Research with UCSD Undergraduates

What is comparative cognition?

In a very general sense, the study of cognition involves the way we perceive and act in the world as well as the mental abilities and processes that equip us to do so. Comparative cognition is the study of cognition across different species, ages, and cultures.

Why do we study undergraduates?

Our lab is broadly interested in human sociality, and especially in social accountability. We explore what makes human sociality unique and sustainable cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally across ages and cultures.

We partner with UCSD’s SONA, which handles many different experiments throughout the Cognitive Science and Psychology Departments. To sign up and assign class credit, please visit this link.

Some questions we are investigating:
-Do different cultures assign different meanings to similar behaviors?
-How much of the human behavioral repertoire of social interaction is fundamentally universal?
-To what degree are fundamental social behaviors group specific, socially trained, or cross culturally universal?
-What is our understanding of sequential structure and timing in social interaction?
-How does language specifically change how individuals can make sense of the behavior of others?
-How do individuals take into account their own desires and beliefs, as well as individual and societal expectations about the behavior of others when deciding how to act?
-How do individuals account for their own and others’ behaviors?
-What role does group membership play in potential competition and collaboration with other individuals?
-How does our social understanding of property, value, and justice facilitate and limit our social interactions and cooperation?


Find out more about ongoing research projects here →