Advisor: Dr. Lee Cronk
My research interests are primarily centered on Theory of Mind (ToM), the ability to interpret others' behavior in terms of underlying mental states—a key skill underlying human sociality. More specifically, I am interested in understanding what factors may influence individuals' ability to make these attributions and how this affects our ability to form coalitions, cooperate and coordinate with others.
My dissertation research will explore the role that group membership plays in ToM. I predict that in the right conditions, ToM will show within subject variability similar to empathy: just as we tend to be more empathetic towards in-group members and less so towards outgroup members, ToM assessments will be affected by target individuals' affiliation. Additionally, I predict that ToM will be flexible and sensitive to changing coalitions.
Soler, M., Batiste, F., and Cronk, L. In the eyes (and ears) of the beholder: Receiver psychology and human signal design. Submitted to Evolutionary Anthropology.