• What I do

     

    Hi, I'm Amanda Rotella. I'm a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo. I study prosocial behaviors and cultural change in humans.

    Research Overview

    I conduct research on judgment and decision-making (cooperation and competition; wisdom; moral licensing; signaling; social comparison and inequality) with a focus on individual differences (cooperative preferences; wise reasoning; relative deprivation), and cultural change, where I focus on predicting changes and forecasting using historical data.

     

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

     

    My work focuses on understanding culture and cooperation in goal of enhancing and promoting social well-being.

     

    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 informed by multiple disciplines, 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 diverse researchers 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

    GENERAL THEMES OF MY RESEARCH PROGRAM

    Prosociality

    I seek to understand when and why people behave cooperatively, how we make moral judgments and decisions, and the role of wise reasoning in prosocial decision-making. 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.

  • Publications

    Click on paper titles to open them in a new tab

    Published (or Accepted Publications)

    • *Arnocky, S., *Desrochers, J., *Rotella, A., Albert, G., Hodges-Simeon, C., Locke, A., & Belanger, J.  (accepted). High mate-value males adopt a less restricted sociosexual orientation: A meta-analysis. *These authors contributed equally to the project. 
    • Tierney, W., Hardy, J. H., III., Ebersole, C., Viganola, D., Clemente, E., Gordon, M., Hoogeveen, S., Haaf, J., Dreber, A.A., Johannesson, M., Pfeiffer, T., Chapman, H., Gantman, A., Vanaman, M., DeMarree, K., Igou, E., Wylie, J., Storbeck J., Andreychik, M.R., McPhetres, J., Vaughn, L.A., *Culture and Work Forecasting Collaboration, & Uhlmann, E. L. (in press). A creative destruction approach to replication: Implicit work and sex morality across cultures. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. *I am included as an author under the Forecasting Collaboration

    Submitted or Under Review (available on request)

    • Rotella, A., Sparks, A., Mishra, S., & Barclay, P. (revise and resubmit). Individual differences in social value orientation, observation, and the ‘watching eyes effect’: An attempted replication and extension.
    • Rotella, A., Jung, J., Chinn, C., & Barclay, P. (revise and resubmit). Observation and moral ambiguity matter: A meta-analysis on moral licensing.
    • Rotella, A., Varnum, M. E. W., Sng, O., & Grossmann, I. (under review). Increasing population densities predict decreasing fertility rates over time: A 174-nation investigation [PREPRINT]

    Selected Working Papers (available on request)

    • Hutcherson C. A., Varnum, M., Rotella, A., Sharpinski, K., Wormley, A., Tay, L., & Grossmann, I. (working paper). Anything to add?: Lay people make the same predictions about COVID-19’s effects as social and behavioural science experts.
    • Rotella, A., & Mishra, S.  (working paper). Personal relative deprivation negatively predicts engagement in group decision-making. [PREPRINT]
    • Rotella, A., & Barclay, P.  (working paper). Mating competition and cooperation: Restricted mating strategies are associated with prosociality.
    • Sparks, A., Rotella, A., Mishra, S., & Barclay, P. (working paper). Betting your reputation: Public (but not private) prisoner’s dilemma is associated with behavioural risk taking. 
  • "Science is not only a disciple of reason but, also, one of romance and passion"

     

    HAWKING

  • 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"

     

    ERIN MCKIERNAN

  • Teaching

    My engage in the learning process – 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.

    Teaching Experiences

    Course Instructor and Teaching Assistant

    I have been a course instructor for two undergraduate courses at the University of Guelph (listed below). Beyond that, I have 10 years of experience as a seminar-based teaching assistant.

    •  Making Sense of Data in Psychological Research (Fall 2019)
      • An introductory course in statistics and research methods
    • Conflict: Cooperation or Competition? (Fall 2018)
      • An interdisciplinary course in cooperation and competition, drawing on social psychology, organizational behavior, behavioral economics, anthropology, and evolutionary biology

    Teaching Interests

    Teaching 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, organizational behavior, and research methods.

  • "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."

     

    DARWIN

  • Education

    Ph.D. (2020)

    Psychology

    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).

    M.Sc. (2016)

    Psychology

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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.

    Associate Professor

    University of Guelph

     

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

    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.

    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?

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    UCLA

     

    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.