Douglas Medin has explored scientific reasoning in children and adults across cultures, as well as across urban versus rural populations. His research also has focused on what is known as commons behavior. This line of inquiry asks why certain populations do or don’t destroy a shared environment to fulfill selfish needs. His research teams have studied indigenous Mayan populations and found that they share natural resources without draining them, largely because they develop a rich, spiritual understanding of forest ecology. Medin’s work has helped move psychological science beyond laboratory models to a broader focus on how our cultural background influences our view of the world.
In exploring aging societies around the world, psychological scientists find significant variability in social relationships and family structures, individuals’ needs and expectations, and potential solutions for maintaining quality of life. Declining fertility rates and each country’s unique situational context point to the need for flexibility with regard to policy development related to aging. More
While collectivist societies are often viewed as caring and cooperative, new research techniques reveal that the tight social ties of these cultures may also foster tension and distrust, behavioral scientist Thomas Talhelm explains. More
Cross cultural studies suggest that the positive link between detailed recall of autobiographical experiences and wellbeing may not be universal. More