Clark Barrett


Clark Barrett

Department of Anthropology

Research Interest

I am interested in the evolutionary origins of the ability to predict and interpret the behavior of other living things, in both social contexts and nonsocial contexts such as predator-prey interactions. Previous studies have examined children’s intuitive knowledge about predators, prey, and death, children’s ability to categorize dangerous animals, the ability of adults and children to perceive intention in movement and to categorize types of intentional interaction, and adults’ category-based inductive inferences about the functional properties of animals. I am also interested in the social dimensions of behavior interpretation and prediction. I have examined the influence of intentionality attributions on social contract reasoning in adults, children’s ability to predict emotions in contract situations, and I am currently working on a project on decision-making about resource exchange in a social network of Amazonian hunter-horticulturalists.

Research Topics

Evolutionary psychology, evolutionary anthropology, experimental philosophy, cultural transmission, conceptual development, social cognition, cross-cultural comparisions, South America

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