Teaching in 2020
- as Course Coordinator and Lecturer
DPhil Sussex University
Ron's current research interests focus on origins of prosociality and cultural dynamics. To understand how prosociality in humans might have developed, his research team has investigated how collective rituals like singing, dancing, chanting might help in bonding people into cohesive groups. More recently, he has worked on the role of pain in collective rituals (e.g., fire-walking, public piercings) and the research team has started to investigate the cognitive and emotional dynamics of ritual.
His second question concerns the origins of culture and the emergence and maintenance of cultural differences in human populations around the world. He has worked extensively on human values and cultural norms, focusing on their structure, functions and measurement. Some of the specific issues the research team investigates are which values are important for good health and well-being, how economic conditions shape values and norms, and how values and norms are communicated, transmitted and changed.
He is co-author of a book titled Understanding Social Psychology Across Cultures.
Ron is Director of the Mind, Body, Cultural Evolution Lab here at Victoria University of Wellington. For more information view the website below, which shows current research and collaborative partners: