BA PhD DSc (Hons)
Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology
- ERC Advanced Investigator
My research is concerned with trying to understand the behavioural, cognitive and neuroendocrinological mechanisms that underpin social bonding in primates (in general) and humans (in particular). Understanding these mechanisms, and the functions that relationships serve, will give us insights how humans have managed to create large scale societies using a form of psychological that is evolutionarily adapted to very small scale societies, and why these mechanisms are less than perfect in the modern world. This has implications for the design of social networking sites as well as mobile technology. We use conventional behavioural and cognitive experimental approaches, combined with network analysis, agent based modelling, comparative studies of primate brain evolution, neuroimaging and neuroendocrinology to explore explicit and implicit processes at both the dyadic and the group level. An important feature of our behavioural studies has been the constraints that time places on an individual’s ability to manage their relationships, and the cognitive tricks used to overcome these.
Quantifying gender preferences in human social interactions using a large cellphone dataset
Ghosh A. et al, (2019), EPJ Data Science, 8
Erratum: Variation in the β-endorphin, oxytocin, and dopamine receptor genes is associated with different dimensions of human sociality (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America(2017) 114 (5300-5305)DOI:10.1073/pnas.1700712114)
Pearce E. et al, (2019), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116
Genetic influences on social relationships: sex differences in the mediating role of personality and social cognition
DUNBAR R. et al, (2019), Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology
Fertility as a Constraint on Group Size in African Great Apes
DUNBAR R., (2019), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Cross-cultural similarity in relationship-specific social touching.
Suvilehto JT. et al, (2019), Proc Biol Sci, 286