Hi! I'm Amanda. I research when and why people use wise reasoning and cooperative strategies.
Brief Research Bio
I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher the Wisdom and Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo, directed by Dr. Igor Grossmann. Here, I research the function, perception, signaling value of wise reasoning. Wise reasoning includes taking others' perspectives, intellectual humility, recognition of uncertainty and change, and search for compromise. My hypotheses are influenced by work in social psychology, evolutionary psychology and biology, game theory, behavioural ecology, experimental economics, and social anthropology.
My doctoral research focused on understanding individual differences cooperative strategies. In particular, I am interested in how individual differences in cooperative strategies develop (Who helps? Why?). I also research how situational influences, such as observation, interact with these strategies.
I use a combination of approaches to study these topics, including experimental economic games, self-report surveys, and meta-analysis. As such, my work is interdisciplinary, lying at the intersection of social psychology, evolutionary psychology, organizational behaviour, and experimental economics.
Take a look at my CV!
Scientific Approach and Values
Research at two levels of analysis. I conduct research at two levels of analysis: (1) the underlying emotional mechanisms of behaviours (i.e. what calibrates behaviours?), and (2) the function of behaviours (i.e. what is the purpose of this behaviour?, or why did this behaviour evolve?). Looking at different levels of analysis is a powerful approach that increases our understanding of why people engage in cooperation and competition (or other behaviours!)
Open Science. I am dedicated to open science and replicability. All my projects have been pre-registered on the Open Science Framework since the start of my PhD, and I make all my data and analysis scripts openly available upon publication. I also aim to publish open access.
Making Science Accessible. I strongly believe that publicly-funded science could and should be accessible to the general public. I strive to continuously make my work more accessible.
Take a peak at my written works, past and present.
Published (or Accepted Publications)
Submitted or Under Review
Selected Working Papers (available on request)
Check out my presentations; just click the links to see them!
Selected Posters and Talks
My students do science – not just memorization – as I encourage them to engage in the messy process of inquiry. My goal is that they learn how to think, rather than what to think, and I create opportunities to make this happen.
Course Instructor and Teaching Assistant
I taught an interdisciplinary course on Conflict: Cooperation or Competition? to first-year undergraduate students. Each week we explored a different topic in cooperation and competition, drawing on research in psychology, biology, organizational behaviour, and social anthropology.
Additionally, I have ten years of experience as a teaching assistant in undergraduate courses for the the Psychology and Arts and Science departments at the University of Guelph and Brock University.
Philosophy and Areas of Interest
I endeavor to learn and research effective teaching strategies because I strive to achieve excellence in teaching. I aim to accommodate students’ diverse learning styles and to motivate them to connect with the course material. I use these strategies to a single end: to facilitate an effective, inclusive, equitable, and enjoyable learning experience for every student. My overall objective is to help students reach their goals and attain the desired learning outcomes.
I am an interdisciplinary researcher and am broadly interested in social behaviour. As a result, I am interested in teaching a wide variety of topics; these include (but are not limited to) social psychology, evolutionary psychology, personality, organizational behaviour, and research methods.
From cooperation in bees to cooperation in humans - here's a summary of my academic upbringing!
University of Guelph
Expected August 2019
I am in the process of completing my Ph.D. in Psychology investigating how individual differences influence cooperative judgments and decisions, advised by Pat Barclay. In other words, I investigate who cooperates and why.
My work is funded by a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
University of Guelph
M.Sc. in Psychology (2016)
Under the guidance of Pat Barclay, my master’s dissertation investigated how cooperative decision making is influenced by reputation.
Specifically, I examined: (1) how we use information in the environment to assess trustworthiness, and (2) if thinking about observation increased cooperative behaviour [PDF].
B.Sc. Biological Sciences and Psychology (2011)
In 2011 I completed a B.Sc. in Biology combined with Psychology Honours degree with First Class Standing. The focus of my undergraduate education was in behavioural ecology, evolution, social psychology, and research methods.
My undergraduate dissertation investigated the social organization of the twig-nesting carpenter bee Ceratina calcarata, advised by Miriam Richards.
Check out some of my collaborators, they do some awesome research!
University of Guelph
Pat Barclay is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Guelph, and is cross-appointed in the Bachelor of Arts & Sciences (BAS) program. He investigates the evolution of human cooperation and risk-taking, and does both theoretical and empirical work. His research program draws from evolutionary biology, animal behaviour, mathematical game theory, experimental & behavioural economics, and social psychology.
Adam studies emotions and other psychological mechanisms underlying social behavior, usually by leveraging evolutionary functional theories about cooperation, conflict, and risk taking.
University of Regina
Sandeep Mishra is a KPMG Research Scholar and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior/Human Resource Management at the Hill/Levene Schools of Business at the University of Regina. His research explores diverse and interdisciplinary questions in the areas of decision-making, individual differences, and mental health.
Central European University
Mia’s work addresses contextual cues which influence partner-choice decisions, and the evolutionary rationale for these decisions. She is asking questions such as: Are people "rational" advertisers? and, are self-presentation strategies finely tuned to audiences?