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About Me

Currently, I am working as a visiting postdoc at the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab at the University of Cambridge, UK.

I consider myself a political psychologist, broadly defined. Working at the intersection of a variety of fields in the social and behavioral sciences, I adopt an integrative perspective to the study of intraspecies, interspecies, and human-environment relations in which I employ methods from social and evolutionary psychology, political science, and sociology—while incorporating theoretical insights from emerging perspectives in economics and evolutionary anthropology. My research focuses on two main lines of interest. One investigates psychological commonalities and differences in human prosociality such as attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors benefitting the environment, non-human animals, and other humans situated at the intersection of macro-level structures (e.g., social inequality) and individual and group differences (e.g., social class, identities, empathy, dominance motives). This line of research speaks to overarching questions such as: How do macro-level structures and environmental stressors and constraints such as social inequality, climate change, automation, and migration affect prosociality on the individual and group levels? What are the mechanisms by which these macro-level structures and influences are translated into individual and group level attitudes and behaviors? And, are there psychological mechanisms and processes that increase people’s prosociality such as their willingness to donate, cooperate, volunteer, and share their resources for the benefit of nature, non-human animals, and fellow humans alike? In another strand of my work, I focus on the interaction between ideologies, social norms, and emotions (i.e., disgust and anger) to form negative intergroup attitudes and behavior such as racism, discrimination, conspiracy beliefs, intergroup violence, and radicalization.

Overall, my research aims at contributing to timely and urgent social and political issues through theoretically and methodologically rigorous analysis, advancing scientific theory and methodology. Equally importantly, I am interested in utilizing research to inform public policy and debate in the context of local and global challenges such as climate change with the goal of facilitating prosocial and pro-environmental behavior and collective action.

Before becoming a political psychologist, I earned my Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Ethnomusicology from the Free University of Berlin, Germany. After a brief time working as a PhD student in the field of Psychology of Religion at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, I  completed my PhD at the Department of Social Sciences at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany (summa cum laude). Currently, I am also a vsiting scholar at the Department of Psychology at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.<embed>
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