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Understanding the science behind intergroup relations, social networks, altruistic behaviour, social learning and self-biases

This theme brings together long-standing research interests in intergroup relations with: research into the establishment and maintenance of social networks, along with research on the neural correlates of social networks, altruistic behaviour, social learning, and self-biases.

Researchers in this theme enjoy fruitful collaborations with colleagues across departments including Sociology, Geography, Philosophy and Education. Key research centres include the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology and the Oxford Centre for the Study of Intergroup Conflict .

Research highlights include:

  • The first longitudinal demonstration that intergroup contact reduces fear of outsiders and enables people to see the world from each other’s perspective
  • The observation that as we improve attitudes towards a particular group this can also change people’s attitudes towards other outside groups
  • The first demonstrations of neural changes related to the size of social group
  • Functional and neural bases of imitation and joint action
  • A new metric for trading payment against pain in economic decision making.

Our research is having a real impact on addressing intergroup conflict.

Our team