H. Clark Barrett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Tools and Techniques: Laboratory and field studies of cognition using experimental methods adapted from cognitive and developmental psychology.
Interests: Evolutionary psychology, evolutionary developmental biology, cognitive development, cultural transmission, learning, social cognition
I am an evolutionary anthropologist, interested in human evolution, and in particular the evolution of human cognitive abilities. In my research I use cross-cultural comparisons to look for universals and variation in patterns of human development, and in particular, psychological development. I primarily use comparisons between adults and children in the United States and among the Shuar of Ecuador, a native Amazonian society, where I established a field site in 1997. My research examines many facets of cognition and cognitive development, with two main threads: ecological cognition (predator-prey cognition, foraging cognition, learning about the natural environment) and social cognition (theory of mind, perceptions of intention from motion and voice cues, cooperation, morality, and cultural transmission). I have participated in several large-scale collaborations across multiple field sites to study human cooperative behavior, social cognition, and morality.