Society and culture

What are the cognitive processes involved in the production and maintenance of social and cultural phenomena?

We work on the following topics:

Cultural Attraction Theory

We contribute to the theory, method and empirical case studies of Cultural Attraction Theory. It is a ‘framework’ theory of cultural phenomena that conceives them as being (nothing but) widespread and stable ideas, preferences, practices, artefacts, and others in communities of people. The framework theory aims at providing the conceptual tools for analysing the factors–especially the psychological ones–that contribute to the success of some types of tokens. 

Contact: Christophe Heintz, Helena Miton

The cognitive roots of institutions and traditions

  • Ownership

Ownership is an important institution that governs many aspects of economic activity and social interactions. What traits of human psychology have enabled this institution to evolve and, moreover, to thrive across cultures?

Contact: Réka Blazsek

  • Gender roles

The way we distribute tasks within the household is strongly determined by traditions, which spedify gender roles. Through what processes do these roles become traditions? What cognitive processes shaped them?

Contact: Angarika Deb

Misinformation and disinformation 

Misinformation and disinformation are social phenomena that challenge democratic processes and trust in reliable institutions. On which psychological processes do these phenomena develop? And how can we counter-act disinformation campaigns?

Contact: Akos Szegofi, Ohan Hominis

Science studies

The history of science and mathematics provide fascinating cases of cultural evolution, whose cognitive bases are complex and understudied.

Contact: Christophe Heintz, Aleksandra Knezevic

Nudges and Policy Making

To what extent nudge units use all the tools and practices that are usually recommended in academia. Usually, only the goals and the product of nudge units are made public, but the way nudge units arrive at the product is more opaque. What kind of data is gathered to make sure that nudges truly increase individual and public welfare? What kind of data is gathered to assess what negative consequences a nudge might have?

Contact: Réka Blazsek