• What I do


    Hi, I'm Amanda Rotella. I'm an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Northumbria University.

    Research Overview

    Broadly, I conduct research in social psychology and judgment and decision-making, with a focus on how social competition impacts various social and health outcomes.


    I am interested in a variety of topics, including morality, cooperation, signaling, social comparisons, and inequality. Within these topics, I investigate how individual differences interact with contextual factors. I also rearch how social competition influences cultural change, where I use historical data to investigate change over time.


    My research is interdisciplinary, often exploratory, drawing on diverse fields (social/personality psychology; evolutionary psychology; organizational behaviour; behavioral economics; behavioral ecology; health psychology; cognitive science) and employs a variety of methodological approaches (behavioral experiments; experimental economics; meta-analysis; longitudinal analyses of time-series data; and survey methods).


    Take a look at my CV

    Google Scholar

    Scientific Values

    Transparency and Open Science

    I value scientific transparency and am dedicated to open science. All my projects have been preregistered on the Open Science Framework, I make all my data and R scripts openly available, and upload preprints of my articles to make them accessible free of charge.


    Collaboration and Intellectual Curiosity

    I conduct interdisciplinary research, which is greatly strengthened through collaboration. Often, the most innovative and impactful research results from integrating diverse viewpoints and ideas. As such, I actively collaborate with international researchers from diverse fields on a variety of new and exciting projects.


    Teaching and Mentorship

    I am passionate about teaching and find working with students rewarding. I thoughtfully integrate mentorship into my research practices, in goal of helping students build skills, achieve their goals, and advance their careers.

  • Research Interests



    Broadly, I research the foundational aspects of morality, with a focus on cooperative behavior, moral judgments and decisions, and processes that promote prosociality, such as wise reasoning. By understanding and applying this knowledge, we can promote collective well-being, such as environmental protection, or to reduce behaviors that harm society such as xenophobia.

    Cultural Change

    In the social sciences, there are important theories about the origins and evolution of culture and how social and ecological processes have shaped human nature. To understand how culture and ecology influence psychological processes, I study and model change in cultural and psychological processes.


    Scientific Methods

    Research methods impact how participants behave in experiments, yet many design decisions are based on untested assumptions in our respective fields. I seek to better understand how participants respond in psychological studies by researching common methodologies, in goal of making better decisions for experimental design.

  • "Science is not only a disciple of reason but, also, one of romance and passion"



  • Publications

    Click on paper titles to open them in a new tab


    Selected Working Papers (available on request)

    • Rotella, A., & Mishra, S.  (working paper). Personal relative deprivation negatively predicts engagement in group decision-making. [PREPRINT]
  • "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."



  • Conferences

    View my presentations; just click the links.

    Selected Posters and Talks

  • "Access to information is a human right, but is often treated as privilege. This has to change - and it will take all of us to make it happen"



  • Education

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    Ph.D. (2020)


    My dissertation work examined individual differences influence cooperative judgments and decisions, advised by Pat Barclay. I was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

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    M.Sc. (2016)


    Under the guidance of Pat Barclay, my master’s dissertation investigated how cooperative decision making is influenced by reputation [PDF]. My Master's research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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    B.Sc. (2011)

    Biological Sciences and Psychology

    In 2011 I completed a B.Sc. in Biology combined with Psychology Honours degree with First Class Standing.

  • Collaborators

    Check out some of my collaborators, they do some excellent research!

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    Associate Professor

    University of Waterloo


    Igor is a social-cognitive scientist studying sound judgment and wisdom across cultures. His work utilizes methods at the intersection of big data analytics, psycho-physiology, diary surveys, and experiments.

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    Associate Professor

    University of Guelph


    Pat investigates the evolution of human cooperation and risk-taking. His research program draws from evolutionary biology, animal behaviour, mathematical game theory, experimental & behavioural economics, and social psychology.

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    Associate Professor

    University of Guelph


    Sandeep's research explores diverse and interdisciplinary questions in the areas of decision-making, individual differences, and mental health.

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    Postdoctoral Researcher

    University of Waterloo


    Anna is interested in social behavior, inequality, and morality. Her research focuses on questions such as when and how people choose social interests over self-interest, which psychological factors impact reactions to inequality, and how can people make better decisions.

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    Ph.D. Candidate

    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?

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    Postdoctoral Fellow



    Adam studies emotions and other psychological mechanisms underlying social behavior, usually by leveraging evolutionary functional theories about cooperation, conflict, and risk taking.

  • Connect With Me

    Follow me on social media, or send me an email at amanda.mrotella@gmail.com.