|phone:||+44 (0)24 7652 4498|
|e-mail:||Alicia dot Melis at wbs dot ac dot uk|
Alicia Melis is Assistant Professor in the Behavioural Science Group at Warwick Business School. Prior to joining Warwick Business School she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig ). She studied Biology at the Freie University of Berlin and received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Leipzig. She investigates the phylogenetic roots and the development of human
cooperative and prosocial behavior. She conducts studies with humans (mainly young children) and chimpanzees in African sanctuaries.
I am interested in the evolution of cooperation and in particular the psychological mechanisms supporting human cooperative and prosocial interactions. By comparing the cooperative tendencies and skills of our closest living primate relatives, the nonhuman great apes, and young children, my aim is to gain insight into the roots (the ontogeny and phylogeny) of human cooperation. Which psychological traits underlying the cooperative relationships of humans are uniquely human and which traits do we share with other apes? To what extent are cooperative skills dependent on sophisticated communicative skills (e.g. language) and moral education? How did humans become so collaborative and skilled at maintaining cooperation in large groups of unrelated individuals? Although all human societies are based on cooperative interactions, cooperation is difficult and can break down easily, so what promotes
and helps to stabilize coordination and cooperation between individuals?
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