of fairness in explaining moral religions and designing public policies.

 

 

Coralie Chevallier

My research focuses on social cognition, which can be broadly defined as the way in which we think about, analyze and plan social situations. The study of social cognition is interdisciplinary in nature and therefore  needs to integrate research in cognitive, evolutionary and social psychology, behavioral economics, and social neuroscience. I focus more specifically on one of the most central features of social cognition, i.e., the need to belong, or “social motivation”, and I have been interested in describing its role in a range of social behaviors in humans and in the psychopathology of a variety of social disorders (including autism, schizophrenia, or psychopathy).

 
   
ASSOCIATE FACULTY  

Jean-Baptiste André

I was trained as a theoretician in evolutionary biology, and I’m interested in understanding behavior, in particular human behavior, based on an evolutionary perspective. My work focuses on two major questions: 

(1) Why is human cooperation universally constrained by the logic of fairness? To answer this question, I develop models in collaboration with Nicolas Baumard and Stéphane Debove. We show that, whereas pairwise reciprocity per se is undertermined (what economists call the folk theorem), the evolution of reciprocal cooperation becomes constrained by fairness principles when individuals can freely engage in a diverse range of social interactions, and choose among them. 

(2) Why is reciprocal cooperation so rare among non humans but so frequent in humans? To answer this question, with the help of models, I show that reciprocal cooperation is not a regular form of adaptation that can evolve by natural selection. Rather its evolution, like the evolution of communication, requires the recycling of functions evolved intially for a different purpose. I’m interested in showing how this constraint explains both the rarity of reciprocal cooperation among non-humans, and the form that it takes in humans.

   
POST DOC  

Pierre Jacquet

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